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    It is difficult to imagine the construction of steel halls without laying foundations. They are necessary to stabilize the structure, as well as to give it a solid foothold in the ground with a certain cohesiveness. In the following article we will focus on an overview of the different types of foundations and their role in securing steel halls. We invite you to read.

    Foundations and their role in large-scale construction

    A foundation is a reinforced concrete structure that forms the basis for virtually any building. In the case of large-scale developments, its role is particularly important. The most important functions that the foundation performs are primarily:

    • creating a solid load-bearing base for the entire structure of a large-scale building,
    • Stabilizing its position relative to the pavement,
    • increase the structural strength of the steel hall,
    • distributing (uniformly) the structural load within the ground,
    • preventing shifting of earth masses in close proximity to the building.

    Thus, the design and location of foundations depend not only on the size (area) of the construction project, but also on the type and cohesiveness of the soil, its slope, the presence of water, as well as a number of other factors that have a significant impact on the forces acting on the steel hall.

    Specifics of steel halls in the context of foundation construction

    Steel halls are objects that – due to their shape and purpose – are subjected to many different forces. Let’s start with the fact that large-scale objects are subject to forces that result, for example, from the uneven loading of the building, the varying cohesiveness of the ground (over such a large area), as well as the weather conditions that periodically affect the ground.

    Such an extensive space should be protected both in summer, when the cohesiveness of the ground is relatively high, and in winter, when (up to a certain depth) there is ground frost. The way in which the building is used is also not without significance. Foundations are built differently for buildings used year-round, and differently for temporary halls.

    Types of foundations – what is worth knowing?

    The general division of foundations is quite simple. We distinguish between shallow and deep structures. So let’s check which of them will work well for specific steel halls.

    • Large steel halls, which are operated all year round, are most often erected on shallow foundations. They consist of basic longitudinal reinforcement, which is made of steel bars, among other things. As a result, a year-round structure will not collapse under its weight regardless of the season (and therefore also during spring thaw). What’s more, a structure made this way is also relatively inexpensive, since the screed is made only under the feet, and not around the entire perimeter of the steel hall structure.
    • Smaller industrial halls, which are operated periodically (seasonally), require a slightly different foundation system. In this case, foundation slabs are mainly used. It is worth opting for them if the ground is too weak. Thanks to the use of slabs, the weight of the building is distributed over the entire surface of the foundation.

    An alternative to the above solutions are the so-called deep foundations, also known as foundation piles. They are used much less frequently than shallow solutions, but in some situations they are very useful. In which ones?

    • When the foundation rests on a two-layer foundation. In this case, the piles pierce the top, weaker layer and penetrate deep into the layers, which are characterized by increased cohesiveness (such as hard ground, clay or rock).
    • When the design of a steel hall takes into account point, concentrated loads. These include machinery parks, high storage warehouses or water tanks.

    Design and construction of foundations – what to pay attention to?

    Before the investor proceeds to pour the foundation, its structure must be properly designed. For this purpose, simulation tools are used to plan the loads occurring within the foundation structure and the steel hall itself. It is necessary to take into account such issues as:

    • the characteristics of the structural loads of the hall,
    • the type of structure used
    • characteristics of the ground,
    • susceptibility to weathering,
    • drainage system, etc.

    The biggest problem remains the assessment of the condition and properties of the soil. For this purpose, appropriate geological investigations must be carried out at the depths planned for the project.

    Soil characteristics vs. foundation design

    The geotechnical study (in question) is primarily concerned with assessing the soil’s ability to absorb groundwater. The greater it is, the greater the risk of lowering the cohesiveness of the foundation, which, in the case of such massive structures, can lead to their complete destruction. It is the responsibility of the construction manager to order these tests before the contractor’s team begins any work in the area where the project will be implemented.

    What types of soil are most favorable from the contractor’s point of view? Peat, silt and clay are substrates that tend to slip. Therefore, embedding a foundation on them can lead to gradual damage and even cracking. The case is different for rock, sand or gravel. Here we are dealing with a foundation with increased cohesiveness. Yes, in the case of sand, rainfall will lead to its lowering, but this problem can be solved, for example, by using a special linear drainage system.

    External factors affecting the type of foundation used

    Climate and its characteristics

    Climate is one of the most important factors determining what type of foundation will be suitable for a particular investment. Fact, in Poland we face rather inhospitable weather conditions (rain, snow and frost), but this does not mean that securing foundations is impossible. If flooding is common in a particular location, it makes sense to use insulation to protect the foundations from moisture.

    Groundwater and its impact on the foundation

    Another factor that needs to be considered in the design of the foundation for a steel hall is the level of groundwater. To be more specific – it is about the depth at which you can “dig down” to the aquifer. If their layer is very deep, it is enough to use shallow foundations. Thus, their structure will not be exposed to moisture. However, if the surface of the groundwater is much shallower, then the only sensible solution remains the use of drainage or such construction of the foundation base that it resists the action of hydrostatic pressure.

    Assessing the implications of construction

    When choosing a foundation design, it is also necessary to assess what impact it will have on the surrounding environment. Soil is often unpredictable, and as a result, you need to account for changes in its parameters. The design of the foundation should take this “margin of error” into account, so that the investment will fulfill its stated purpose for many years. Another issue is the presence of trees. Their growing roots could lead to the destruction of the foundation, so it is necessary to protect it properly.

    It may also turn out that both the steel hall itself and the work performed on its site could lead to damage to neighboring properties. Therefore, it is necessary to plan its layout in such a way that the integrity of neighboring buildings (and the investments carried out there) is not compromised in any way.

    Are you looking for a professional steel hall contractor? Report to us!

    If you are interested in building a steel hall with a solid foundation, the structure of which will be adapted to the local conditions on the project site, then be sure to contact us. We will take a close look at the characteristics of the investment plot, pay attention to various risk factors, and – if you are willing to cooperate – we will create a comprehensive investment project.

    A good foundation is fundamental. And that is why we encourage you to use our services.

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