The foundation of anything is the basis of it, the beginning of the project. This is what comes first and holds the rest of the project up. In this sense, we're talking about concrete foundations for buildings such as houses. There are three types of concrete slab foundation types – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab. In today's blog, our concrete contractors are going to go in depth and explain to you what some of the pros and cons are of concrete slab foundations.
As we said above, a foundation is an initial structure that will support the entire project. But it goes a bit deeper than that. The foundation of a building must do at least three things:
These are the three points to a successful foundation and are key in their design. But with the three types of foundation structures, there also comes a variety of different features that will appeal to different types of people.
This is the most common concrete slab foundation type and can actually be laid in two different ways:
Like the other three concrete slab foundation methods, slab-on-ground employs the use of steel mesh as well as concrete slabs to form the foundation.
As the name may suggest, these slabs are suspended and do not actually have direct contact with the ground below. These are commonly used as foundations for other floors in multi-storey buildings but can also be used to form the foundation for ground floors. Suspended slab foundations will be often constructed off-site and then transported via a truck.
Precast slabs are also manufactured off-site and then transported and placed where they need to be with a crane. These can be constructed with post-tensioned reinforced or standard concrete as well as from autoclaved aerated concrete – which is lightweight and energy efficient concrete that is manufactured to have multiple closed air pockets inside of it.
Concrete slabs contain very high thermal mass – meaning it is quite good at storing and re-releasing heat. This works especially well in the sense of foundation as it is a good heat regulator for the house. Of course, to take full advantage of the concrete slab's thermal properties it must be paired with a passively designed house.
Concrete is already a naturally long-lasting creation. But, with the correct reinforcement and design, the concrete slabs can last close to forever. They must be placed correctly and compactly to ensure there are no openings that could cause destabilisation. They must not be affected by water too much as this could weaken them.
Concrete slabs can be highly resistant to termites as long as they have the least number of shrinking joints as possible. Any joints and penetrations should be treated – as well as the edge of the slab.