Your building’s foundation is the most important part of the structure. Without a stable, level foundation, your building can sink, crack, flood and warp. When you’re investing in commercial real estate, having the best commercial foundation is crucial to your Tennessee business’s success.
The defining difference between commercial and residential foundations is their respective load capacity. As you might imagine, a commercial building requires a significantly more extensive load capacity than, say, a regular single-family home. Having a properly anchored and reinforced foundation will ensure that your commercial foundation is reliable for decades to come. Don’t skimp when it comes to your foundation.
Here are some of the most common foundation types in commercial construction:
- T-shaped concrete foundation: The T-shaped concrete commercial foundation is designed for large buildings where the ground regularly freezes. Frozen ground exerts a lot of pressure on your foundation. This T-shape foundation style is designed to resist the additional pressure. The design requires a flat footing to be placed just below the frost line. The foundation walls are built on top, which are slightly wider than the footing itself. This provides additional support to the building while avoiding damage from the freeze/thaw cycle. After the walls are poured, slab is placed between them. In addition to avoiding frost damage, this type of foundation is also good for resisting issues with problematic soils.
- Slab-on-grade foundation: If you’re building in an area that never freezes, slab-on-grade foundations are perfectly sufficient. Unlike T-shaped and frost protected foundations, there’s no need to account for the freeze/thaw cycle and additional pressure. This type of foundation is created by pouring a concrete slab over the ground, which is flat and at least several inches thick. Like all foundations, it provides a stable, level area on which to build.
- Frost protected shallow foundation: Finally, frost protected shallow foundations are usually reserved for very cold climates. This type of foundation uses insulation on the outside, so the freezing ground doesn’t create too much pressure. The foundation is placed about a foot or a foot and a half below the earth, so it doesn’t require as much excavation effort and cost. However, this type of foundation only works for buildings with internal heating systems—if you’re building a warehouse or manufacturing plant, this probably won’t be the right type of foundation for your building.
The type of foundation you choose will depend on your location, the type of building you choose and your specific needs. One thing is for certain, however: concrete commercial foundations are the best choice in Tennessee. They’re durable, cost-effective and stable. Concrete foundations can be reinforced with steel for added support—make sure to ask your foundation contractor whether your building requires reinforcement.
To pour a concrete foundation, your contractors will use a wooden frame to your building’s specifications, then pour the concrete, reinforce if necessary and wait for it to dry.
For more information about concrete commercial foundations and to determine which will be right for your building, call the team at Warrior Precast LLC today.