Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers
1 August 2013
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The Institution of Structural Engineers
The purpose of a pad foundation is to spread a concentrated force into soil. They are one of the most simple and cost effective types of footings for structures. Provided the founding soil is of sufficient strength and is not too deep to reach, pad foundations are the preferred solution for foundations due to the straight forward nature of their design and construction. This Technical Guidance Note covers the design of concrete pad foundations, both mass and reinforced concrete forms. It will not, however, discuss how the bearing capacity of the soil is determined, as that is explained in Technical Guidance Note 19 (Level 1) Soil bearing capacity. It is suggested that you read that text in conjunction with this, in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the topic. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)
This Technical Guidance Note describes the causes of cracking in concrete.
This Technical Guidance Note concerns lateral loads that are applied to barriers and wheel axle loads from vehicles. Barrier loading is dealt with slightly differently to other forms of imposed loading. The nature of the loading can vary from people leaning against barriers to vehicles colliding with them at speed. Axle loading from vehicles has to be treated somewhat differently to other forms of imposed loading. While it is possible to assume a blanket area load to represent them, it is the point load from each wheel that needs closer attention.