Tips to Building Strong Foundation Design

Building Foundation is the most important step of any construction project. Foundation of any building is under the plinth level up to the soil level. Pouring strong foundation which can support the load of the complete structure and can transfer it to the ground, requires proper designing and civil knowledge.

Here are some useful construction tips for building strong foundations.

  • The soil on which the structure is to be built should be strong. The building foundation should be continuous.
  • The soil under the foundation should be dry. If the foundation is built on waterlogged soil then this may lead to liquefaction and sinking of structure into the ground in case of earthquake.
  • Different factors affect the depth of foundation such as: bearing capacity, shrinkage and swelling of the ground due to seasonal changes, depth of frost penetration, excavation allowance, ground water table, etc. Considering these factors, the minimum depth of foundation should be 1.5 m.
  • Rounded and unbroken stones should not be used for building foundation, only broken stone can create strong foundations.
  • Sufficient mortar should be used to join stones. If need may be, reinforcements can be used to enhance the overall strength of the structure.

Footing is the structure beneath the base of the wall or column which distributes the load to the wider area of foundation. The minimum width of footing for one brick wall is considered to be 75 cm and for 1m for one and half brick wall.

Building Foundation


Preparing Bar Bending Schedule Sheets using Bar-Be-Que Software

Bar Bending Schedule is the sheet containing all the information for the bars to be used for RCC, such as length, diameter, bending angle, thickness, type, location and number of bars. It contains the detailed drawing of each element.

Creating BBS is an extremely rigorous and time consuming process. Precision is important. Also steel bars are expensive and hence to save the cost overrun, knowing exact number of bars required plays a vital role. BBS should be prepared following the codes of BS or IS depending upon the requirements.

Preparing Bar Bending Schedule Sheets using Bar-Be-Que Software

To make the process easier and faster, a software called Bar-Be-Que should be used. It is totally independent with already fed formula and principles. All that is needed is to enter the specifications, and the software comes up with precise salable graphical sketch for all the bars. Bar-Be-Que also comes up quality estimation reducing the cost over runs.

The Bar Bending Schedule sheets for reinforcement steel which are prepared by Bar-Be-Que can be printed directly.

Download BarBeQue software for BBS and quantity & quality estimation for reinforcement steel at


Know more about Shallow Foundation Types

Rather than going deep into the ground, Shallow foundation transfers the load of the structure nearer to the surface. This type of foundation is used where digging deep into the ground is not feasible and the structure in not very large. However, the soil on which the foundation is build should have bearing capacity and not be collapsible types. The depth of shallow foundation is less than its width.

Further categorisation based on patter, type of loading and site condition, for Shallow Foundation are:

  1. Strip Footing:

This footing has maximal length and minimal breadth, as can be deducted from its name, Strip footing. This type of footing is used to support the entire length of a long wall. Also when the spacing between the adjacent columns is very less, strip footing is used as a cost effective alternative.

  1. Spread Footing:

Spread footing or Isolated footing distribute the load of the column or wall through wider area. It can be either rectangular, circular, stepped or slopped to disperse the load to larger area.

  1. Combined Footing:

When the distance between two columns is less, such the two separate spread footing will overlay, Combined footing is build. This is done to distribute the load of two columns equally through the footing and also economical. Combined footing could be rectangular or trapezoidal in plan.

  1. Strap Footing:

Also known as Cantilever footing, it combines two isolated spread footings using a flexible strap of cantilever beam which is not in contact with soil. The rigid strap transfers the load to the soil with equal and uniform soil pressure under the footings of both the columns. It is cost-effective.

  1. Mat Footing:

This footing covers the entire area, like a floor, with thick reinforced concrete slab like a mat or raft, hence the name. Mat footing is helpful when tolerable soil pressure is low. Also if the adjacent columns and walls are closer, individual spread footing is not possible, then Mat footing is economical.

Shallow Foundations Type

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Fiber Reinforced Concrete types and categories

To make concrete more powerful and more adaptable to extreme temperature, different types of fibers are blended with liquid cement to form the fiber-reinforced concrete structures. Another advantage of using fiber-reinforced concrete is that it is extremely water-tight. There are four different of fiber reinforcements, namely steel fiber, glass fiber, synthetic fiber and natural fiber.

Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete – It is an inexpensive and easily applicable form of concrete reinforcement. To enhance the longevity of concrete, steel bars are placed inside the liquid cement to give rebar reinforced concrete. It consists of thin steel wires combined with cement which gives superior structural strength to concrete along with safeguarding it against severe temperatures and diminishing the chances of cracking.

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete – The reinforcement here is fiberglass. It increases the strength of the concrete and also insulates it. Just like steel reinforcement concrete, glass fiber reinforced concrete prevents cracking due to mechanical and thermal stresses. Glass fiber does not intervene with radio signals.

Fibre Reinforced Concrete types and categories

Synthetic Fiber Reinforced Concrete – Plastic and nylon fibers are combined to make robust reinforced concrete. Having an edge over the other fiber reinforcements, it disallows the cement to be stuck in the pipelines hence increasing the pump-ability of the cement. Synthetic fibers don’t expand or contract due to change in temperature and this helps to stop cracking. Concrete reinforced with synthetic fibers doesn’t break or collapse due to impact or fire.

Natural Fiber Reinforced Concrete – Natural fibers are hay or hair which are traditionally used to build natural fiber reinforced concrete. These fibers may provide strength for the time being, but does the reverse if used for long time projects. Natural fibers carry the risk of decaying which may result in concrete collapsing from inside. Hence, these fibers are not used nowadays.


Different types of footings for a Building Construction

Foundation is the basis for any building. A stronger the foundation, more durable the building. Depending on the ground type, height and shape of the building and its predicted load, type of foundation can be chosen.

Wall Footing –

Being a component of shallow foundation, Wall Footing serves to distribute the weight of a load-bearing wall across the area of the ground. Also known as Strip Footing, it is a continuous strip of reinforced concrete.

Spread Footing –

As the name suggests, Spread Footing is wider and more spread at the bottom facilitating distribution of load over a larger area. As the weight is diffused equally over the whole building area instead of some points, it minimizes the chances of cracking. Hence it operates under the least possibility of failure.

Stepped or Pedestal Footing –

With the aim of keeping the metal columns away from direct contact with soil in order to save it from corrosion, Pedestal Footing are built to bear the load of metal columns and take this load to the ground below.

Different types of footing

Sloped Footing–

Footings having sloping top or side faces is referred to Sloped Footing. It is helpful in form work construction.

Combined Footing –

When the distance between two adjacent columns is narrow enough for a single footing to be used as a support, then Combined Footing is used.  The preferred footing shape is trapezoidal or rectangular, based on the loads. Combined footing is a type of spread footing.

There are other types of foundations such as Mat footing, Strap footing, Pile footing and Drilled bell pier. Type of footing can be chosen based on the requirement.


How to make Spreadsheet for Civil Engineering Calculations

Civil Engineering involves designing and construction of structures and their maintenance. Designing of civil structures is typical and the calculations are rigorous. Use of spreadsheets facilitate the engineers to carry out these tasks efficiently with verification.

Different elements of civil engineering are computation of blast pressure on the basis of TNT value, sleeper design, combined footing design, vertical vessel octagonal foundation design, horizontal vessel foundation design, base plate design, isolated foundation design, design of two-way slab according to ACI, design of pipeline anchor block,design of Beam according to ACI.

Civil engineering spreadsheets are automated sheet designed such that it has pre-fed formula which make calculations easier and faster. They can be used for calculating loads, design civil structures and make other calculations.

Building civil engineering calculations spreadsheet

Download the step-by-step PDF guide showing how to build spreadsheet for civil engineering calculations.


Learn How to Estimate Construction Labor Cost

Once the construction is completed, what is there before us is the raw structure which needs beautification. Learn how to do construction labor cost estimate. Plastering and colouring is the next step towards the completing of a project.

Plasterwork refers to the adornment done with plaster, such as a layer of plaster on an interior or exterior wall structure, or plaster decorative mouldings on ceilings or walls which gives the final touch of completion to the structure. And the colouring is done once plasterwork is finished to add colours to the place.

Now this plastering and colouring work requires labour and estimate has to be made to get the overall expense. To calculate the expense, first the overall area needs to be calculated. The labour rate has to be fixed. The time required of the plasterwork has to be estimated. And finally the overall cost estimate of painting and plasterwork labour is found.

The video here, by Civil Engineering Academy, exclusive explains with an example, an elaborate procedure to estimate the labour for painting and plastering.

Just go through the video once, and you get a perfect idea about the procedure.

Learn How to Estimate Construction Labor Cost


Engineering Drawing – Essential of Civil Engineering

An engineering drawing, a type of technical drawing, is used to fully and clearly define requirements for engineered items. Engineering drawing (the activity) produces engineering drawings (the documents). The process of producing engineering drawings, and the skill of producing those, is often referred to as technical drawing or drafting.

More than merely the drawing of pictures, it is also a language — a graphical language that communicates ideas and information from one mind to another.

For contractors or civil engineers, architects and designers, engineering drawing is the main media to convey and understand the layout of building, objects, etc. Reading from a drawing gives the clear idea about the requirements of the project. The shapes, dimensions, centre and details of the drawing pretty explains everything about the object. Engineering drawing can be a 2D or 3D representation, however, a 3D presentation is much easier to understand and is descriptive itself.

The video here, is the introduction to the engineering drawing, showing the importance of the subject and its uses in the real life. The video also emphasize on the instruments used in the engineering drawing, their uses and their specific Importance.

It also explains the types of lines and their significance in the engineering drawing. The video pretty much gives enough basic knowledge to anyone who goes through the whole video once.

Go through the video introduction about engineering drawing:

What is Engineering Drawing


MACROZA Wall Chaser makes your wall chasing job easy

MACROZA wall chaser is a specialised power tool used for cutting narrow grooves in walls. The tool is usually powered by an electric motor which drives a pair of grinding discs positioned closely together.

A few guideline to be kept in mind while doing the chasing work are –

  • Chase cut-outs should always be vertical or horizontal between start and finish on the wall – never cut a chase at an angle between these two, nor step the channel.
  • Vertical chases should be no deeper than one third of the wall thickness.
  • Horizontal chases should be no deeper than one sixth of the wall thickness.
  • Chases on opposite sides of a wall should not be in line, i.e. ‘back to back’.

The construction professionals can treat themselves with the MACROZA wall chaser which not only streamlines and speeds up the chasing work but also saves you money and time.

Video here gives the demonstration of the working of the MACORZA Wall Chaser. As can be seen this wall chaser is used to embed wires, conduits, pipes toward the electrical, plumbing heating and air-conditioning industries. This makes the complex work a lot easier for the contractors.

MACROZA Wall Chaser

The wall chaser can cut horizontal, vertical, diagonal and even curves through the wall. It is easy to use, as it stands on the wall so need to carry its weight, the operator just need to push it in the direction of the cutting. The wall chaser doesn’t even produce too much dust hence making the job clean.

The MACROZA is an old brand available in 25 countries presently. The MACROZA Wall Chaser uses a Tungsten Carbide tipped milling blade which makes it easier to cut through the rigid and harsh materials like concrete, precast concrete and stone.

Watch the demo video of MACROZA Wall Chaser machine to know more.

Read more about MACROZA Wall Chaser at:


Understanding Tolerances in Reinforced Concrete Design

Tolerances can be defined as the permitted variation from a given dimension or quantity. This variation can usually be in either of two directions and so can be regarded as positive or negative.

The immediate reason for specifying tolerances is to establish the ease of construction without the necessity of later modifying parts to fit together.

A more long-range reason is to ensure that the structure will perform as needed, particularly with respect to safety. The parts of the structure should have adequate strength and be of such shape and dimensions that there is no danger of structural failure through movement of the parts.

Joints should be sufficiently close to the design to perform properly and, where necessary, be capable of being sealed against intrusion of water, wind, dirt and debris. Tolerances on the location of reinforcing steel should be adequate to ensure the place-ability of concrete all around the reinforcing cage.

Usually the owner or specifier prefers to go with the tolerances which are standardized. Keeping this in mind, the most favored Tolerances are according to the ACI 117.

The video here, gives the allowable tolerances for different members of the structure. The tolerances for concrete reinforcements, slopes, dimensions, location, spacing, columns and beam dimensions, bar bends and ends, etc. all are specified and explained in the video tutorial.

Tolerances in Reinforced Concrete