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What is the difference between pad foundation, strip foundation and raft foundation?

Shallow foundation is commonly accepted as foundation with founding level less than 3m from ground surface. In case surface loads or surface conditions could still affect the bearing capacity, the foundation which sits on it is called shallow foundation.

Pad foundation refers to the foundation which is intended for sustaining concentrated loads from a single point load such as structural columns.

Strip foundation is used to support a line of loads such as load-bearing walls. For instance, closely-spaced columns render the use of pad foundation inappropriate and strip foundation may be a better alternative.

Raft foundation consists of a concrete slab which extends over the entire loaded area so that loads from entire structure are spread over a large area leading to a reduction of the stress of foundation soils is reduced. Moreover, raft foundation serves to avoid differential settlement which otherwise would occur if pad or strip foundation is adopted.


This question is taken from book named – A Closer Look at Prevailing Civil Engineering Practice – What, Why and How by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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10 comments on "What is the difference between pad foundation, strip foundation and raft foundation?"

hertz says:

tanks alot but i still need somemore

LIGHT says:

Can a raft foundation b suitable in a waterlogged area?

Rohan says:

From what I deduce , in case of unsuitable soils or conditions on surface (like in case of water logging), A pile foundation is preferred wherein the load is transferred to a deeper and competent strata.


what should be the maximum depth of apad foundation..

John Hanke says:

how do I have to place a cathodic protection for a Fuel Tank on a raft foundation on piles?


what are the new inventions of foundations???

abdul jelil says:

steps on pile foundation

mensah Isaac says:

please I had problem with my 5 storey design can u help me to design the foundation

hessy maina says:

What is maximum. Depth of strip foundation

Alex Richard says:

It’s good
But I have a question
What is the difference between deep strip foundation and stepped foundation

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