A Strong Foundation is a good start!

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This week, caisson work has begun at the Ashbrooke in Whitby, an integral part of our foundation construction.  

A strong foundation is the basis of any construction project, whether you’re building a single-family home, an apartment structure, or an office high rise.  Foundations either sit on top of soil or they are embedded in the soil (sometimes both).

For small structures like primary residences, foundation pads placed on top of the soil are generally adequate.  Although the soil may settle somewhat over time, causing the foundation to settle, as well, this occurrence does not pose the same risks for small structures as it does for, say, a precarious high rise.

For larger buildings, however, more fortified foundations are in order.  Although caisson drilling is often associated with projects like bridge construction, this method of building foundations is also is also beneficial for all types of large structures.

What is Caisson Drilling?

Caisson drilling is a specific style of creating structural foundations by which boreholes called caissons (sometimes called drilled piers because of their cylindrical shape) are drilled into the ground and then filled with concrete and reinforcing materials.  The main goal of this method is to reduce the potential for vertical movement caused by soil settling in order to avoid the structural damage that could otherwise result.

Traditionally, flat, horizontal, floating foundations have been used to evenly distribute the weight of the building above.  However, uneven settling could lead to all kinds of problems including leaning, cracked foundation and structural elements, and even eventual collapse.

With caisson drilling, weight-bearing concrete columns (in our case supplemented by steel cages) can reach all the way down to the bedrock, providing for a much more stable base for large structures.

This method of building foundations is not necessary for every structure – the average home is unlikely to use caissons.  However, this style of creating structural foundations is preferable for larger, taller buildings, and especially high rises, for the purposes of safety, longevity, and structural integrity.

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