When you see a skyscraper, it’s only natural to marvel at the architectural genius required for such a tall building. However, there’s even more architectural genius hidden underground. The foundation for a skyscraper is just as phenomenal as the rest of the skyscraper, and it’s important that you pay attention to it as much as if not more than the rest of the skyscraper. Here’s what you need to know about how skyscraper foundations work.
1. The Design
The first step is to design the foundation. First, the company who wants to build the skyscraper will bring in an expert who has experience in designing skyscrapers. The designer has to ask a lot of questions, including:
- Does the foundation rest on sandy soil?
- How far down is bedrock?
- Does the skyscraper have to consider flooding risks?
- What type of strength is necessary for wind loads?
- Are there any unique environmental threats?
These are all things that the designer will then consider when creating the design for the skyscraper. A skyscraper with significantly more environmental concerns will have to have a deeper and more secure foundation than a skyscraper with fewer concerns.
2. The Build
Next step is to actually build the foundation. The foundation has to go before the rest of the building, of course, and it may have to set and cure for many weeks before the rest of the building can even start construction. The building process may include:
- Foundation Piles
- Concrete Mat
- Rock Anchors
- Underground Supports
These will all depend on the design, as the original designer will decide which elements are necessary for this specific foundation and which elements aren’t necessary. Designers draw on previous builds and issues that have occurred with other foundations to make sure their foundation has enough strength to stand for long periods of time.
3. The Maintenance
Buildings are not something that you can just set and forget. You have to perform maintenance on them over time, or you run the risk of having the building start to show signs of age, which can then turn into serious problems that can be intense enough to require evacuations and more in-depth fixes.
Maintenance can fix these problems, but maintenance for a building that’s 20 stories high or more can be very difficult. The good news is that because skyscrapers have been around for so long, there have been many methods of maintenance that people have developed. When you look at a skyscraper, remember that the skyscraper takes a lot of time and energy to maintain.
As you can see, the enormity of a skyscraper foundation can be extremely difficult to fully grasp. Of course, the design and building of a skyscraper is something to applaud, but don’t forget that the design and building of the skyscraper foundation is something that’s just as incredible. No matter how tall the skyscraper is, its foundation is truly something to appreciate, and you should take a moment to appreciate the foundation as you do with any other part of the skyscraper.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Technology category