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Foundation Problems & Solutions

Slabs-On-Ground / Slabs-On-Grade - Introduction

Slab-on-ground or slab-on-grade house construction, as shown in Figure 1, is much more common in warmer climates where market demands for basement space is not prevalent. Coupled with this is the building industry belief that the depth of frost penetration and thus the required depth of footings, warrants the construction of full basements.

concrete slab home foundation
Figure 1 - Concrete slab on ground

However, these perceptions are gradually changing as a result of an increasing demand for barrier-free accessible housing for persons with disabilities and the elderly. For many of these people, basements are not necessarily a desirable feature.

Secondly, the building industry increasingly understands that slab-on-ground construction can be an economical construction technique suitable for most parts of North America, either in conjunction with frost-protected shallow foundation walls or with thickened slab edges. Structural floating slabs can also represent a viable alternative for construction in areas with unstable problem soils.