Commercial foundations

Residential construction can use the provisions in Acceptable Solution B1/AS1 and NZS 3604:2011 Timber-framed buildings to ease the design of a suitable foundation. However, most commercial foundations must be specifically engineered and constructed to comply with the requirements of the Building Code and the loadings standard, AS/NZS 1170 Structural design actions.

Nevertheless, the design of commercial building foundations draws on many of the same principles that guide the design of residential property foundations. The design of the foundation begins by considering the same three factors:

  • Site characteristics – the composition and quality of the soil beneath the foundation and the seismicity of the region.
  • Design loads – all the loads imposed on the foundation by the completed structure, including lateral seismic forces.
  • Degree of resilience – the desired behaviour of the foundation and the structure it supports during an earthquake.

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