Structural Engineering Foundation Design

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Structural Foundation Design

Validation of the support for buildings at ground level is vital for all buildings to ensure stability and prevent movement due to overloading or interaction to external conditions.

Of up most importance to design of foundations is establishing the prevailing ground conditions which will be encountered within the building footprint by the implementation of geo-technical site investigations.

MP work closely with a number of specialists to agree the scope of investigation to suit the development foundations, such that design information can be confirmed by insitu and laboratory testing of the soil materials.

Structural Engineering

Traditional Pad and Strip

Where ground conditions are favorable, the most simple form of foundation construction comprises isolated pads at concentrated load positions, with continuous walls supported on strip footings.

This form of construction requires good and homogeneous ground conditions where foundation design can be arranged to apply uniform loading to the sub soil.

Foundation Design | Traditional Pad & Strip

External factors in the form of trees have the potential to cause significant damage to this type of foundation if not properly considered at the design stage. Where building near trees it is important that the location, size and species of trees is established together with the volume change characteristics of sub soil, such that the design of foundations ensures that construction is beyond their zone of influence.

Structural Engineering

Raft Foundations

Where ground conditions are unsuitable for isolated foundations, design of rafted solutions can reduce the impact of proposed building by spreading the load over a larger area to reduce the localized applied stress.

Historically this technique was utilized when instability from below ground mining resulted in settlement of the surface.

Foundation Design | Raft Foundation
This technique is widely utilized for domestic properties where the building footprint raft is designed to bridge instability and spread the weight of the building to the sub soil.
Structural Engineering


Where ground conditions are poor and the shallow soil is unsuitable to support the proposed building, foundation loadings must be transferred to deeper strata where integrity is proven to have the ability to accommodate the applied loading.

In such cases, the use of steel or concrete pile sections installed by drilling or augering into the ground is utilized where it is considered uneconomical or unsafe to extend traditional foundations.

Foundation Design | Piling
Working closely with the piling installation company, MP will arrange the spacing, connection to the building and design loadings for the piling works.

Substructure solutions of flat slab, transfer beams and isolated pile caps would be designed by MP to support the proposed building.

Structural Engineering

Ground Improvement

Where soil conditions allow, ground improvement techniques can be adopted to strengthen the ground such that more economical solutions than piling can be considered.

Simple improvement can be achieved by excavating and selecting poor ground for re-use. Replacement of the selected materials can be completed simply by compacting the material with suitable plant, or enhanced further by the integration of lime and or cement to control moisture content of the fill material together with inclusion of geo technical reinforcement products.

Foundation Design | Ground Improvement
MP work with a number of specialist contractors and suppliers of ground improvement products and are able to optimize the solution to suit the individual characteristics of each site.
Structural Engineering

Temporary Works & Underpinning

Construction of foundations in the vicinity of existing features can lead to undermining if proper consideration is not given to the method of construction.

All excavations must be secured in the temporary case by suitable supports, which will typically be designed by specialist consultants to suit the design parameters conveyed by the foundation design. MP have experience in liaising with both contractors and temporary works designers to agree sequence, loading parameters and arrangements of temporary works.

Foundation Design | Temporary Works & Underpinning
Where necessary, the installation of new foundations may require strengthening or deepening of existing sub structure. In this instance a controlled sequence of excavation, pouring and curing will be arranged to ‘under pin’ the existing features in such a way that minimal areas of foundations are affected at any point with sufficient distance left between individual locations to allow the remaining building to remain stable during the works.

Structural Engineering Projects