Choosing the Sturdiest Commercial Building Foundation

Support the Buildings That Shape Our Skylines

When you embark on a massive construction project, you need ways to make sure your commercial building is still standing at the end. Ground improvement services and vibratory stone columns (VSCs) help reinforce shallow and deep foundations for commercial office and retail buildings.

What Do Commercial Foundation Companies Look for Before Construction?

Every commercial retail or office building that still stands today was built on a strategically chosen foundation. Though a foundation needs to support a building’s weight, you must consider other factors when determining the right foundation type. Height, weight, design, soil type, and weather conditions affect the foundation method you can use.

Tall skyscrapers need foundations with a smaller, sturdier base than low-rise commercial buildings. A low-rise commercial building covering a larger surface area should be built on a foundation that can distribute its weight equally. Soil conditions can also impact the beginning of the construction process—you may have to enlist a foundation company’s ground improvement system before construction begins. Finally, if your commercial building resides in a cold location, the foundation company must consider whether frozen soil could crack the foundation. 

For a large-scale commercial construction project, it’s crucial to start with the right base. Commercial construction is a considerable undertaking, and your entire project can go haywire if built on the wrong foundation. As your commercial foundation company, CNC Foundations installs VSCs and uses our other ground improvement services to solidify the ground your structures stand on.

Learn How CNC Foundations Performs Ground Improvement Services

Want to see how we’ve put our foundation expertise to good use? Read our commercial construction case studies to learn more. 

The Types of Foundation Used in Commercial Construction

Once you’ve completed the preliminary ground improvement work, you can get to work laying the foundation for your new commercial retail or office building. Two common types of commercial building bases are shallow and deep foundations

  • Shallow foundation: When a commercial building covers a large surface area, such as a low-rise office building or parking structure, a shallow foundation is perfect for spreading the building’s weight across the foundation. Shallow foundations work perfectly for buildings that aren’t excessively heavy and for locations with good surface-level soil quality because this soil has to support the full building weight. When building on a shallow foundation, ground improvement is often necessary, and the foundation needs to be modified depending on whether the ground freezes in cold weather.
  • Deep foundation: For a tall, heavy building like a skyscraper, there is less surface area in the foundation to spread the weight of the building across. The height of the building far exceeds its width. Because of this, drilled piles are used to gain access to the bedrock deep beneath the soil, which provides extra support and load-bearing capabilities for the structure. When a foundation sits deeper in the ground, it can carry more concentrated weight than a shallow foundation. Deep foundations are also ideal for construction projects in areas with poor-quality surface soil.

Front view of CNC Foundations worksite with rebar and wood

Maintaining or Repairing a Commercial Building Foundation

Construction technology is constantly improving. Your commercial building foundation may have been built with the newest technology at the time but is insufficient to support your building today. Luckily, you don’t have to rebuild completely in order to fix your foundation issues. There are a few great ways to tackle commercial foundation repair for any project:

  • Vibratory stone columns: VSCs, also called aggregate piers, are columns made of stone aggregate. They’re used to improve a soil matrix’s geotechnical properties, often to keep settlement from interfering with a foundation. VSCs work as ground improvement systems that help stabilize varying soil conditions on a job site. Once you improve the ground with VSCs, you can begin building your foundation.
  • Helical piles: If your commercial foundation needs extra support, helical piles can be used to increase your foundation’s load-bearing capacity and stabilize large structures. Helical piles work like giant screws that you can drill into bedrock. 
  • Micropiles: If your building is in a difficult-to-reach area, a micropile is a cost-effective solution to provide extra support to an unstable foundation. Micropiles can easily be drilled straight through obstructed soil deep into the ground.
  • Resistance piles: When adding extra space or weight onto an existing commercial building, you can use resistance piles to reinforce foundation strength. Hydraulic pressure pushes resistance piles into good-quality soil. 

An Experienced Low-Rise and Skyscraper Foundation Company

Whether you’re planning to build the tallest building in your city or a low-rise retail complex, it’s critical to start the project with a strong foundation. Don’t jeopardize the structure of your project by rushing through the foundation process—take the time to understand the soil and temperature conditions in the area as well as the height, weight, and width of your building. Once you understand your site’s soil conditions, you can stabilize them with ground improvement systems and services.

If you’re unsure how to choose the perfect foundation for your project, CNC Foundations can provide project management, load testing, and construction services that will optimize your commercial construction project. We have over 30 years of experience providing ground improvement services and foundation construction to businesses across the county. Support your foundation with our ground improvement services, VSCs, and pile foundations. Contact us now to get your commercial construction project off to a stable start.

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