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Frame foundation
The art of (a) Spread footings without connecting beams
construction and
detailing Columns belong to frames i.e. clusters of columns and beams and the behavior of their founda-
The structural frame tion depends upon the interaction between the frames and the soil. It is important to examine
Construction methods the frames’ behavior in relation to the foundation and soil.

Reinforcement The simplest frame consists of two columns, as shown in the following figures:
Quantity surveying
When no seismic forces are
Detailing drawings
applied, the soil pressures have
a slight trapezoidal form and the
Drawings spread footing is subjected to
Model (exemplary) severe rotation.
When seismic loads are applied,
the two spread footings are
Two-column frame with centric spread footings "project: foundation110" heavily over-stressed and they
are forced to ‘work’
VOLUME B partially thus
Static and Dynamic leading to large soil
pressures. When
General the earthquake
forces shift
Limit States Design
direction, there is a
Models Analysιs
change in the
Seismic behaviour spread footings’
Seismic accelerations over-stressing.
and loadings Behavior of a two-column frame with centric spread footings (no seismic loads applied)

Tables Notes:

APPENDIX A 1. In case of an
APPENDIX B earthquake, a large
APPENDIX C part of the footing
APPENDIX D cannot work in the

APPENDIX D7 required way. All

spread footings have
almost the same
behavior (boundary
spread footings are
Behavior of a two-column frame with centric spread footings (under seismic loads)
slightly over-stressed),
as shown at the following figure. "project: foundation115"

2. According to the present regulation, the use of spread footing untied by connecting beams is
not allowed.

(b) Spread footings with connecting beams

Generally, it is useful to place connecting beams at the foundation because they carry the hori-
zontal shear forces and prevent damage from differential settlements. However, in earthquake
resistant structures, they are not just simply useful but absolutely necessary because apart
from everything else, they centerline the spread footings and secure the fixed support of
columns to a high degree. The following figures shown the behavior of spread footings tied
together with connecting beams.

When no seismic
forces are applied,
the soil stresses
have an almost
orthogonal form
and the spread
footings together
with the connecting
Two-column frame with spread footings and connecting beam "project: foundation120"
beam are roughly

During an earthquake, both spread footings work

in a satisfactory level. The one is over-stressed
thus creating larger soil pressures while at the
same time, the other one is relieved. When the
earthquake shifts direction, the stress conditions
reverse. The connecting beam is subjected to
large and continuously changing deformation
and stresses.

Frame’s behavior (no seismic loads applied)


1. In a multi-column frame
with spread footings and
connecting beams, the
behavior of the former, in a
seismic event, is
satisfactory. The boundary
spread footings are over-
stressed (or slightly under-
stressed depended upon
the earthquake’s direction).
Frame’s behavior when the earthquake forces are applied to the +x direction
"project: founda-tion125"

2. The earthquake causes reverse stresses in every part of a connecting beam thus applying
almost the same flexure at the upper and the lower fiber.

The following figures show the plan view, the elevations and the detailing of the two-column
frame foundation reinforcement of the example:

(c) Continuous connecting


In case of more than two

3-D figure of the foundation reinforcement in a two-column frame with spread footings and connecting beam

3-D figure of the foundation reinforcement in a two-column frame with spread footings and connecting beam

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