- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Nov 2020
The National Geographic Society suggests that ‘Bedrock is the hard, solid rock beneath surface materials such as soil and gravel. Bedrock also underlies sand and other sediments on the ocean floor. Bedrock is consolidated rock, meaning it is solid and tightly bound. Overlying material is often unconsolidated rock, which is made up of loose particles.’ Ref https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/bedrock/
Identifying bedrock is an important part of civil engineering, as it can be used to help support built assets such as buildings, bridges and other structures. Foundations may be built onto the rockhead, that is the upper boundary of the bedrock. This can involve excavating through surface soils.
The depth of bedrock can be determined by desk studies, digging, drilling and other geophysical methods. It varies significantly at different locations, and necessitates different types of foundations or other structural supports.
Shallow foundations are typically used where the loads imposed by a structure are low relative to the bearing capacity of the surface soils. This might include; strip foundations, pad foundations or raft foundations. Raft foundations are slabs that cover a wide area, often the entire footprint of a building, and are suitable where ground conditions are poor, effectively floating on poor ground like a raft.
Deep foundations are necessary where the bearing capacity of the surface soils is insufficient to support loads imposed and so they are transferred to deeper layers with higher bearing capacity. Deep foundations are typically formed by piles, which are long, slender, columns typically made from steel or reinforced concrete, or sometimes timber.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Basal layer.
- Bearing capacity.
- Bulk filling materials.
- Contaminated land.
- Deep foundations.
- Desk study.
- Hydraulically treated soils in residential construction (BR 513).
- Insitu testing of soils.
- Pile foundations.
- Shallow foundations.
- Soil report.
- Soil survey.
- Types of soil.
Featured articles and news
Prioritising tax considerations.
The four D creative process: discover, define, develop and deliver.
National Cyber Security Centre initiative is announced.
Reviewing trends and projections.
Legislation will establish initiatives to move towards net zero.
How to document contractor employment status.
Tech tools to help manage people and space post-pandemic.
A style that ranges from mock Tudor to arts and crafts to the 'Wrenaissance'.
Free guide from Secured by Design.
BREEAM strategy for sustainability and the circular economy.
Free tool to improve the construction programming process.
Are buildings doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Cities with quick access to everything by foot or bike.
The pressures and pinch points of global destinations.