Last edited 12 Oct 2020

Brick strip foundation

Foundations provide support for structures, transferring their load to layers of soil or rock that have sufficient bearing capacity and suitable settlement characteristics.

Strip foundations (or strip footings) are a type of shallow foundation that are used to provide a continuous, level (or sometimes stepped) strip of support to a linear structure such as a wall or closely-spaced rows of columns built centrally above them.

Before the widespread manufacture of Portland cement, it was common for strip foundations to be constructed from bricks, without a concrete base or footing beneath them. The brick foundation was built up directly from firm subsoil or a bed of natural stones.

In 1871, by-laws were introduced by the Local Government Board which stated that stepped footings measuring twice the width of the wall should be built, and implied that unless the subsoil was ‘solid ground’, concrete should be placed underneath the footings. Gradually, brick strip foundations were phased out in favour of brick or blockwork built up from a concrete base which was much stronger.

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