The brief

"The contact between the building and the ground determines both the transfer of loads into the subsoil and the interface with the topography... In the simplest case the f oundation to a building is a direct consequence of the decisions that were invested in the constructional relationships above ground. But as soon as the terrain in the subsoil region presents difficulties due to its topography or geology, we must react to these circumstances."

Extract from: Heinz Ronner, Baukonstruktion im Kontext des architektonischen Entwerfens, Haus-Sockel, Basel, 1991.


Mechanical, biological and chemical effects:

Loads dead and imposed

Settlement compression of the subsoil during and after the construction process Earth pressure forces acting (primarily horizontally) on the underground walls Moisture in the atmosphere (precipitation) on the ground (splashing) in the ground (moisture, frost, ground-water)

in the building (vapour diffusion)

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