Stem Wall Foundation Engineering
Stem wall foundation engineering services insure that a building will be properly supported. Stem walls are predominantly constructed of concrete footings with masonry walls, and rise above the ground level to provide a raised platform for placing the building floor. The structures require three components for their construction – a poured slab or wood subfloor, a foundation wall, and a spread footing. The stem wall transmits the load of the structure to the footing which distributes the structure weight over a wider area.
Stem wall foundation engineering is especially important in areas prone to earthquakes, flooding and other events. Stem wall foundation construction requirements vary between municipalities and counties. Where a slab is desired for cost savings or in a cold climate, a stem wall foundation engineering is the choice. The footings and foundation are constructed like a crawlspace foundation. Fill is placed inside the foundation and is compacted. The slab is then poured. Sand bags are used occasionally instead of fill. A building is strengthened by a well-constructed stem wall foundation, partially due to the fact that the concrete is poured in one continuous go. The lack of a seam in the concrete keeps it strong and prevents water from entering and weakening the structure.
Stem wall foundation are constructed in a multi-part process where a footer is poured at virgin ground level. At that point, blocks are laid forming a wall up to the finished slab elevation. This type of engineered stem wall foundation is much more stable when fill dirt is required to achieve the final build elevation. This process takes a bit longer than the monolithic slab but a more stable foundation will prevent other issues down the road that could arise with trusses or wall construction. The main benefit of an engineered stem wall foundation is that it helps to prevent structural damage. In areas prone to floods and storms, a building is more likely to remain structurally sound where the water moves around the structure rather than penetrating it. Water can cause the foundation to lift which makes the building more susceptible to strong winds, resulting in movement, cracking, and gradual sinking. To construct a stem wall foundation the first step is to clear the site. Then we compact the subgrade, dig and pour the footing, and then install the masonry foundation wall. The foundation is then filled with structural sand fill and compacted. Then the building slab is poured into the foundation wall and compacted interior filled area.
The stem wall is to a building what roots are to plants in terms of keeping them tied to the ground. A building without an adequate stem wall foundation would be like attempting to plant a cut flower in the earth: there would be no stability. It’s important when having a stem wall foundation constructed that you hire a contractor who understands all the logistics of a well-built stem wall foundation. Colorado Engineering Services is the company to call, because we understand exactly how to build a wall so that it is structurally sound and provides exactly what you and your company are looking for.