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Ground Improvements in Low Rise Buildings

Ground improvement needs to be done when the condition of the ground is not meeting a requirement for the construction of the foundation.

There are different techniques used in building construction. However, all the types are not applicable for small-scale buildings due to the following reasons.

Requirement of high technology
High initial cost for such improvements

Therefore, the affordable method shall be improved.

First, let’s, see when we need to improve the foundation.

  1. Loose soil having the low bearing capacity
  2. Having compressible soils
  3. Having clay soils

What Can be Done

  1. Use Grouting Methods
  2. Excavate and Refill
  3. Preloading
  4. Use alternative foundation methods
  5. Vacuumed Consolidation

What are the Available Methods for Foundation Improvement

In small scale buildings, we are using the very simple methods for ground improvements. Out of methods we mentioned previously, the following methods can be easily for ground improvements.

Excavate and Refill

When it is required to improve the ground up to a shallower depth, we can remove the soil manually or with an excavator up to the required level.

Then the refilling can be done. Depending on the ground water table the type of material to be used for the refilling shall be done.

When the water table is lower than the excavated level, an approved soil filling could be done. If the water table is high, soil filling cannot be done.

Materials like sand, quarry dust, ABC, etc. shall be if water table is present.

Compaction of the soil shall be done by suitable method. For small excavation, Waker could be used for soil and ABC compaction. Quarry dust and sand can be compacted by similar method when they are dry, and they can be completed by using the porker vibrator in the presence of the water.

The maximum layer thickness shall not exceed 300mm.


When clayey soil or compressible soils are there, there are high chance of settlement of the foundation. Further, these settlements are time dependent, and the period of settlement could be years.

This kind of settlement is calling as the consolidation settlement.

In these situations, we used preloading methods to gain the settlement up to certain level before constructing the foundation.

According to the soil investigation data, anticipated settlement can be calculated. Based on such settlement, the time period can be calculated based on the certain preloading pressure.

The settlement will be monitored in a regular time frame and those data can be used to take the decision on removing the preloaded fill in the area where the foundation to be constructed.


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