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What are the advantages of combined footing?

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Advantages of Combined Footing: A Comprehensive Overview.


Combined footings are a crucial element in the construction of buildings and structures, serving as a foundation system that supports multiple columns or load points. Unlike isolated footings, which support individual columns, combined footings are designed to share the load of multiple columns. In this article, we will explore the advantages of combined footings, providing a comprehensive understanding of their benefits in construction.

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Advantages of Combined Footings:

Here are the key advantages of using combined footings in construction:

  1. Efficient Load Distribution: One of the primary advantages of combined footings is their ability to efficiently distribute heavy loads from multiple columns to the underlying soil. By sharing the load among several columns, combined footings reduce the risk of overloading the soil beneath any single column, preventing uneven settlement and ensuring the stability of the structure.

  2. Space Optimization: Combined footings are particularly beneficial when the columns are closely spaced or when there are property line constraints. They allow for the consolidation of the foundation system, saving space and making it suitable for buildings in urban areas where space is limited.

  3. Cost-Effective: In situations where isolated footings for each column would require excessive excavation and concrete, combined footings can be more cost-effective. The reduced excavation and concrete volume can lead to significant cost savings in construction projects.

  4. Load Adjustment: Combined footingsoffer the flexibility to adjust the proportions and dimensions of the footing based on the varying loads and locations of the supported columns. This adaptability makes them suitable for structures with irregular column placements.

  5. Uniform Settlement: When columns with varying loads are supported by a single combined footing, it ensures uniform settlement across the structure. This uniformity is essential to prevent structural damage and maintain the overall stability of the building.

  6. Reduced Differential Settlement: In cases where columns are supported by isolated footings, differential settlement can occur, leading to structural issues and cracks. Combined footings minimize differential settlement by distributing the loads evenly, ensuring a more stable foundation.

Illustration of Advantages:

Consider the following scenario:

Column LocationsLoad on Column (kN)
Column A300
Column B250
Column C350

In this example, three columns are situated in close proximity. Using combined footings, the load from these columns can be efficiently distributed, allowing for space optimization and a more cost-effective foundation design.

Combined footings can adapt to the varying loads and locations of the columns, ensuring that the soil beneath each load point is not overburdened, and that differential settlement is minimized.


Combined footings offer several advantages in construction, including efficient load distribution, space optimization, cost-effectiveness, load adjustment, uniform settlement, and reduced differential settlement. They are a valuable foundation system for projects with closely spaced columns, irregular column placements, and limited space. Understanding these advantages is essential for engineers, architects, and construction professionals to make informed decisions when designing and constructing buildings and structures.

This topic was modified 9 months ago by Samson Adebowale