This research will discuss concepts such as loads on structures, the nature and
different types of earthquakes and how they affect foundations, and the different building
These are prerequisite concepts that are important in understanding the design and
construction of foundations.
Once the design of foundations has been established, the
influence of earthquake forces on house foundation design will be explained.
will also be briefly explained.
In civil engineering, structures refer to buildings, bridges, ports, harbors, houses, and
dams, to name a few examples.
Loads that act on a house are dead load, live load, earthquake
or seismic load, soil pressure, snow load, wind pressure and suction.
Depending on the
location of the house, the engineer may also consider the effects of possible ponding of
rainwater on the roof or the effects of temperature differentials.
Dead loads come from the
weight of the house, floors, ceiling, sanitary piping and lighting fixtures.
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes the Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and
as reference material for minimum live loads to be used in building design.
The publication identifies some sources of live loads on one-and two-family houses, which
are uninhabitable attics with storage, uninhabitable attics without storage, habitable attics,
and sleeping areas (qtd. in Nilson, et al. 11).
The movement of the earth during an earthquake generates earthquake loads.
described the nature of an earthquake.
Earthquakes result from the sudden movement of tectonic plates in the earth’s crust.
The movement takes place at fault lines, and the energy released is transmitted
through the earth in the form of waves that cause ground motion many miles from the
epicenter. Regions adjacent to active fault lines are the most prone to experience