Pad Foundation and Construction – San Diego

pad foundation
Figure of a simple pad foundation

Pad foundations are used to support isolated loads concentrated into relatively small areas. They may consist of a simple circular, square, or rectangular slab of uniform thickness and generally contain reinforced concrete. In some circumstances they may be stepped or sloped to distribute the load from a heavy column. Pad foundations are generally shallow foundations, but can be deep depending on the ground conditions. They are a form of a spread foundation that supports localized single-point loads such as structural columns, groups of columns or framed structures. This load is then spread by the pad to the bearing layer of soil or rock below. Pad foundations can also be used to support ground beams.

Pad foundations tend to be the simplest and cheapest foundation type and are used when the soil is relatively strong or when the column loads are relatively light. Their plan shape will depend on the nature of the applied load and the allowable bearing capacity of the layers below. Their thickness must be sufficient to distribute the load across the plan shape. They are generally reinforced on all but the smallest structures, with the reinforcement allowing higher loads to be imposed and the construction of shallower pads which require less excavation and use less concrete.

Types of Pad Foundations


a. Mass concrete for steel columnpad foundation
b. Reinforced concrete with sloping upper surface
c. Plain reinforced concrete.
d. Stepped reinforced concrete.


The layout of a pad foundation will vary depending on the nature of the structure it is supporting, the loads being applied, and the allowable bearing capacity of the soil layers below and the usable space available on site.


Pad Foundation Arrangements May Consist Of :


  • A series of discrete, well-separated pads.
  • Balanced base pads that support more than one point load.
  • Continuous pads, where there are a number of point loads close together.
  • Pad and beam, where a series of pads support a continuous beam.


Pad foundations can be selective as they do not require much excavation, and are generally suitable where the bearing capacity of ground is sufficient at relatively low depths. However, they can be large in plan shape and may not be effective against differential settlement, uplift forces or wind forces.


At Groundforce our highly skilled team and engineers Groundforce Crew Geotech Services San Diego Logoconstruct building pads in accordance with engineering specifications, providing adequate space and leveling. We stabilize all soils and provide appropriate compaction so that your construction site or roadbed is ready to build. We provide these services to Residential, Commercial and Government Agencies as well as to General Contractors and Construction Management Companies servicing –  San Diego, Riverside County, Orange County, Los Angeles and Southern California.




1220 Presioca St.
Spring Valley, CA 91977

Phone: 888-290-6574

Fax: 858-560-8960