Pier foundations are one of the simplest forms of housing foundation and are well suited to DIY construction of light structures exploiting the Utilihab platform’s great potential for spontaneous adaptation. From an environmental standpoint, pier foundations produce much less impact on the landscape and water tables and allow a building to be quickly removed leaving little trace of its existence.
Pier foundations used with Utilihab are found in several common forms;
Modular precast pin-pier foundation blocks: precast concrete blocks mounted at shallow depth that feature arrays of steel pins driven into the ground with a pneumatic hammer to lock the block into place. The preferred pier system for light Utilihab buildings and offering the lowest environment impact.
Pin-fixed precast foundation rails: basically the same as the pin-pier blocks but formed into large interlocking rails running continuously under the length of key Primary frame lines. Used to support larger structures up to several floors.
Precast pilings: long pre-cast reinforced concrete posts that are sunk deeply into the ground. Essentially the same as cast-in-place piers but quicker to installs, albeit needing the assistance of heavy equipment. Usually used for heavier structures in less stable ground conditions.
Cast-in-place piers: steel reinforced concrete posts that are cast-in-place using sacrificial laminate cardboard ‘sonotube’ forms. Can be freely sized in thickness and depth. Used to support larger structures on steeply sloped or varied terrain.
Alloy screw pilings: a light foundation based on large alloy screws that are literally screwed into the ground like an enormous self-embedding wood screw. Has the benefit of stabilizing some unstable earth forms and supports a variety of depths, but less limited in above-ground height. Sometimes used in combination with other pier types.
All these types of foundations integrate to Utilihab Primary frame structures in the same way using grid placement and direct attachment of the Primary frame posts. A center bolt attaches to standard profile base consoles while ‘U’ braces can support horizontal beams. In some cases custom extensions of the Primary posts may be added to support varying terrain where the piers themselves cannot be fully adjusted in height. Tall posts of this sort will use console or gusset reinforcement. The floor deck is then assembled between those posts and construction proceeds from there.