Slab foundations are simple cast-in-place concrete masses with an integral steel rebar structure and sometimes insulation. They often integrate conduits for drainage, utilities, and radiant heating in the form of large looped tubing arrays. They are a simple, efficient, common form and allow for quite free adaptation of the structures atop them but are somewhat difficult to change or remove themselves because they are so massive. It’s generally not possible to reconfigure the utilities conduits employed with them requiring that these be pre-designed with an expectation of later adaptation. They can also be finished for direct interior floor use with various treatments such as epoxy coatings, terrazzo, polishing, and painting.
Though rare, precast slab foundations also exist but requite heavy equipment to work with and in some variations they can be based on pier-supported decks or combined with curtain wall foundations to accommodate varied terrain.
The simplest approach to the creation of slab foundations employs so-called ‘tridipanel’ panels which combine rigid insulation panels with a wire rebar space frame to create panels that can be wired together on a gravel leveling bed and wood or alloy edge planks for reliable creation of a strong insulated foundation slab and easy precision installation of radiant heat tubing and utilities by wiring them to the panel grid. This is the most reliable contemporary method for the DIY builder requiring the least amount of labor.
A special form of modular pre-cast slab foundation Utilihab was specifically intended to work with is the precast ferro-cement static float platform used for contemporary floating homes. By combining a modular form of these with the modular component system for Utilihab allows for freely adaptable sheltered water floating communities of most any scale.
The Utilihab Pavilion System is also especially well suited to use with slab foundations.
Utilihab integrates with slab foundations in two ways. It can use the slab floor directly as an interior floor with its grid of posts attached to anchor pads and bolts set into the slab surface and attaching perimeter wall base plates or window mounting profiles -which is well suited to industrial applications- or it can assemble a full 50-100mm thick raised floor deck for the purpose of supporting adaptable utilities and removable floor panels. For a very close-fitting attachment of Primary posts, a steel core mounting post can be formed-in-place as the slab is cast and this can be used with profile posts with milled-out cores allowing them to slip directly over these anchor posts and bolt onto them though their sides.