When we think of foundations, unless you are a builder, you probably don’t have a clue what that is about. A foundation is a massive structure which has to support the weight of the building. A small building needs a small foundation. A big building needs a big foundation. Construction of simple homes in America have weak foundations because they support houses which are very light weight. In Cambodia, for example, a simple one storey building will have a solid concrete block at every corner and spaced at intervals of about 12 feet which are 3-4 feet deep and 3-4 feet across. They need bigger and stronger foundations because we use heavy concrete, stone, bricks and concrete tiles in our construction. In America, because homes are made out of lightweight pine, dry-wall and shingles they do not carry much weight so they often just pour a thin slab which is actually not anchored to the ground, but just sitting on it. My house in Cambodia (made to be strong) has multiple pilings which go into the ground about 15 feet at every corner and load point and each piling can support 160,000 to 200,000 pounds. Because the foundation is strong, it can support a much taller building (my house/ hotel is 4 storey’s tall. It is tall, but quite narrow).
Do you know that after a building is built you can’t even see the foundations? It takes 30-40% of the time to build a house just to make sure the foundation is right and strong. Yet, it is something you will never see. Recently in China there was a demonstration of the importance of foundations. One day in June when there was some strong wind and an entire 13 storey building just fell over. It was a new development for poor people (project housing).