Title:
Foundation structure, components therefor and method of constructing a foundation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foundation component (1) is disclosed which is suitable for forming part of a modular foundation for a building structure. The foundation component (1), defines at least one receptacle (2) which, in use, may be filled with a suitable particulate material. A plurality of protrusions (5) extending generally downwards from the base (6) of the foundation component (1) engage a foundation surface on which the foundation component is located. In a preferred embodiment the foundation component may include tongue in groove interengagement of adjacent foundation components (1), and may also include provision for service channels and reinforcing rods.



Inventors:
Baker, Colin Lawrence Melvin (Auckland City, NZ)
West, Bruce Philip (Auckland, NZ)
Application Number:
10/483170
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
07/07/2004
Assignee:
BAKER COLIN LAWRENCE MELVIN
WEST BRUCE PHILIP
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D27/02; (IPC1-7): E02D27/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUCKLE JR, JAMES J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HENRICKS SLAVIN LLP (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A foundation component suitable for forming part of a foundation, the foundation component including: a base; at least three side walls extending upwardly from said base and defining at least one upwardly open receptacle, which is adapted to, in use, receive foundation material; and at least one engagement means for engaging a foundation surface on which the foundation component is located.

2. The foundation component of claim 1 wherein said at least one engagement means for engaging said foundation surface includes a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower surface of the base, the protrusions dimensioned and orientated so as to extend into said foundation surface to, in use, assist in preventing lateral movement of the foundation component.

3. The foundation component of claim 1 including support means for a reinforcing rod.

4. The foundation component of claim 3 wherein said support means is provided in a channel provided along a side of the foundation component.

5. The foundation component of claim 1 including apertures through the side walls, the apertures shaped and located to receive at least one reinforcing rod therethrough.

6. The foundation component of claim 3 wherein said support means is located and oriented to, in use, position said at least one reinforcing rod to extend to the support means of another foundation component located adjacent to said foundation component.

7. The foundation component of claim 6 wherein said reinforcing rod, in use, acts to maintain the relative position of said foundation component and said another foundation component.

8. The foundation component of claim 1 including a service channel receptacle to receive and support a service channel.

9. The foundation component of claim 8 wherein the foundation component is adapted to be fixedly located adjacent to another foundation component having another service channel receptacle, whereby said service channel receptacle is substantially aligned with said another service channel receptacle.

10. The foundation component of claim 1 wherein said foundation component is adapted to be fixedly located adjacent to another foundation component through the provision of inter-component engagement means to engage with said another foundation component.

11. The foundation component of claim 10 wherein said inter-component engagement means is tongue-in-groove.

12. The foundation component of claim 1 wherein at least a pair of said side walls intersect to define a corner, the or each corner of the foundation component is chamfered so that when a plurality of said foundation components are located adjacent to each other, a chamfered edge from each adjacent foundation component defines part of an aperture extending through the volume occupied by the said foundation components.

13. The foundation component of claim 1 wherein the foundation component includes four side walls and is substantially rectangular in shape.

14. The foundation component of claim 1 including two baffles extending between two side walls of the foundation component, thereby defining three receptacles of approximately equal volume.

15. A foundation for a building structure, the foundation including a plurality of foundation components as claimed in claim 1, located adjacent to each other in a required pattern to form a particular foundation shape.

16. The foundation of claim 15 constructed from a plurality of substantially rectangular foundation components, wherein said foundation components include one or more baffles extending either substantially transversely or substantially longitudinally between two opposing side walls of the foundation component and wherein the foundation is formed from an alternating pattern of foundation components having transversely or longitudinally extending baffles.

17. The foundation of claim 15 including a plurality of support pins extending through an aperture defined by at least two foundation components into the foundation surface on which the foundation components are located.

18. The foundation of claim 17 wherein said support pins extend through an aperture defined by four chamfered edges of adjacent foundation components.

19. The foundation of claim 15 wherein all, or substantially all, receptacles within each foundation component forming the foundation are filled with a particulate material.

20. The foundation of claim 19 wherein said particulate material is principally sand.

21. The foundation of claim 15 including a service channel extending around its upper periphery.

22. The foundation of claim 21 wherein the service channel is supported by a service channel receptacle provided in foundation components located around the periphery of the foundation.

23. The foundation of claim 15 including at least one reinforcing rod supported on support means provided by a plurality of said foundation components.

24. The foundation of claim 23 including at least one reinforcing rod extending substantially around its periphery.

25. The foundation of claim 23 including at least one reinforcing rod extending through the foundation, supported by aligned apertures provided in said foundation components.

26. The foundation of claim 25 wherein said reinforcing rod or rods are tensioned.

27. A method of forming a foundation for a building structure, the method including the steps of: locating a plurality of foundation components including a base and at least three side walls, adjacent to each other on a foundation surface such that they cover a required footprint of the foundation, wherein each said foundation component defines at least one receptacle open at an upper end thereof; engaging each said foundation component with said foundation surface; and filling all, or substantially all, of the receptacles with a particulate material.

28. The method of claim 27 wherein the step of engaging said foundation component with said foundation surface includes providing a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower side of the base of each foundation component and locating each foundation component so that said protrusions extend into the foundation surface on which the foundation is to be constructed.

29. The method of claim 27 wherein the step of engaging said foundation component with said foundation surface includes the step of inserting a pin through an aperture defined by at least two adjacent foundation components into the foundation surface on which the foundation is to be constructed.

30. The method of claim 27 including the steps of locating a first and second foundation component in an alternating pattern to form the foundation, wherein the first foundation component includes at least one transversely extending baffle and the second foundation component includes at least one longitudinally extending baffle.

31. The method of claim 27 include the step of leveling the foundation surface on which the foundation is to be constructed prior to locating the foundation components thereon.

32. The method of claim 27 including the step of providing said foundation components with support means for at least one reinforcing rod and extending one or more reinforcing rods through or around said foundation.

33. The method of claim 27 including locating at least one reinforcing rod within a channel provided by said foundation components that extends around the periphery of the foundation.

34. The method of claim 27 including locating at least one reinforcing rod through a plurality of aligned apertures in the foundation components.

35. The method of claim 27 including locating at least one service channel in a service channel receptacle provided by said foundation components.

36. A foundation component suitable for forming part of a foundation, the foundation component including: a base; at least three side walls extending upwardly from said base and defining at least one upwardly open receptacle, which is adapted to, in use, receive foundation material; and a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower surface of the base, the protrusions dimensioned and orientated so as to extend into said foundation surface to, in use, assist in preventing lateral movement of the foundation component; wherein said foundation component is adapted to be fixedly located adjacent to another foundation component through the provision of inter-component engagement means to engage with said another foundation component.

37. A foundation component suitable for forming part of a foundation, the foundation component including: a base; at least three side walls extending upwardly from said base and defining at least one upwardly open receptacle, which is adapted to, in use, receive foundation material; and a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower surface of the base, the protrusions dimensioned and orientated so as to extend into said foundation surface to, in use, assist in preventing lateral movement of the foundation component; and a channel provided along a side of said foundation component adapted to, in use, support a reinforcing rod.

38. A foundation component suitable for forming part of a foundation, the foundation component including: a base; at least three side walls extending upwardly from said base and defining at least one upwardly open receptacle, which is adapted to, in use, receive foundation material; and a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower surface of the base, the protrusions dimensioned and orientated so as to extend into said foundation surface to, in use, assist in preventing lateral movement of the foundation component; and a service channel receptacle to receive and support a service channel.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention relates to improvements in and relating to foundation structures, components therefor, and a method of constructing a foundation for a building structure.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] Foundations for building structures are traditionally, formed from cementitious material such as concrete. Conventionally, such foundations are prepared by digging a levelled hole in accordance with the layout of the structure, forming a framework or boxing for the foundation in the hole and pouring concrete in the space formed by the boxing.

[0003] Spacers are placed within the boxing to define areas where concrete is not to set, thereby in combination with the boxing defining the area that the foundation is to occupy. Once the concrete is poured, it must be allowed to set before any work can proceed on the structure which is to be supported by the foundation. This delays progress and construction of building structures.

[0004] After the concrete has been poured, opportunities for variation of the shape of the foundation are limited. Therefore, if the building is laid out incorrectly, the entire foundation may have to be removed in order to correct the error.

[0005] In an attempt to simplify or eliminate the boxing process, a variety of pre-shaped formers have been proposed. Typically these are boxes formed from a lightweight material and are adapted to be filled with concrete in order to create a wall. Once assembled and filled, the exterior surfaces of the formers may provide insulation and in some cases may be coloured, reducing decorating time and expense.

[0006] While such systems do reduce the skill level required to fabricate concrete structures, particularly walls, they do not reduce the delay in construction required to allow the concrete to set, or allow any flexibility in the shape of the structure once the concrete has been poured.

[0007] Alternatively, prefabricated footings may be used to form the building foundation. These also have a number of disadvantages, including the fact that they are generally heavy and therefore are typically difficult to transport and handle. This restricts the size of each block, reducing the maximum surface area of contact between each block and the material on which it is placed. Therefore, modular concrete blocks of limited size may be of limited use in poor soil conditions. Furthermore, in locations which are difficult to access, transporting the blocks to the building site may be problematic and expensive.

[0008] A further problem with prefabricated footings is preventing relative movement as the foundations settle. While allowing some movement may avoid unnecessary cracking, too much movement will compromise the integrity of the building structure on the foundations.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0009] It is an object of one embodiment of this invention to provide a foundation structure, components therefor and/or a method of construction, which overcome or alleviate problems in such at present, by simplifying foundation transport and construction, or to at least provide the public with a useful alternative.

[0010] Further objects of the present invention may become apparent from the following description.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0011] According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a foundation component suitable for forming part of a foundation, the foundation component including:

[0012] a base;

[0013] at least three side walls extending upwardly from said base and defining at least one upwardly open receptacle, which is adapted to, in use, receive foundation material;

[0014] at least one engagement means for engaging a foundation surface on which the foundation component is located.

[0015] Preferably, said at least one engagement means may include a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower surface of the base, the protrusions dimensioned and orientated so as to extend into said foundation surface to, in use, assist in preventing lateral movement of the foundation component.

[0016] Preferably, the foundation component may include support means for a reinforcing rod.

[0017] Preferably, the foundation component may include support means for a reinforcing rod provided in a channel provided along a side of the foundation component.

[0018] Preferably, the foundation component may include apertures through the side walls, the apertures shaped and located to receive at least one reinforcing rod therethrough.

[0019] Preferably, said foundation component may include support means for at least one reinforcing rod, the support means located and oriented to in use position said at least one reinforcing rod to extend to the support means of another foundation component located adjacent to said foundation component.

[0020] Preferably, the foundation component may be adapted to be fixedly located adjacent to another foundation component through the provision of at least one reinforcing rod supported by support means on the foundation component and said another foundation component, wherein the reinforcing rod in use acts to maintain the relative position of said foundation component and said another foundation component.

[0021] Preferably, said foundation component may include a service channel receptacle to receive and support a service channel.

[0022] Preferably, the foundation component may be adapted to be fixedly located adjacent to another foundation component having another service channel receptacle, whereby said service channel receptacle is substantially aligned with said another service channel receptacle.

[0023] Preferably, the foundation component may be adapted to be fixedly located adjacent to another foundation component through the provision of inter-component engagement means to engage with said another foundation component.

[0024] Preferably, said inter-component engagement means may be tongue-in-groove.

[0025] Preferably, the corners of the foundation component may be chamfered so that when a plurality of foundation components are located adjacent to each other, a chamfered edge from each adjacent foundation component defines part of an aperture extending through the volume occupied by the foundation components.

[0026] Preferably, the foundation component may include four side walls and be substantially rectangular in shape.

[0027] Preferably, the foundation component may include two baffles extending between two side walls of the foundation component, thereby defining three receptacles of approximately equal volume.

[0028] According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a foundation for a building structure, the foundation including a plurality of foundation components as herein above described located adjacent to each other in a required pattern to form a particular foundation shape.

[0029] Preferably, the foundation may be constructed from a plurality of substantially rectangular foundation components, wherein said foundation components include one or more baffles extending either substantially transversely or substantially longitudinally between two opposing side walls of the foundation component and wherein the foundation is formed from an alternating pattern of foundation components having transversely or longitudinally extending baffles.

[0030] Preferably, the foundation may include a plurality of support pins extending through an aperture defined by at least two foundation components into a surface on which the foundation components are located.

[0031] Preferably, the support pins may extend through an aperture defined by four chamfered edges of adjacent foundation components.

[0032] Preferably, all or substantially all receptacles within each foundation component forming the foundation may be filled with a particulate material.

[0033] Preferably said particulate material may be principally sand.

[0034] Preferably, the foundation may include a service channel extending around its upper periphery.

[0035] Preferably, the service channel may be supported by a service channel receptacle provided in foundation components located around the periphery of the foundation.

[0036] Preferably, the foundation may include at least one reinforcing rod supported on support means provided by a plurality of said foundation components.

[0037] Preferably, the foundation may include at least one reinforcing rod extending substantially around its periphery.

[0038] Preferably, the foundation may include at least one reinforcing rod extending through the foundation, supported by aligned apertures provided in said foundation components.

[0039] Preferably, said reinforcing rod or rods may be tensioned.

[0040] According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of forming a foundation for a building structure, the method including the steps of:

[0041] locating a plurality of foundation components including a base and at least three side walls, adjacent to each other on a foundation surface such that they cover a required footprint of the foundation, wherein each said foundation component defines at least one receptacle open at an upper end thereof;

[0042] engaging each said foundation component with said foundation surface; and

[0043] filling all, or substantially all of the receptacles with a particulate material.

[0044] Preferably, the step of engaging said foundation component with said foundation surface may include providing a plurality of protrusions extending generally downwards from a lower side of the base of each foundation component and locating each foundation component so that the protrusions extend into the surface on which the foundation is to be constructed.

[0045] Preferably, the step of engaging said foundation component with said foundation surface may include the step of inserting a pin through an aperture defined by at least two adjacent foundation components into said foundation surface on which the foundation is to be constructed.

[0046] Preferably, the method may include locating a first and second foundation component in an alternating pattern to form the foundation, wherein the first foundation component includes at least one transversely extending baffle and the second foundation component includes at least one longitudinally extending baffle.

[0047] Preferably, the method may include levelling said foundation surface on which the foundation is to be constructed prior to locating the foundation components thereon.

[0048] Preferably, the method may include providing foundation components having support means for at least one reinforcing rod and extending one or more reinforcing rods through or around said foundation.

[0049] Preferably, the method may include locating at least one reinforcing rod within a channel provided by said foundation components that extends around the periphery of the foundation.

[0050] Preferably, the method may include locating at least one reinforcing rod through a plurality of aligned the apertures in the foundation components.

[0051] Preferably, the method may include locating at least one service channel in a service channel receptacle provided by said foundation components.

[0052] According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided at least one of the foundation components substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0053] According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of constructing a foundation substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0054] Further aspects of the present invention may become apparent from the following description, given by way of example only and in reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0055] FIGS. 1A-C: show a top, side and bottom perspective view respectively of a foundation component according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

[0056] FIG. 2: shows a perspective view of a foundation constructed from foundation components of FIG. 1, including three possible corner configurations;

[0057] FIG. 3: shows an example of a foundation constructed partly from the foundation components of FIG. 1, including a service channel extending around the upper periphery of the foundation;

[0058] FIG. 4: shows a perspective view of a foundation component according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

[0059] FIG. 5: shows a perspective view of a foundation component according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

[0060] FIG. 6: shows a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the foundation component, suitable for use at a corner of the foundation;

[0061] FIG. 7: shows a perspective view of a fifth embodiment of the foundation component, also suitable for use at a corner of the foundation;

[0062] FIG. 8: shows a perspective view of a sixth embodiment of the foundation component, including a service channel;

[0063] FIG. 9: shows a perspective view of a seventh embodiment of the foundation component, including a service channel suitable for a corner;

[0064] FIG. 10: shows a perspective view of an eighth embodiment with a service channel suitable for a corner;

[0065] FIG. 11: shows a perspective view of a foundation using the foundation components of the present invention;

[0066] FIG. 12: shows a perspective view of a foundation component according to an ninth embodiment, including apertures for reinforcing rods to pass through the foundation component.

[0067] FIG. 13: shows a foundation constructed from units according to the ninth embodiment.

[0068] FIG. 14: shows a basement construction using foundation components of the present invention.

BEST MODES FOR PERFORMING THE INVENTION

[0069] Referring first to FIGS. 1A-C, a foundation component referenced by arrow 1 suitable for forming part of a foundation for a building structure is shown. The foundation component 1, defines at least one receptacle 2. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the foundation component 1 includes three receptacles 2, each of approximately equal volume. Each receptacle is separated by a baffle 3 extending between two side walls of the receptacle 1. Each corner 4 of the foundation component 1, may be chamfered.

[0070] The foundation component 1 is shown in a rectangular form in the accompanying figures. However, the foundation component 1 may be of any shape having three or more side walls extending from a base, provided the foundation components can be placed adjacent to each other to cover a required footprint of a foundation.

[0071] Referring to FIGS. 1B and 1C, a plurality of protrusions 5 extending generally downwards from the base 6 of the foundation component 1 are shown. The protrusions 5 are provided to extend into the foundation surface, defined herein as the surface on which the foundation is to be constructed from one or more foundation components. The foundation surface may typically be the ground, although additional preparation of the ground, including placing additional material over the surface of the ground, may be required, for example by local building regulations. The protrusions 5 assist to maintain the position of each foundation component 1 after it has been located on the foundation surface. The protrusions 5 are thus preferably rigid spikes.

[0072] Referring now to FIG. 2, a foundation or portion of a larger foundation constructed from a plurality of foundation components 1 is shown. The foundation components 1 are located adjacent to each other over the required footprint of the foundation. Two types of foundation component 1A, 1B may be used. Foundation component 1A may include substantially transversely extending baffles 3, whereas foundation component 1B includes substantially longitudinal baffles 3. In forming the foundation, foundation components 1A, 1B are located so that each foundation component 1A is adjacent to foundation component 1B and diagonally adjacent to foundation component 1A. Thus, a foundation is formed by placing the foundation components 1 in an alternating pattern.

[0073] Although a generally rectangular foundation is shown in FIG. 2, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, that any shaped foundation may be constructed as required, limited only in granularity by the minimum size of each foundation component. The minimum size of each foundation component 1A, 1B, may be dictated by the ground conditions. A minimum surface area of each foundation component 1 may be required to contact the foundation surface in order to prevent deformation of the foundation after construction.

[0074] Foundation components 1A, 1B, located along the outer periphery of the foundation may include modified corners 4A and 4B. In FIG. 2, each foundation component 1A, 1B, except for the central foundation component, includes modified corners 4A and/or 4B. A foundation component 1, including a first modified corner 4A, is intended to be placed at the vertices of the foundation and includes two second modified corners 4B, which are located along a side of the foundation and a corner 4, which is located inwardly of the periphery of the foundation. Therefore, an aperture is defined at each vertex of each foundation component 1 in the foundation.

[0075] A pin 7 may be inserted through apertures defined by the vertices 4, 4A and 4B into the foundation surface, to anchor the foundation. As shown in FIG. 2, each pin 7 may include a threaded portion 8 to allow the pin 7 to facilitate insertion into the foundation surface. A head 9 is provided to abut against an upper surface of the foundation components 1 once the pin 7 is in position. The pin 7 may include a downwardly depending rigid skirt 10 to extend into foundation components 1 to lock them into position. The rigid skirt 10 may extend only partially around the periphery of the head 9, so as to be locatable not to contact the upper surface of the side walls of each foundation component 1. In this way the foundation may have a substantially planar upper surface for constructing a building structure thereon.

[0076] It is anticipated that pins 7 will be oriented substantially vertically in use. However, if required, the foundation components may be adapted to allow a pin 7 to be inserted at a predetermined angle relative to the foundation surface. This may be required to assist in the prevention of foundation movement in a particular direction.

[0077] A particulate material, for example sand, may be placed within all or substantially all the receptacles of each foundation component 1A, 1B. This provides foundation strength to support any building structures. As the sand does not need to set, construction of the building structure can commence immediately after the foundation has been laid. Also, as the foundation material is placed in the receptacles after they are in place, the individual foundation components are easier to transport and handle than prefabricated footings.

[0078] FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a foundation constructed from foundation components 1A, 1B. A service channel 1 1 is placed around the upper periphery of the foundation. The service channel 11 may contain services such as electricity, water or gas supply lines as required. A floor (not shown) may then be placed on top of the foundation. Supporting members for the floor may be placed within the recess created by the service channel 11 extending above the upper surface of the foundation components 1A, 1B.

[0079] FIG. 4 shows a foundation component 100 according a second embodiment of the present invention. The foundation component 100 includes three longitudinally extending receptacles 101, but like the first embodiment, complementary units with transverse extending receptacles may also be provided to form a foundation. The foundation component 100 includes complementary tongue and grooves around its periphery, two of each referenced in FIG. 4 by 102 and 103 respectively. The tongues 102 may interlock with grooves 103 in use, preventing relative movement of adjacent foundation components 100. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that many variations to the manner of such inter-component engagement of adjacent foundation components are possible.

[0080] This skilled in the art will also appreciate that a foundation constructed from foundation components 100 may have increased resistance to movement due to the interlocking nature of each component 100. Furthermore, by providing protrusions (not shown) extending downwardly from foundation component 100 similar to the protrusions 5 of foundation component 1, movement may further be reduced or resisted.

[0081] FIG. 5 shows a foundation component 200 according to third embodiment of the present invention. The foundation component 200 includes a reinforcement channel 201 through which reinforcing rods 202 may extend. The reinforcing rods 202 are supported within slots 203 located on struts or webs 204. The reinforcing rods 202 may extend around the entire periphery of the building foundation or specific portions, and may be tensioned to hold the foundation components 200 together in use. When used in combination with the tongue and groove engagement and spikes extending from the lower surface of the foundation component 200, high resistance to movement of the foundation may be achieved.

[0082] FIG. 6 shows a corner component 205 including reinforcing rods 202. The reinforcement channel 201 may also be filled in use with particulate material after the reinforcing rods 202 have been placed therein. FIG. 7 shows an alternative corner component 206, wherein the reinforcing rods 202 extend around the inner corner.

[0083] FIG. 8 shows a fourth embodiment of a foundation component 300 according to the present invention. The foundation component 300 further includes a service channel 301 located within a service channel receptacle 302. The service channel 301 may carry services around the building structure such as water, electricity, gas or the like. Of course, the relevant building codes/regulations may need to be addressed regarding required separation and or insulation between services. The service channel receptacle 302 may have an open outer side, as illustrated in FIG. 9, allowing the service channel 301 to be inserted in the receptacle on site.

[0084] FIGS. 9 and 10 show a first and second corner component 303 and 304 respectively including a service channel 301. Although units 300, 303 and 304 are all shown also including reinforcing rods in the reinforcing channel, these may be optionally omitted.

[0085] FIG. 11 shows a foundation 400 constructed from units 100, 300, 303 and 304. Also included are units 100a, with transverse extending receptacles. Each component may interlock with its adjacent units and the reinforcing rods (not visible) extending around the perimeter add to the integrity of the foundation.

[0086] Once the foundation has been laid and filled with appropriate particulate material or other foundation material to provide support, a concrete foundation may be laid or placed over the top of the foundation. Alternatively, a wood foundation may be laid extending across the foundation. Supports may be provided for a wood foundation at predetermined positions across the top of the foundation. In an alternative embodiment, foundation components 300, 303 and or 304 may be provided at required positions within the foundation, whereby floor planks are extended across opposing foundation components. This embodiment has the advantage of providing further service channels throughout the building structure. Reinforcing rods may also be provided through the units 300, 303 and/or 304 that are located inside the perimeter of the foundation to provide further strength.

[0087] It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that additional foundation structure may be added or foundation structure removed as required, provided the structure constructed on the foundation allows such modification. The foundation may therefore have particular application to structures that may be relatively easily expanded or removed, such as those constructed from modular building units.

[0088] The corners of the foundation components may all be chamfered to allow a pin to extend through the foundation shown in FIG. 11, in the same manner as pins 7 illustrated in FIG. 2. The pins may be provided at specific locations as required, for example in response to an engineering report.

[0089] A fifth embodiment of a foundation component 400 is shown in FIG. 12. The foundation component 400 includes apertures 401, which may be positioned along its corner edges and apertures 402 through the baffles 403. Referring to FIG. 13, additional reinforcing rods 500 may be provided for the foundation by extending through apertures 401 and 402. These reinforcing rods may be installed before the particulate or other foundation material is placed in the units and may be required to provide further structural integrity. In use, the reinforcing rods 202 and 500 may be tensioned.

[0090] In a further alternative embodiment, each or selected foundation components may be constructed so that they are collapsible during storage and/or transportation. The foundation components may be erected on site. This may provide easier transport of the foundation to the construction site.

[0091] Although each of the embodiments above has been illustrated with respect to the use of the modular foundation on a site which has first been levelled, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the foundation of the present invention may also be useful on sloping sites.

[0092] In some embodiments (not shown) a sloping site may be graded into a foundation surface comprising substantially horizontal steps, the length of each step approximating a multiple of the length of a single foundation component. The steps in the foundation surface may then have foundation components laid thereon, the foundation components on each step having a required height to create a substantially level upper surface across all the foundation components making up the foundation.

[0093] Referring next to FIG. 14, in a further preferred embodiment, a foundation wall 600 may be used to allow the creation of basements and/or to accommodate sloping sites.

[0094] If a basement is required, a perimeter of foundation components 200 may be laid in a required shape and a structural foundation wall 600 placed over the foundation components 200. In a preferred embodiment the foundation wall 600 may include engagement means adapted to interengage adjacent wall members. These engagement means may include a raised ridge 601 on the end of the wall 600 adapted engage a complementary channel 602 in an adjacent wall member 600. Wire mesh 603 may be used to reinforce the basement floor as required.

[0095] A further perimeter of foundation components (not shown) may be positioned on top of the wall 600, and the area inside the perimeter so formed may be filled with floor components, each including a base and at least three walls defining at least one receptacle, the floor components being of similar design to the foundation components. The floor components may be supported by additional support means during this phase.

[0096] In use, the weight of the floor components may be transmitted to the foundation wall through use of beams running through channels or apertures in the floor components. The beams may be bound to the floor components by means of concrete poured into the floor component receptacles. The support means holding the floor components in place may be removed once the concrete has set.

[0097] Although the structure may be self supporting across most spans, additional walls or columns may be provided beneath the floor if necessary.

[0098] On severely sloping sites, a foundation wall may be used to level the floor. A perimeter of foundation components may be laid, optionally in a stepped configuration as described above, and the foundation wall installed also as described above. The top of the foundation wall may then be trimmed level, and the volume defined by the foundation components and the foundation wall may be filled with a suitable filling material. A floor may then be installed over the fill.

[0099] Where in the foregoing description, reference has been made to specific components or integers of the invention having known equivalents then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth.

[0100] Although this invention has been described by way of example and with reference to possible embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that modifications or improvements may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the appended claims.