Foundations and stem-wall construction
First things first
Because settlement means unsightly interior cracks, our engineers design with code minimums in mind, the first step to producing a very steady structure.
Another important way to combat settling is soil improvement; by analyzing the desired location of the dome, engineers identify solutions that will work with site conditions, including remediating and replacing soil as needed and compacting the ground. As necessary, deep foundations will be selected to keep the dome secure, but this isn’t often required.
A taller footprint
Architectural domes are typically built on a vertically cast-in-place stem wall that averts ingress of water and supplies more head room within the dome.
Post-tensioned ring beam
Atop the stem wall is a post-tensioned ring beam the same width as the wall, an element that becomes an important part of the dome’s foundation. Because architectural domes are flatter than those for bulk storage, the shape exerts more thrust—the dome literally wants to pull out of the arch. To counter that requires either a lot of rebar or a post-tensioned beam. The latter is more effective and can equal big savings to the customer while providing necessary strength.