Assessing the common defects in shallow building foundations in Uganda.
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Foundations of engineering constructions are systems that act like interface elements to transmit the loads from superstructure to, and into, the underlying soil or rock over a wider area at reduced pressure. Broadly foundations are classified as shallow foundation and deep foundation. A proper design of foundation system requires the following; purpose of engineering structures, probable service life loadings, types of framing, soil profile, construction methods, construction costs, and client/owner’s needs; design without affecting environment and enough margin of safety with respect to unforeseen events and uncertainty in determination of engineering properties of soil and acceptable tolerable risk level to all the parties, i.e., public at large, the owner, and the engineer. According to Kamuntu (2020), Uganda today is facing building collapses which in part is attributed to defects in foundations in building construction that are supposed to provide structural stability and durability. Collapsing of buildings has other adverse effects such as loss of life of workers and wastage of resources for the building proprietor. Building defects in shallow foundations has increased largely due to poor regulation of the construction industry. Little effort has been put towards identifying these defects and quantifying the extent to which they affect building collapse, hence the need for this study. This research was sought to assess the common defects in shallow building foundations in Uganda. The study involved an in-depth research on done literatures about the concept of the various building foundations, the causes of these building foundations and the effect of the soil characteristics on the building defects. Both secondary and primary data was used. Secondary data was obtained by reviewing previous publications and the primary data was collected directly from the target population. Observation and laboratory tests and experiments were used. The laboratory experiments were to determine the different soil characteristics of the collected soil samples and observation was used to see the common foundation defects. The most common foundation defects include settlement, cracks and rising damp. These defects are as a result of the high-water content in the soil and also the area under study is in a low-lying area. The extent of settlement, cracks and rising damp in Kawempe division was 70%, 5%, and 25% respectively