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close this bookAppropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions (SKAT, 1988, 430 p.)
close this folderExamples of foundation materials
View the documentNatural stone foundations
View the documentRammed earth foundations
View the documentBurnt brick foundations
View the documentConcrete foundations
View the documentSplit-bamboo piles
View the documentWooden post foundation

Natural stone foundations


Special properties

Suitable where concrete is expansive

Economical aspects

Low cost



Skills required

Skilled labour

Equipment required

Masonry equipment

Resistance to earthquake

Medium to good; depends on overall design

Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain


Resistance to insects

Very good

Climatic suitability

All climates

Stage of experience

Widely used


· Stone foundations are made of rubble (undressed stone) or squared stone; similar construction is possible with broken brick and concrete from demolished buildings.

· The quality of mortar is of importance to achieve good strength. An example of a good mix is:

- 4 parts cement
- 1 part lime
- 12 parts clean sand
- sufficient water to make a workable mix.

· Construction should start on firm, uniform strong subsoil. It should not be started on grass, black fertile soil, filled up materials or mud.

· Under the foundation there should be a layer of lean concrete (min. 5 cm) or tamped sand; minimum depth 40 cm.

· In earthquake areas, reinforcement with wire mesh or steel rods is required, but professional advice should be sought. Further information: Bibl. 01.01, 01.05, 01.06, 20.05.

Stone in Earth Mortar (from Vorhauer, Bibl. 20.05); Stone in Cement Mortar (Bibl. 20.05)