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The foundation is the [[substructure]] of a building that provides a solid base upon which the [[superstructure]] can rest. The type of foundation, and its specific design, are dictated by the total [[load]] of the building, the type, and quality of soils in which it will rest.

For all intents and purposes, there are two main categories of foundations, Shallow foundations and Deep foundations:

**Shallow Foundations**- any foundation system that is directly below the lowest part of a [[substructure]], where the pressures are transfered to the ground directly via vertical pressure. They can consist of:
- [[IsolatedFooting Isolated footing]]
- [[StripFooting Strip footing]]
- [[GradeBeam Grade Beam]]
- [[RaftFoundation Mat/Raft Foundations]]
- [[FloatingFoundation Floating foundations]]

**Deep Foundations**- any foundation system that extends down through unsuitable soils to transfer building loads to suitable bearing strata, typically bedrock. They can consist of:
- [[pile Piles]]
- [[caisson Caissons]]

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