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The need to reuse existing foundations is greater and more important now than ever before. There isn’t a lot of space to develop entirely new structures and most developers are now forced to acquire already existing buildings which they can then demolish and construct a structure that suits their needs. However, demolishing an existing building in order to construct one that suits your design preferences doesn’t mean that you have to remove the existing foundation. In fact, you have more to gain by reusing the existing foundation.

You need to hire the an experienced structural engineer who is able to ascertain whether the existing foundation is strong enough to support the new structure. Once this has been ascertained, you’re good to go and you can confidently start constructing, knowing that the foundation is stable. In some cases, only a few repairs will be required on the old foundation, and from there you can start constructing any design that you desire. If the existing foundation is too weak or has undergone extensive wear & tear and is thus beyond repair, there is no need to gamble, just demolish and start anew.

Why reusing an existing foundation is a great idea

  • Demolition consumes a lot of fossil fuels- Imagine all the gas that will be consumed by the excavators as they dig out all the concrete, and later on the gas that will be consumed by trucks as they transport the concrete and dirt for final disposition. A lot of carbon will be emitting during this entire process, which could have all been avoided by reusing the existing foundation.

  • The excavation of an old foundation and construction of a new one can cause a lot of disruption to the surrounding environment, in terms of dust, debris and noise pollution.
  • Demolishing a foundation means that a lot of concrete and debris will need to be dumped somewhere, which will add to the carbon footprint of the project.

  • Existing vegetation is left undisturbed, meaning no trees will need to be cut or trimmed. The neighbors also get to enjoy some peace, reusing the foundation will eliminate a lot of disturbing noises and vibrations. In short, your neighbors will owe you a lot for ensuring the surrounding environment is tidier and less noisy.

  • Soil removal and transportation not only increases your budget, it is also unfriendly to the environment since there will be a lot of dust suspended in the air.
  • Concrete production, transportation as well as steel production are vital ingredients for constructing a new foundation which consumes a lot of energy, meaning a lot of carbon will be emitted into the atmosphere.

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Additional benefits of reusing an existing foundation
-Saves time
-It is cost effective
-Gives your architect more design options
-It is easier to acquire a building permit if you already have a foundation in place. In some cases, no permit will be required at all.

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