SPREAD FOOTINGS AND MAT FOUNDATIONS.

General.  
When required footings cover more than half the area beneath a structure, it is often desirable to enlarge and combine the footings to cover the entire area.  This type of foundation is called a raft or mat foundation and may be cheaper than individual footings because of reduced forming costs and simpler excavation procedures.  A mat foundation also may be used to resist hydrostatic pressures or to bridge over
small, soft spots in the soil, provided the mat is adequately reinforced.  Although mat foundations are more difficult and more costly to design than individual spread footings,  they can be used effectively.

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