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I need a word, actually "the" word


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Some of you know I collect old books about buildings and materials. I cannot find a word that describes a compacted gravel footing that was common in Michigan during +-1900 to 1930. Typically used under concrete blocks.

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This is a poor photo of that system. The question is not how the footing worked, rather what is the descriptor word.

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How about a "Frost Protected Shallow Foundation". I just finished reading a book about Frank Lloyd Wrights homes and he designed homes with a foundation footing as you are describing. It originated in Scandinavia. They allow for building a shallow foundation in areas that have frost heave problems or in areas with poor soil.

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Actually saw FLW footings in Oak Park, Il. This is a little different.

There are times when I have to use a word that can be translated within the industry and not regional - compacted gravel is a regional description. I think lean fill is what I was after.

For your information: the foundation wall(s) failed right after this photo was taken. It seems the water collection contractor excavated the footings to install his plastic pipe and visquene; to improve the flow of water thru the walls and over to sump and pump. Of course the exterior grade was still negative 4" at the foundation line.


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