Spread footing detail

On the road to the new basement floor, I have to put some thought into the spread footings. How do they fit into the rest of the basement floor assembly?

Let’s start with the energy side of things. It is important to keep the spread footing below the basement floor insulation to minimize the horizontal thermal bridging. Another one inch of insulation around the footing pedestal reduces the vertical thermal bridging, and at the same time acts as an expansion joint.


For proper moisture management, we include a vapor barrier between the insulation and concrete floor, which we turn up vertical at the footing pedestal. To prevent moisture from traveling up into the pedestal, it is placed on a damp-proof layer , separating it from the spread footing.

This allows for a straightforward installation sequence. I can pour the spread footing first, followed by the installation of the aggregate base, insulation and vapor barriers. The pedestal is then poured along with the new concrete floor.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

2 thoughts on “Spread footing detail

  1. Dear Mr. Marcus de la fleur,

    The figure of the footing on this page is down. 404 Not Found. I am wondering if you could upload the pic up again?

    I am a new graduate structural student at University of Wisconsin-Madison who is volunteering on foundation design for a environmental friendly city center for One Community.
    However, I have literally zero experience on foundation engineering. I was so glad that I found your blog. I learned a lot of information on the actual construction process of residential housing, especially one with a owner who cares about energy saving and environment.

    Thank you,


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