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Residential slabs and footings

The method for determining the classification and the design and construction requirements for ground and waffle slab, stiffened rafts, strip, pad and piled footings.

Overview of the Standard 

AS 2870 sets outs the method for determining the classification of a site and the design and construction requirements for slab on ground, stiffened rafts, waffle slab, strip footings, pad footings and piled footings.

What does it Include?

AS 2870 is broken into 6 sections consisting of:

  • Section 1 - deals with what the standard covers, the application of the standard, the performance requirements for footing systems and defined terms
  • Section 2 - deals with the methods for undertaking a site classification and site investigation requirements
  • Section 3 - provides the Deemed to Satisfy designs requirements of footing systems for: slab on ground, stiffened rafts, waffle slab, strip footings, pad footings and piled footings
  • Section 4 - deals with designs of footing systems by engineering principles
  • Section 5 - provides specific requirements for footing systems such as drainage, reinforcement placement, concrete grade and cover, vapour barriers and dealing with aggressive soils
  • Section 6 - deals with the construction footing systems on filled sites and additional requirements for more reactive soils

The standard also contains 9 appendices (3 normative and 6 informative and an Informative Commentary to AS 2870) consisting of:

  • Appendix A - (Informative) lists the parties involved in the design, construction and maintenance of residential slabs and footings, and their functions and responsibilities
  • Appendix B - (Informative) deals with foundation performance and maintenance
  • Appendix C - (Normative) provides the classification of damage to wall and concrete floor due to foundation movements. (The standards and Tolerances)
  • Appendix D - (Normative) provides table to assist with site classification by soil profile identification
  • Appendix E - (Normative) deals with uplift design for braced stumps and pad footing systems 
  • Appendix F - (informative) deals with the soil structure interaction analysis for stiffened rafts
  • Appendix G - (informative) deals with the design procedures for deep footings such as driven pile footings, bored piers and steel screw piles
  • Appendix H - (informative) is a design guide for the footings and the effects of trees
  • Appendix I - (informative) is the bibliography

The Informative Commentary provides an explanation of the sections and appendices contained in this standard and is for information and advice only.

Is the Standard referenced in NCC or Other legislation?

Yes AS 2870 is referenced in both NCC Volumes One and Two.

In Volume One – it is referenced for the purpose of the requirements for a vapour barrier to be installed in accordance with AS 2870 to prevent rising moisture through the floor
In Volume Two this standard is referenced in several places for the design and construction of slabs and footings for Class 1 and 10 buildings.

Who is the Standard for?

This standard’s primary users include engineers, builders, building designers, concreters, carpenters, building certifiers and surveyors, manufacturers and suppliers and building inspectors.

Related Australian Standards

  • AS 1684 Residential timber framed construction series
  • AS/NZS 3500 Plumbing and drainage series
  • AS 3660.1 Termite management
  • AS 3700 Masonry structures
  • AS 4055 Wind loads for housing
  • AS 4773.2 Masonry in small building Part 2 Construction

Related HIA Information Sheets

Getting a copy of the Standard

An electronic copy of this Australian Standard can be purchased through the Digital Australian Standards webpage.


To find out more, contact HIA’s Building Services team.

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