Monolith Foundation: Built to Last a 1000 Years

This article details the construction of a temple foundation on the island of Kaua i. The foundation consists of unreinforced concrete monoliths which are required to remain crack-free during their specified 1000 years service life. Because the structure is being erected on a bed of soft clay the concrete foundation will support 2000 tons -1814 metric tons- of stonework without any significant settling and without cracking; otherwise the granite roof beams would separate from the columns and fall. In addition to careful selection of materials and proportions for the concrete mixture including the replacement of a portion of the portland cement with fly ash thermal cracking during construction was controlled by constructing the slabs with one week intervals between the two castings. For the success of the project three items were singled out for special attention by the authors: enthusiastic support from the key personnel involved in construction; strict vigilance of the quality and uniformity of ready-mixed concrete at the time of placement; and extraordinary precautions for proper curing.

Technical Report Author: P. K. Mehta, W.S. Langley