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The Concrete Foundations Association is committed to producing position statements that can explain, impact or enhance the understanding of key aspects for building with concrete.

The positions we cover relate to actual job site issues and become technical aspects of the certification programs we are involved. CFA’s Technical Positions are regularly implemented in the field and referenced in industry guides, standards and published in numerous trade magazines.

While considered part of the current state of the art or recommended practice, the information contained in these technical positions are not to be considered exhaustive or exclusive to all circumstances that may occur when building with concrete. Each is specific to the application of residential concrete foundation work or residential concrete in general, although relevance may be found to other industry applications for concrete. Implementation can be affected by variables such as human resources guidelines, state and federal statutes, rule or regulations as well as environmental conditions.

The CFA strongly recommends users of the documents collaborate with participants from other teams on projects or provide the information to the customer for consideration of these recommendations at the start of any project. This is to include the applicability of any particular technical position to the specific circumstance as well as the general preparedness for the aspect of working or building with concrete. The CFA reserves the right to rescind or modify these position statements at any given time.

Access to CFA's Technical Positions are a benefit of membership participation. To purchase a copy of any singular position or the collection, click here. For more information on how to gain access to these documents and other valuable member resources, including How to Use Technical Positions in the marketplace, click here.

Code References

TN-001 – Using ACI 332 with the IRC
The two major consensus standards that cover residential concrete construction are discussed in this document including the potential benefits of using them together. This simplified reference enables a concrete foundation contractor in a jurisdiction that has adopted the IRC to discuss and demonstrate the provisions of ACI 332 for the design of residential foundation systems. Primary advantages include the prescriptive tables that offer greater flexibility for detailing footings and foundation walls with broader recognition for plain structural concrete with concrete strengths ranging from 2500 psi to 4500 psi and wall heights up to 10 feet in height – a considerably wider range than IRC tables allow. Additional discussion for key detailing issues left out of consideration or direction for the IRC like brick ledge, wall jumps, etc.


TN-008 – Residential_concrete_design
The majority of concrete residential foundation walls by code can be constructed without vertical reinforcement. When reinforcement is required however, current codes call for excessive reinforcement. The information contained in this CFA Technical Note is intended to serve as a guide to assist in the interpretation of more realistic design requirements for the design of traditional one and two family dwelling units.


TN-002 – Backfilling Foundation Walls (v.05-2008)
Backfilling a basement foundation wall is one of the most important processes to protect the integrity of the wall design. Understanding the conditions assumed for the foundation and proceeding with caution will ensure a lifetime of quality performance. Proceeding carelessly and without regard for the soil condition or the structural principals may result in the development of long term problems.


TN-004 – Cracking in Foundation Walls (v.08-2008)
The Concrete Foundations Association offers Technical Note 004 to help contractors educate their customers about the causes of cracks and when they should be a concern. This document is also designed for the general public to understand the issues of cracking and be able to assess when cracks are natural and superficial versus significant enough to warrant concern or attention.

Cold Weather Practices

TN-003 – Casting Residential Foundation Walls In Cold Weather (v.09-2008)
Technical Note 003 was produced to communicate the practical guidance for operating under cold weather conditions for residential concrete to the general industry. As a primary reference, information in this document substantiates the difference between air and concrete temperature and identifies the characteristics of performance concrete specific to quality concreting during the winter seasons. This document provides reference to the code statements for cold weather concrete applications in residential foundation construction as well as direction to the relevant research and recommended practice documents that exist.

Soils and Excavations

TN-011 – Soils and Excavation Safety
Produced initially as part of a consolidation of resources compiled for the Residential Foundation Technician Certification program, this technical position establishes a basic level of understanding for the most important characteristics of soils for bearing, pressure and excavation safety. Included are general assessment of hazards and design criteria that influence the prescriptive reference for concrete foundation walls as well as the preparation of a foundation excavation for safety.