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You have visited or at minimum seen comfy and lavish sort of huts and houses on beaches that are slightly raised above the ground level with the help of slender wooden posts that slightly raised floor is a stilt floor and its level is termed as stilt floor level. 

Stilt floor Parking - Shear Wall is visible
Stilt floor Parking - Shear Wall is visible


Similarly have you ever visited a shopping mall or an apartment? Obviously you are living in 2017 you would have seen or visited for sure. These buildings sometimes instead of having a basement as a parking have ground floor slightly raised with underneath a non-enclosed parking area supported on thick columns. Theses arrangement is also of a stilt floor. 

Reason for a small building like a house to be built on stilts is that the directly underneath ground is not strong enough to withstand the load of a building. On the other hands, the areas that are prone to frequent flooding in rainy seasons like Moonsoon in South East Asia are also recommended to be built on stilts. 

Stilt Floor at beach
Stilt Floor at beach

Examples for usage of Stilt Floor



For example Assam is a flood prone area and is hit by floods during the majority of the year. Thus the houses in Assam are built on stilts so as to ensure that the houses are not destroyed by frequent flooding. 

Tundara is an area with a permanently frozen ground called permafrost underneath. If houses in the tundra were built directly on the ground than due to heat of the house the ice would freeze and resultantly the building will be sinking forever therefore the houses in Tundara are also built on stilts. 
But here let me make it clear to you; don’t ever confuse between a basement in a building and a stilt floor; because in most of the cases in urban areas both are used for parking etc. But remember that mostly the basement is built with excavating a 10 feet or more underneath the ground with thick RCC wall and 6-9 inches slab above whereas a stilt does not have this arrangement of enclosure.  

Stilt Floor Parking
Stilt Floor Parking

Confused between Stilt Parking and Basement Parking?



If you are building a plaza and are confused with the choice of whether to go for a basement or a stilt floor than firstly go for the bylaws and general practice being adopted in your locality. Than remember that basement will cost you 3 times more than having a stilt floor for parking. However, basement if properly designed with a shear wall and RCC walls supported slab above, will ensure long lasting and a sustainable solution for your parking needs. 

Silt parking  compared with basement parking is not aesthetically recommended as the columns are visible outside the building. Moreover, as the parking is not enclosed the area is subjected to security risk which is not the problem in the basement parking. 

building Supported on Stilt Floor
building Supported on Stilt Floor

Similarly basement also have some disadvantages.   If the basement has the entry outside the building as is the case most of the times in basement parking than the drainage problem will always exists as in rainy season the water will enter the basement and you cannot always relay on the pumping system as the electricity is mostly switched off in rainy seasons. Similarly basement walls are always damped and are liable to tear and required frequent maintenance. 



What is Stilt Floor Level in a building?

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Saad Iqbal

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Iamcivilengineer

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