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Piled Rafts and RC Slabs

A raft foundation consists of a raft of reinforced concrete under the whole of a building. This type of foundation is described as a raft in the sense that the concrete raft is cast on the surface of the ground which supports it, similar to a raft on water, and the foundation is not fixed by foundations carried down into the subsoil.
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Raft foundations may be used for buildings on compressible ground such as very soft clay, alluvial deposits and compressible fill material where strip, pad or pile foundations would not provide a stable foundation without excessive excavation and cost. 

The reinforced concrete raft is designed to transmit the whole load of the building from the raft to the ground where the small spread loads will cause little if any appreciable settlement. There are in fact two types of raft foundation commonly used - the flat raft and the wide raft.

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