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Void forms under Grade Beams

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This has been debated before, I think Bill P brought it up a year or so.


On pier and grade beam foundations, soils engineers commonly call out for void forms under the grade beams or you have to design for an upward force of something life 1000 psf on the grade beam.


I guess I have a little trouble picturing why this is required. In my mind, if soil wants to expand, wouldn’t it just expand around the grade beam taking the least resistive path?  


Any comments/ education is appreciated