First there were foundations.
My two townhouses are built on a "floating slab" design. They have been designed to meet Christchurch earthquake standards. The design and redesign extended the building consent process by an extra 6 weeks and swallowed a substantial amount of extra cash for the priviledge of being "earthquake proof". But who can really know until there is an earthquake?
And so I finally realised the importance of there being no topsil left before you build - topsoil doesn't give a solid foundation, so scrape it off. Great for building, but a disaster for my permaculture aproach of growing healthy soils - no a chance of a healthy microbiome on this site at present.