Here, in Castle Rock, Colorado, we have this problem with shifting ground. The newer homes are built with basements that are suspended a few feet off the actual foundation so that the basement floor is already floating and able to accommodate any shifts in the ground below.
However, when you are trying to finish a basement in an older home, no such luck! According to building codes, you have to build all of your interior walls to be floating walls. The idea is that you attach the top of the walls to the ceiling beams, leaving space between the bottom of the framing and the actual cement floor.
Here, you can see the top of the framed wall attached to the ceiling beams.
Ok, so this is the bottom of the wall. Do you see how it ‘floats?’ There is a 2 x 4 that is treated for water and nailed into the concrete. Then, the framed wall floats 1 1/2 inches minimum above that bottom board. You can see the long nail that goes in through both boards. This nail is important to keep the floating wall from moving side to side. You want the wall to have space to move up and down due to shifting dirt, but not left to right.
Other than the bottom here, the walls are framed just like any other wall.
I hope these pics are helpful. If you have any specific questions, ask away, and we’re happy to answer.