When building a new structure below ground level it’s vital that there be a structural waterproofing design which prevents ground water entering the building. This is a requirement of BS 8102:2009 Code of practice for protection of below ground structures against water from the ground.
Unfortunately, there has been a history of getting this aspect of construction design wrong and those who insure new build property have paid the price. NHBC (National House Building Council) who provide ten year guarantees on many new build properties said in 2013 that claims on basements have cost the industry over £21 million since 2005 (you can read more here).
As a result NHBC, LABC and others including Premier Guarantee have all become much more stringent on the requirements for structural waterproofing design – and rightly so!
Unfortunately there still seems to be a lag between new requirements and contractors (and architects etc.) becoming aware. This seems to result in very late invitations to the party for structural waterproofing specialists. What I mean by that is that in the past week I’ve had three calls to construction sites which are half (or nearly fully) finished residential properties where my remit has been to inspect the structural waterproofing design and confirm that it meets the requirements of BS 8102. Two of these developments don’t have appropriate structural waterproofing and putting that right at this stage is a nightmare.
What would be far better, and is in fact the requirement of BS 8102, would be to have a structural waterproofing specialist meet with the architect etc. while plans are still coming together.
You can find out more about the services I provide here.
Property Care Consultants provides structural waterproofing consultancy through CSSW.LONDON