Robust Design as the Key to Successful Below Ground Structural Waterproofing

Basement waterproofing

Robust Design as the Key to Successful Below Ground Structural Waterproofing

In 2013 the National House Building Council (NHBC) reported £21m worth of claims over a six-year period. The claims related to poor design, workmanship and installations in 900 properties in the UK, which subsequently resulted in below ground structural waterproofing failures.
In 2014 NHBS formed a task group and a new Chapter 5.4 – Waterproofing Standard was created. “They made a positive decision that the standard needed to recognise the Waterproofing Design Specialist and therefore emphasised that robust design should be undertaken by a suitably qualified specialist. One route to demonstrate this was to attain the Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) qualification, administered and awarded by the PCA”.
Chapter 5.4 moves beyond the BS 8102 recommendations and recognised other areas where there were still risks of failure. Thus, a requirement for two systems or having two layers of protection appeared. BS 88102:2009 referred to under section 6.2 Waterproof protection that “one, or a combination, of the (3) types of waterproofing protection should be selected”. The BS stops short of responsibility by “consideration should be given to … the need for combined protection”. NHBC took it further by requiring two forms of water resistance to deliver a robust design and provide extra insurance.
NHBC also recognised failure of contractors and ground workers to install products correctly. So, it was decided that technicians are required to undertake training to be able to demonstrate competence.
Leaks cost money, erode confidence and damage reputation. Implementing standards will improve outcomes in waterproofing, will give confidence to customers and end users. Clients need assurance that they are investing in a building with dry basements. Gaining consumer confidence in the delivery of reliable underground spaces will lead to more sales and opportunities.

At SURFASOLOGY we acknowledge all the risks and complications that are involved in constructing a sound building in terms of waterproofing. We are up-to-date with latest legislation and standards; therefore, we offer you a comprehensive service to include the following:

Our Technical and Specification Manager, Michael McDonagh, is a Certificated Specialist in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) accredited by the Property Care Association (PCA).

  • Innovative and reliable waterproofing systems accompanied by on-going technical support

Our team members are fully trained and certified by the manufacturers of our complete range of waterproofing products.

  • Applicator training

We train applicators to apply our waterproofing systems on site prior to the commencement of any project. Upon successful completion of the training, a certificate is issued. Depending on the project size, we pay site visits and provide site inspection reports. Once the project is successfully completed, the building contractor becomes SURFASOLOGY approved applicator for the products/systems installed.

SURFASOLOGY aim to provide a complete service envelope to design professionals as well as building contractors. We position ourselves as providers of reliable, highly effective and innovative structural waterproofing solutions; the solutions that work every time regardless of circumstances.

*The article is based on “Impact of NHBC Chapter 5.4 – the growing demand for robust design” by Steve Hodgson, PCA

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Jamie Smyth

Quantity Surveyor

Jamie brings our team a wealth of knowledge in project costs management, from the cost and risk analysis to the preparation and submissions of tenders and valuations.

Jamie has spent over ten years working as a Quantity Surveyor with a background in the construction industry (from residential build to pharma projects). He has been involved in all aspects of construction collaborating with small builders and large contractors on projects of varying sizes and scale. All this contributed to his thorough understanding of the requirements and priorities when performing his tasks of a Quantity Surveyor.

On a personal note, Jamie enjoys playing soccer and is a true golf fanatic. He enjoys travelling and fine dining.

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