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STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS


67


Watertight basement solutions


Alex Burman of Sika discusses the key guidance, and technology options, for specifiers looking to achieve watertight concrete basement constructions


W


hen beginning a basement construction or renovation, the waterproofing standard


of BS 8102:2009 is key. It recommends and provides guidance on methods of dealing with and preventing the entry of water from surrounding ground into below- ground structures. Waterproofing systems are categorised into three types: • Type A – waterproofing barriers • Type B – watertight concrete • Type C – water management systems.


For habitable areas, such as residential basements or areas containing plant or other technology, a high degree of


ADF JULY 2019


waterproofing is required. A structure such as a below ground car park where some seepage and damp areas are tolerable, requires a less onerous system.


Type B watertight concrete and admixtures In modern constructions, concrete is the material of choice in basement structures, thanks to its proven durability and strength. Regular reinforced concrete designed to BS EN 1992 still allows limited crack widths to form, even though concrete appears to be a solid material. Microscopic capillaries are left behind by excess water (aiding workability when the concrete is wet).


Defects can occur in any waterproofing system, but the risk can be minimised through design, planning and a waterproofing specialist


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