The appropriate design of basements is well established and achievable, provided design and construction guidance is implemented. The general principle is to assess the risk of water reaching the below ground structure and to select an appropriate form of construction, structure and system of waterproofing to achieve the required internal environment.
When building below ground the requirement to protect structures against water ingress is key. However, the potential for the penetration of ground gases can be just as important. The ideal scenario is to use a solution that will protect against both water and ground gases.
In order to achieve the most cost-effective solution, it is important that as much as possible is known about the site and surroundings of the development.
A primary factor in improving the quality of a room in a basement is the provision of natural light. Inclusion of glazed windows or doors provides greater possibility of future adaptation and uses, as well as sustainability benefits by reducing dependence upon artificial lighting.
Design considerations for drainage and waste disposal, to meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part H.
Building regulations require the provision of ventilation to all basements (heated or unheated) to adequately control moisture vapour, and are covered by Part F of our Building Regulations guide.
Coordination of the structural design with the construction and waterproofing system is essential.