Minimising risk

See a simple checklist for minimising risk in basement design:

Initial design should consider:

  • Anticipated current and future use of basement
  • Anticipated current and future ground water conditions
  • Orientation of building relative to ground water
  • Current and future daylighting and ventilation requirements
  • Simplifying shape to facilitate waterproofing
  • Location and access on site to facilitate construction
  • Avoiding penetration of waterproof membrane for services where possible

Site investigations should include:

  • Appropriate qualitative assessment to appropriate depth
  • Geotechnical investigation to indicate current and anticipated future ground water regime
  • Tests to indicate soil properties and surface loading to establish lateral earth pressures

Detailed design should consider:

  • Correct choice of construction and waterproofing to suit ground conditions and use
  • Integration of structural and waterproofing design to best practice recommendations
  • Three-dimensional structural loads of building, ground and water pressure with attention to corners
  • Access for future maintenance and alterations
  • Obtaining specialist advice particularly for highwater tables

Construction should include:

  • Supervision and checking (both essential)
  • Experienced and skilled operatives
  • Instigation of construction warranties

In use:

  • Maintenance and operation of drainage, pumps and ventilation systems