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Waterproofing Risk Assessments

BS 8102 (2009) recommends that once a waterproofing system has been proposed, an appropriate specialist should be consulted over the design of the system at an early stage in the project. This was one of the fundamental changes introduced to the Code of Practice when it was revised in 2009. Other changes reflected recent trends such as an increase in the number of deep constructions in congested urban areas, an increase in the provision of residential basements and the development of new waterproofing systems and materials. Additionally the standard provides a more detailed assessment of the risks in below ground construction and how these might best be addressed.

Recently the NHBC (the UK’s standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes) launched a campaign highlighting significant issues with the design and construction of basements. According to the NHBC, claims related to waterproofing below ground between 2005 and 2013 cost them in the region of £21 million and affected around 890 homes.

A key component of the campaign was the introduction of a new chapter to the NHBC Standards ‘Waterproofing of basements and other below ground structures’. The new chapter introduces meaningful benchmarks and supporting technical guidance. Download NHBC Chapter 5.4 here.

Mindful of these changes, most insurance providers are now demanding the provision of a comprehensive waterproofing risk assessment and waterproofing design produced by an ‘appropriate specialist’ before issuing a warranty for a building comprising structural waterproofing.

What we will need from you

R & D Management (London) Ltd is highly experienced in the provision of waterproofing risk assessments on all types of commercial and residential property. Should you instruct us to provide your risk assessment, we would need the following information if available:

  • Structural drawings
  • Proposed waterproofing details (if any)
  • Site investigation report (water table, drainage characteristics, ground gases etc)
  • Intended use of space
  • Architectural layouts, wall and floor finishes

The production of a waterproofing risk assessment is a comprehensive task and requires the appropriate expertise and qualifications. Even after the provision of the information above we may also need to visit the site and monitor/inspect the waterproofing system before completing the risk assessment.