Playing By The Rules (And Regulations) Of London Basement Construction
Building a basement requires skill and expertise. To ensure everyone’s safety during the build itself and thereafter, there are rules and regulations that a basement construction firm needs to follow; we’ve clarified the most important ones here.
The BS8102 is a Code of Practice for preventing water leaking into underground structures. There are two tiers: Type A barrier protection and Type B structural integral protection, and which one you use will depend on the ground type of the structure. While the BS8102 is not a legal requirement, most good basement companies will adhere to it as it outlines a safe building strategy and can prove that the company built everything properly should any problems arise later.
Environmental Grades/Grades Of Protection:
Under the BS8102 Code of Practice there are four Environmental Grades which designate what structure can be built in which ground type. These range from Grade 1 which includes basic non-habitable rooms such as car parks, to Grade 3, a standard liveable room, and up to Grade 4 which require extra dry conditions for purposes like keeping archives.
Basements tend to have lower ceilings but the Head Height regulations state that staircases need a minimum headroom of 2m, rooms need a centre head height of 2.2m, and sloping side walls require a minimum of 0.8m in order to avoid injury.
Party Wall Act 1996:
The Party Wall Act requires that an official discuss any changes to shared walls or boundaries with neighbours to prevent disturbances. The official must prepare paperwork to prove that everything has been done to prevent the building work becoming a nuisance for neighbours.
Secant Bored Pile Wall:
Secant piles are similar to contiguous pile walls and are also used as retaining walls in basement construction. The difference is that secant piles use an innovative interlocking system of shafts which tends to look more attractive onsite and also works better where ground conditions are less than optimum, or the area has a high water table.
Building Control Approval:
When planning to build a substantial construction like a basement, you will need Building Control Approval, Planning Permission, or sometimes both. You can choose to get approval through your Local Authority or an Approved Inspector so they can ensure that all plumbing, lighting, gas and structural fittings are safe and regulated.
A Conservation Area is a neighbourhood or area that has been designated as protected by local authorities. This is usually to do with special historic, environmental or architectural reasons and means that you will have certain restrictions placed on your property which you will have to check before proceeding with any works. You may have to get special permission to build a basement if you live in a Conservation Area.
These are just the biggest rules and regulations and there are many more besides these, but any well-respected basement construction company will make it their focus to adhere to these safety rules.
If you would like to find out more about how Knowles can help to ensure that your basement projects stays within the guidelines of these required regulations, call us on 01344 886 898 or visit our website.