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basements

Basements are common in many new developments, particularly in urban areas. The reasons for constructing below ground include overcoming planning restrictions on building height, providing car parking, residential, office, retail and storage/archive space, and accommodating plant rooms.

Basements provide greater total floor area, thus using land to greater effect. Basement walls act as retaining walls. However, if the ground floor is a concrete floor, the support it provides will help to restrain the walls. Therefore, this enables a more economic wall to be designed. The walls may be designed using masonry or concrete.  Reinforced masonry is generally the best and cheapest way to build the walls. It is cheaper to build because there is no need to shutter the walls. A strengthened concrete wall is normally only needed if the basement is deep.

Basements are common in many new developments, particularly in urban areas. The reasons for constructing below ground include overcoming planning restrictions on building height, providing car parking, residential, office, retail and storage/archive space, and accommodating plant rooms. Basements provide greater total floor area, thus using land to greater effect. Basement walls act as retaining walls. However, if the ground floor is a concrete floor, the support it provides will help to restrain the walls.  Therefore, this enables a more economic wall to be designed. The walls may be designed using masonry or concrete. A strengthened concrete wall is normally only needed if the basement is deep. Our basement design also includes the design of a reinforced concrete mat foundation.  This will allow a full external tanking system to be used. In design terms, basements are water-excluding structures. There are similarities between the design of basements and water-retaining structures, as both have to avoid water penetration. Please note we do not provide waterproofing details as part of our design.  These details should be provided by your Architect. From the other hand, all basements should be waterproofed even though there doesn’t seem to be any groundwater present as it probably will be at some point in the future. It can be very difficult to fix any leaks when the basement is built There are other ways of keeping the basement dry, such as using an internal drainage system.  With this system, the walls are allowed to leak and the water is drained to a sump.  This can then be pumped out. Furthermore, please note we cannot design basements beneath an existing building, because this would require regular site inspections to be made. 

Please ensure the excavation of the basement will not weaken any adjacent foundations or neighbouring ground.

Please seek specialist advice if the excavations fall under the Party Wall Act. 

We need the following information to design the basement.

Architectural layouts of the basement and any walls above it.

The internal floor to ceiling height of the basement.

Any adjacent building’s information on the site ground conditions.

Relative level of the outside ground the position of any site boundaries.  

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