In this post I am going to share with you some information about basement construction and detailing. We will look a the three types of basement construction, along with a focus on Type A – tanked protection.
Basement construction provides valuable space for both commercial and residential use. They can provide sustainable benefits of improved energy efficiency, making good space heating savings compared to similar buildings above ground.
Basements require careful design in order to achieve the correct level of waterproofing required for the internal environment.
There are three different types of basement construction. Type A, B and C.
Type A Basement Construction
Type A is a tanked protection. This construction consists of a water resistant layer in the form of a membrane, usually installed to the external face of the structure. There are many variations of type A constructions. This form of basement construction does not have integral protection against water penetration and therefore completely relies on the waterproofing membrane.
Type B Basement Construction
Type B is a structurally integral protection. This is usually a form of prestressed or reinforced concrete that is water resistant. The concrete is not as effective in resistance to water vapour movement so is often incorporated into a Type A or Type C construction.
Type C Basement Construction
Type C basement construction incorporates a drainage cavity within the structure which collects water and removes it to a pump drainage system.
Type A – in focus:
These structures rely on a waterproofing membrane to keep water out. This membrane can be installed in four ways:
On the exterior face of walls and floor – External
On an external source of support – Reversed
Within the construction – Sandwiched
On the interior face of walls – Internal
If the tanking system is installed in a location that has a high water table, any defects in the tanking will allow water to enter the structure as free water. If this water is not removed, the basement will fill to the level of the water table.
External tanking is the preferred option of a Type A construction, providing site conditions permit. The external water pressure forces the membrane against the structure thus creating a strong resistance. Although a reliable system, access for repairs and maintenance can be difficult and it can be expensive to install.
This method applies the tanking membrane to a surface (often piling support or temporary/enabling works) prior to construction of the main structural elements against it.
For example, in constructing a oor level tanking, the concrete blinding layer will be positioned, followed by the membrane, which is then protected by a layer of screed, before the concrete slab is cast on top. The membrane will be taken well beyond the edge of the slab to allow for a suitable lap joint to be formed with the wall.
Should external tanking be unsuitable, it is suggested sandwiched tanking to be used. This method places the membrane to a structural masonry wall (or floor), and fully supported by a loading coat (concrete slab for floors and blockwork for walls) which will prevent it from being detached and pushed away from the surface by external pressures.
Internal tanking is applied to the inside of a structural wall, however, it is susceptible to hydrostatic pressure, and as such must be xed using mechanical anchorage or in some cases a non structural inner skin.
A couple of example details of Type A construction
Found this interesting? You can get the full set of information for Type A, B and C basement construction, along with all the dwg details and the sketchup files!
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