Clients' guide to reducing the risk of leaking substructure

This ICE client guide explains substructure waterproofing issues and the risks associated with waterproofing.

ICE guide for clients 'Clients guide to reducing the risk of leaking substructure'
ICE guide for clients 'Clients guide to reducing the risk of leaking substructure'

Who wrote this?

This Guide has been written by an authorship team guided by a steering group. 

The authorship team were:

  • Michelle Maloney MEng ACGI, Ramboll UK 
  • Hilary Skinner MA (Cantab), Ramboll UK 
  • Mohsen Vaziri BSc MSc PhD CEng MICE, Ramboll UK 
  • Jan Windle BEng MSc DIC CEng MICE, Ramboll UK

The steering group were:

  • Viv Troughton Stent, Foundations Ltd (Project Leader)Members 
  • Jim Cook, Buro Happold Ltd 
  • John Crack, Canary Wharf Contractors Ltd 
  • Russell Doughty, Buro Four Project Services Ltd 
  • Rab Fernie, Cementation Skanska Ltd 
  • Kelvin Higgins, Geotechnical Consulting Group Ltd 
  • John Huddart, Bovis Lend Lease 
  • Deborah Lazarus, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd 
  • Rachel Monteith, Sir Robert McAlpine 
  • Richard Newman, Tony Gee & Partners LLP 
  • Duncan Nicholson, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd 
  • David Puller, Bachy Soletanche Limited 
  • Matthew Sharratt, WSP Group plc 
  • Hugh St John, Geotechnical Consulting Group Ltd 
  • Tony Suckling, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd 
  • Brett Wharton, Stanhope plc 
  • Derek Winsor, Mott MacDonald Group Limited 

with assistance from:

  • David Ball, The Concrete Society 
  • Brendan Brophy, Atkins 
  • Barry Dobbins, Waterman Group plc 
  • Helen Logan, Allies and Morrison

This was supported by ICE’s Research and Development Enabling Fund with Arup, Buro Happold, Mott Macdonald, Ramboll, Tony Gee and Partners, and Stent Foundations Ltd.

ICE’s Research and Development Enabling Fund exists to promote the technical development of civil engineering and tackle problems in design or construction identified by practitioners.

When?

It was first published in September 2009.

Why?

In 2008, a workshop hosted by Stent Foundations Ltd with several of the UK's leading consulting engineering companies identified the need for high level, risk-based guidance on waterproofing requirements for projects with basements.

It is well documented that basements and other substructures can leak both during and after construction. Once construction is below the water table, groundwater will try and seep through cracks and joints into open spaces. Potential consequences of leaking substructure are numerous but generally result in costs associated with remedial works and delays to programme in construction and expenditure and disruption to the building operation after construction. It is hoped that by producing this guide, a greater understanding of the risks involved will develop, which will allow earlier identification, leading to risk reduction.

Who should read this?

This is mainly a Client guide, but also of interest to architects and engineers who wish to increase their understanding of substructure waterproofing issues.

Content

This paper explains the risks associated with waterproofing by providing information about the methods and processes involved; it explains how to manage the risks. Basements and other substructures can leak both during and after construction. Once construction is below the water table, groundwater will try and seep through cracks and joints into open spaces. Potential consequences of leaking substructure are numerous but gereally result in costs associated with remedial works and delays to programme in construction and expenditure, and disruption to the building operation after construction. This guide provides information about the methods and processes involved and gives information on how to manage the risks.

For more information and questions, please contact management@ice.org.uk.

Download this document