With much anticipation, BSI launch BS8102:2022 Protection of Below Ground Structures Against Water Ingress. Code of practice. Within the update is recognition of combining both structural waterproofing and ground gas protection.
Prior to the launch of BS8102:2022, both BS8102:2009 and BS8485:2015+A1:2019 were intertwined, however BS8102:2022 provides further and greater clarification on design approaches.
Awareness and a better understanding of the potential impact of ground gas is being recognised more and more by both industry professions and homeowners alike. Ground gases aren’t particularly something new, however newer technologies for dealing with ground gases are. With innovative new products, and approaches to design it’s possible to provide both a robust, continuous waterproof and gas proof design.
Ground gases either occur naturally or through human activity which impacts on environmental factors. From Radon to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), the impact of ground gases on occupiers of a structure built on a contaminated site are substantial. From health issues to toxicity, ground gases should be approached with caution.
A desktop study is the first part of the site investigation process, depending on the risks present, these findings will contribute to determining the overall protection systems chosen.
If a site has been identified with ground gas or hydrocarbon contamination it will be given a Characteristic Situation Score. The Characteristic Situation Score is defined according to how severe the gas flow and gas concentration from the ground/soil is.
All sites which have been characterised with a gas situation score will require a gas protection system and where identified a waterproof protection barrier.
Ground gas protection is a barrier that prevents hazardous gases and contaminants from the underlying soils entering a structure. A well-designed system can also perform the function of a damp-proof membrane, assisting in preventing the ingress of moisture into the structure.
Waterproof protection is the prevention of water ingress into a structure. A well-designed system may also perform the function of a ground gas protection system (product selection pending).
Evaluation of groundwater conditions, risk assessment and options for drainage outside the structure should always be considered and included in the overall design.
A Waterproofing Design Specialist will be able to interpret the requirements of BS8102:2022 and BS8485:2015+A1:2019 along with other legislative documents to produce a waterproofing design which incorporates both a waterproof and gas proof protection system.
A key element of this design approach is a continuous solution. When we use the term “continuous”, we are referring to the design approach, which should include the whole structure (from detailing to any opening), ensuring the entire structure is protected.
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