Construction industry organisation Ciria has announced plans to develop new basement guidance for domestic projects and is seeking financial support from the geotechnics industry.
The concept to develop guidance for domestic residential basement clients follows on from a gap in the guidance framework identified at Ciria’s Geotechnical issues in construction conference in March this year.
According to a statement issued by Ciria, the domestic basement sector of the construction industry is a growing market. Figures gathered show that in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea alone there were 46 applications in 2001, which rose to 450 in 2013.
“The market is also expected to grow in other affluent areas of London and major cities of the UK,” said Ciria in its statement. “The scale of the work has also increased in size, with two to three storey basements not uncommon.”
The conference in March identified that there is no specific industry guidance covering this subject area and currently the design and construction is regulated by existing planning policy. Discussions also highlighted that expertise and confidence for dealing with the more complex developments varies from council to council, as does design and construction practices experienced.
According to Ciria associate director Kieran Tully, through this new document Ciria aims to provide comprehensive guidance on domestic basement design and construction following discussion with Ground Advisory Panel and discussions with representatives from the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists.
Ciria has said that the best practice report would specifically address the geotechnical design of walls and foundations together with other associated ground related matters. The organisation has also said that the guidance would not only benefit the supply chain (designers, contractors, other specialists as appropriate) but also planning authorities, insurers and of course the commissioning client.