What are the different construction methods of building a cellar or basement?
There are several ways to constructing a cellar or basement. All methods have advantages and disadvantages depending on the site-specific conditions and client requirements. You should research the following methods before choosing your cellar or basement:
• Traditional in-situ poured concrete methods
• Off-site methods:
• Traditional brick or block construction
• Insulated concrete form (ICF)
All of the above have different warranties and guarantees for how long the waterproofing will last. They will also have different durations to construct on site, and will also cost different amounts and will have different thermal properties.
How do you know which method of construction to select?
Every site has its own specific requirements. Each site will have different hydrostatic pressure, ground bearing pressures, location, logistical constraints and a possibility of neighbouring properties and therefore temporary supporting works. Before selecting a cellar or basement construction method these all need to be taken in to consideration.
The traditional in-situ concrete and brickwork methods tend to be cheaper to construct due to redcued local labour costs, reduced transport costs, and the material being cheaper at source. Depending on what contractor you select the waterproofing of this method suffers significantly from on site skill sets and Q&A. If a joint isn’t sealed correctly the chances are you will have a long term water problem. Off-site construction methods will be a lot quicker on site and can be cost comparable with instu concrete. They are built to better tolerances and generally the warranties are more robust. As they are built in a factory environment it should be a better quality product. However, the above is all dependent on the experience the contractor has and the products they use.
How do you know which method of waterproofing you should select?
You should select a method which suites the site, what the space will be used for and budget available at the time of construction. Different methods have different warranties and guarantees for how long the waterproofing will last. Even though a method of cellar construction maybe cheaper it is usually the reason that the product they are using is of a different standard. As a rule of thumb, short term commercial benefits in constructing below ground level will have inherent long-term costs if or when defects arise.
If you need a mortgage on the cellar or basement you need to make sure the way you are constructing is in line with your building guarantee’s policies. If it is you will be able to obtain a Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). The general rule of thumb is two layers of waterproofing is required, it’s constructed to BS8102:2009 regulations and has a Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) input.
What is a prefabricated steel cellar?
A prefabricated steel cellar is manufactured in a factory from steel plates welded together to form a fully watertight structurally sound unit. The structures are spray painted and delivered to site with reinforcing already attached to them. The facilities where the Premier Cellar Company manufacture is a CE facility and conforms to BS EN1090-2:2008 + A1:2011.
Will a prefabricated steel cellar or basement corrode or rust in the ground?
There have been questions raised over the corrosion and long-term durability of how we construct cellars with sheet metal. We employed Dr Jonathan P Broomfield a specialist in the corrosion of steel in concrete. During his research Dr Broomfield completed a report which has confirmed that the Premier Cellar Company steel cellar or basement, will last up to 100 years plus* before the material has corroded that badly for water to penetrate.
Will the welding of the Premier Cellar Company’s structure fail and the structure leak?
Our production factory is ISO and CE accredited. What we manufacture to is in line with the Construction Product Regulation hEN1090. This is not a client driven requirement such as BBA approval, but is a regulation managed by law for all structural manufactured items and we are certified to execution class 2 by a notified body. This part of the construction process is paramount to our reputation as Premier Cellar Company. After the structure is fabricated it is fully quality controlled and weld tested. Once this is done and the structure is shot blasted. We apply a seam sealant to all the welds as a secondary precaution and a zinc phosphate spray finish.
To understand the benefits of how we construct our cellars and basements click here