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NHBC Standards

NHBC 2007
Standards
Effective from 1 September 2007

2007

NHBC
Buildmark House, Chiltern Avenue, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5AP
Tel: 0870 241 4302 Fax: 01494 735201 www.nhbc.co.uk
NHBC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority HB1286 04/07
‘Welcome’
to the 2007 edition of NHBC’s Standards.

What’s new in 2007?


Major change:
• Chapter 7.1 ‘Flat roofs and balconies’ has been completely revised. It now includes
guidance on green roofs, both ‘intensive‘ and ‘extensive’. The opportunity has
also been taken to improve the specifications for reinforced bitumen membranes
(formerly known as ‘felts’).

Minor changes:
• Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near trees’ has been revised following the publication of
BS 5837 : 2005 ‘Trees in relation to construction – Recommendations’. This BS
provides guidance on how existing trees, shrubs, hedges and hedgerows can be
protected from construction work.

• Chapter 7.2 ‘Pitched roofs’ has been revised to take account of amendments to
BS 5250 ‘Code of practice for the control of condensation in buildings’ where
modern underlay materials are used.

All minor changes are identified by a blue vertical marker adjacent to the relevant
paragraph and the revised text underlined.

Please note:
Throughout this edition of the Standards coloured text is used as follows:
• Red text = Technical Requirements that must be met by the builder.
• Black text = Performance Standards for Design, Materials and Sitework.
• Blue text = Guidance (on how the Performance Standards may be met).

2007
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TechnicalStandards

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Contact Us
Amersham Milton Keynes
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Amersham, Bucks HP6 5AP Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 8FP
Tel: 0870 241 4302 Fax: 01494 735201 Tel: 0870 241 4302 Fax: 0870 241 4759

Edinburgh Belfast
NHBC Scotland, Suite 4, NHBC, Holyrood Court,
5 New Mart Place, Edinburgh EH14 1RW 59 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SA
Tel: 0870 850 4494 Fax: 0870 850 4495 Tel: 028 9068 3131 Fax: 028 9038 6001

2007
Contents
PART 1 General information PART 6 Superstructure (excluding roofs)

1.1 Introduction to the Standards and 6.1 External masonry walls


Technical Requirements 6.2 External timber framed walls
1.2 A consistent approach to finishes 6.3 Internal walls
1.3 No longer allocated 6.4 Timber and concrete upper floors
1.4 Cold weather working 6.5 Steelwork
6.6 Staircases
PART 2 Materials 6.7 Doors, windows and glazing
2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement 6.8 Fireplaces, chimneys and flues
2.2 No longer allocated 6.9 Curtain walling and cladding
2.3 Timber preservation (natural solid timber) 6.10 Light steel framed walls and floors

PART 3 No longer allocated PART 7 Roofs

7.1 Flat roofs and balconies


PART 4 Foundations 7.2 Pitched roofs
4.1 Land quality – managing ground conditions
4.2 Building near trees PART 8 Services and internal finishing
4.3 No longer allocated 8.1 Internal services
4.4 Strip and trench fill foundations 8.2 Wall and ceiling finishes
4.5 Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations 8.3 Floor finishes
4.6 Vibratory ground improvement techniques 8.4 Finishings and fitments
8.5 Painting and decorating
PART 5 Substructure and ground floors

5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors PART 9 External works


5.2 Suspended ground floors 9.1 Garages
5.3 Drainage below ground 9.2 Drives, paths and landscaping

PART 10 No longer allocated

2007
Part 1
General information

1.1 Introduction and Technical Requirements

1.2 A consistent approach to finishes

1.3 No longer allocated

1.4 Cold weather working


Part 1 General information

Chapter 1.1
Introduction and Technical Requirements
1.1
1.1

Introduction and Technical Requirements

CONTENTS SCOPE

INTRODUCTION TO THE STANDARDS Page This Chapter introduces the Standards and gives the
Application of the Standards 1 Technical Requirements.
Composition of the Standards 1
Technical Requirements 1
Performance Standards 1
Guidance 1
Limitations on use 1
Interpretation 1
Testing 1
Standards and Codes of Practice 1
Tolerances 1
Acknowledgements 1

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Statutory requirements R1 2
Design requirement R2 2
Materials requirement R3 2
Workmanship requirement R4 3
Structural design requirement R5 3

INDEX 4

Page  Chapter 1.1 2007


1.1

1.1
Introduction and Technical Requirements

INTRODUCTION TO THE Guidance is based on normal construction the International Standards Organisation
procedures and recommended practices (ISO) and a European Committee for
STANDARDS which have been shown to be satisfactory Standardisation (CEN).
and acceptable over time. NHBC will
APPLICATION OF THE consider alternative methods to meet
Example: BS EN ISO 9000-1
STANDARDS specific requirements, subject to prior Unless NHBC provides written notification
consultation and evaluation. to the contrary, the use of guidance in
The NHBC Standards give the Technical
Requirements, Performance Standards and authoritative documents not mentioned in
Guidance for the design and construction LIMITATIONS ON USE the NHBC Standards, such as BRE Digests,
of dwellings acceptable to NHBC. In the can be considered for acceptance.
The Technical Requirements, Performance
Standards, a DWELLING means a HOME as Standards and Guidance do not form a
defined in the NHBC Rules. complete specification and should not be TOLERANCES
used as such in contracts. All measurements shall be within
The Standards come into effect for every
NHBC registered home whose foundations acceptable tolerances. Where it is
Individual Chapters cover, as far as
are concreted on or after 1 September applicable, account should be taken of
practical, the requirements for particular
2007 and apply throughout the UK, unless Chapter 1.2 ‘A Consistent approach to
elements of construction. To avoid
otherwise stated. finishes’. In other situations, tolerances
repetition, some cross-referencing is made
will be those currently acceptable in the
to other Chapters, where necessary.
industry.
COMPOSITION OF THE
STANDARDS INTERPRETATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The Standards are divided into 10 Parts, Occasionally, there may be disagreements
NHBC is indebted to the members of
each covering a particular aspect. All on how Technical Requirements and
the Standards Review Group, Scottish
parts may not currently contain chapters. Performance Standards are to be
and Northern Ireland Technical Sub
The Parts follow the usual construction interpreted. Such cases are usually
Committees and Standards Committee for
process; from design through to resolved through further consultation,
all their work.
construction on site. NHBC Standards do failing which NHBC will exercise its right to
not cover aspects of health and safety decide, subject to appeal to an arbitrator NHBC also wishes to acknowledge the
relating to building operations and to under NHBC Rules. help given by consultants, authoritative
the handling and use of certain building organisations, individuals and staff.
materials. Such matters are covered by the TESTING A list of the organisations who nominate
statutory requirements. Where required by NHBC, Builders must representatives to the Standards
In general, each Chapter is made up of make samples of materials available Committee, Scottish Technical Sub
sections dealing with Design, Materials and for testing to ensure that they comply Committee and the Northern Ireland
Sitework. with Technical Requirement R3. Tests Technical Sub Committee is shown below.
acceptable in the UK must be used when
applicable. The costs of any test shall Standards Committee
TECHNICAL be met by the Builder if it proves non- Chartered Institute of Building
REQUIREMENTS compliance and by NHBC if it proves Construction Products Association
compliance. Materials which do not comply Consumer Policy Committee of the British
In this Chapter, the Technical
shall, if necessary, be removed from the Standards Institution
Requirements, which MUST be met by the
site. Federation of Master Builders
Builder, are printed in red.
Home Builders Federation
STANDARDS AND CODES Housing Corporation (observer)
PERFORMANCE Institution of Civil Engineers
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Where NHBC Standards refer to British (observer)
Most of the Chapters consist of detailed
Standards or Codes of Practice, other Royal Institute of British Architects
Performance Standards printed in black,
for each Design, Materials or Sitework authoritative documents or technical
approval certification, the documents Scottish Technical Sub Committee
section. Each section contains clauses Homes for Scotland
which are prefixed by the Chapter number shall be the editions current at the time of
Building Regulation approval, unless other Royal Incorporation of Architects in
and D, M or S for Design, Materials or Scotland/Royal
Sitework, respectively. recommendations are made by NHBC in
writing. Institute of British Architects
Alternative standards of performance will Scottish Branch of the Chartered Institute
be acceptable ONLY if, in the opinion of The British Standards and Codes of of Building
NHBC, the Technical Requirements are met Practice referred to in the NHBC Standards Scottish Branch of the Royal Institution of
and the standard achieved is not lower include British Standards or Codes of Chartered Surveyors
than the stated Performance Standard. Practice and those made under the Scottish Group of the Association of
Construction Products Directive (89/106/ Consulting Engineers
EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
GUIDANCE European Technical Specifications Northern Ireland Technical Sub
Guidance on how the Performance approved by a European Committee for Committee
Standard may be met is printed in light Standardisation (CEN). Construction Employers Federation
blue. Royal Society of Ulster Architects
The UK accepts harmonised standards
Diagrams may contain text in red. This is which are dual numbered British
to highlight points and has no mandatory Standards. These have numbers issued
status. by the British Standards Institution (BSI),

2007 Chapter 1.1 Page 


1.1
1.1

Introduction and Technical Requirements

TECHNICAL (ii) all imposed loads, including wind provided their use is accepted by
loads NHBC,
REQUIREMENTS (iii) construction loads.  or
(c) The geographical location of the site, (iv) satisfactory assessment by
The Builder shall ensure including: an appropriate independent
that the work complies (i) climate technical approvals authority
(ii) topography. accepted by NHBC, including:
with the Technical (d) The position of the dwelling on the British Board of Agrément
requirements site, especially with reference to the (BBA), Building Research
dwelling’s exposure to the weather, Establishment (BRE), or a body
R1 Statutory requirements including exposure at early stages in authorised under Annex 4 to the
Work shall comply with all relevant the development of a site, even if it Construction Products Directive,
Building Regulations and other statutory is eventually protected by structures  or
requirements relating to the completed built later. (v) use of materials and products in
construction work (e) The position of building elements accordance with well established
within the construction works, satisfactory custom and practice,
In England, Wales and the Isle of Man, including the inter-relationship of provided that such custom and
NHBC will generally accept work that materials and constructions. practice is acceptable to NHBC,
accords with the relevant Approved (f)  The security of the dwellings.  or
Documents and their supporting (vi) acceptance, in writing, by NHBC
documents. Exceptions would be
where NHBC has a higher standard or
R3 Materials requirement that the quality and use is
All materials, products and building satisfactory.
where there is doubt as to whether (b) MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS USED
the recommendation in the Approved systems shall be suitable for their
intended purpose FOR NON-CRITICAL FUNCTIONS
Document is appropriate to a particular Compliance with the above
application. The structure of the home shall, unless acceptance criteria for
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, account specifically agreed otherwise in writing critical functions or strictly in
shall be taken of the relevant Building with NHBC, have a life of at least 60 years. accordance with manufacturers’
Standards and Regulations. Individual components and assemblies, not recommendations for the specific use.
integral to the structure, may have a lesser (c) RECLAIMED MATERIALS
Building Regulations and rules of Statutory durability and need planned maintenance, Reclaimed materials may only be
Authorities primarily cover matters of repair or replacement during that period. re-used with the prior agreement of
health and safety. Matters affecting NHBC. Independent certification of
durability and serviceability also need to Proper account shall be taken of the use
and location of materials, products and suitability may be required.
be considered. (d) PROPRIETARY BUILDING SYSTEMS
building systems in relation to:
NHBC Standards do not apply to: • durability of both the structure and Reference should be made to R3(a),
• health and safety matters relating to individual components and assemblies (iv).
building operations • geographical location (e) TIMBER DURABILITY
• handling and use of certain building • position on the site Reference should be made to Chapter
materials • position within the structure. 2.3 ‘Timber preservation (natural solid
• planning matters. timber)’ (each section).
Materials, products and building systems
will normally be acceptable if they comply Note
R2 Design requirement with the following: Equivalents to British Standards or
Design and specification shall provide (a) MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS USED technical approvals authority shall be
satisfactory performance FOR CRITICAL FUNCTIONS those accepted in the UK.
Account shall be taken of: Functions critical to performance
(a) The land quality, including: are: structure, fire resistance, R4 Workmanship requirement
(i) climate weatherproofing, durability, thermal All work shall be carried out in a proper,
(ii) topography and sound insulation, services neat and workmanlike manner
(iii) geology and ground conditions including heating appliances and
The Builder shall ensure that:
(iv) contamination flues.
(a) the conditions of the materials,
(v) workings below ground Any of the following are acceptable:
products and the completed work are
(vi) previous use of the site (i) performance in accordance with
satisfactory
(vii) any other aspect, on or adjacent standards set by NHBC,
(b) appropriate precautions are taken to
to the site, which could affect the   or
prevent damage
design. (ii) where no NHBC standard is set,
(c) account is taken of the following:
Where appropriate, the land quality compliance with the relevant
(i) the requirements of the design
will have to be determined by a British Standard or equivalent
(ii) suitable methods of unloading
person acceptable to NHBC. European Technical Specification
and handling
(b) The structural adequacy of the approved by a Committee for
(iii) proper protection during storage
works. The design, with appropriate Standardisation, provided they
(iv) use of correct installation
factors of safety, should satisfactorily are used in accordance with the
methods
allow for loads during and after relevant Code of Practice,
(v) protection against weather
construction and for their transfer  or
during construction (including
to the supporting structure, or (iii) compliance with standards
excessive heat, cold, wetting or
foundation, without undue movement, not lower than those defined
drying)
including: in a relevant British Standard
(vi) protection against damage by
(i) self weight specification or equivalent,
following trades.

Page  Chapter 1.1 2007


1.1

1.1
Introduction and Technical Requirements

R5 Structural design BS 5950 Structural use of steel work


requirement in building
Structural design shall be carried out by BS 6399 Loading for buildings
suitably qualified persons in accordance
BS 8004 Code of Practice for
with British Standards and Codes of
foundations
Practice
BS 8110 Structural use of concrete
The following shall be designed by
Chartered Civil or Structural Engineers Alternatively, designs in accordance with
whose status (including professional BS 8103 ‘Structural design of low rise
indemnity insurance) is accepted by NHBC: buildings’ will be acceptable.
(a) foundations on hazardous ground The Builder shall:
where the hazard makes special • require the Engineer to issue clear
consideration necessary. This would instructions for site personnel
not apply to matters for which NHBC • not permit departure from the design
sets Standards, such as building near without the Engineer’s written consent
trees, except where specified to the • require the Engineer or his
contrary representative to carry out such
(b) foundations and superstructure of inspections as may be required by NHBC
every building over three storeys in to ensure the adequacy of the design
height and construction.
(c) certain types of foundations and
retaining walls, as required in the The Builder shall ensure that the Engineer
individual Chapters of the NHBC visits the site during construction:
Standards (i) when the foundations have been
(d) any structural element which is not designed under this Technical
based on specific design criteria as Requirement, or
laid down in the Chapters of the NHBC (ii) when specifically required by NHBC in
Standards these Standards.
(e) any dwelling not constructed in The Engineer shall satisfy himself that
accordance with UK traditional the design is suitable for the conditions
practice. encountered on the site of each dwelling.

Other structural elements may be When requested by NHBC, the Builder


designed by a Chartered Civil or Structural shall:
Engineer or others whose status (including • produce such design documents,
professional indemnity insurance) is calculations and prescribed forms
accepted by NHBC. of certification as NHBC requires for
scrutiny
The structural design shall take account
of the durability requirement in Technical • provide design documents and assembly
Requirement R3 Materials requirement. instructions, solely for the use of NHBC
staff
In England, Wales, Northern Ireland and • arrange for NHBC staff to have access
the Isle of Man, structural design may be to places where off-site fabrication is
undertaken by the Builder’s own Engineer taking place.
or a Consulting Engineer employed by the
Builder. Where specialist subcontractors
undertake the design, it must be
separately appraised by the Builder’s own
Engineer or by a Consulting Engineer
employed by the Builder to ensure that the
site investigation, choice of foundations,
siting and construction of dwellings are
properly taken into account and that the
design is appropriate for the loading and
conditions.
In Scotland, the Engineer shall be
independent of the Builder and specialist
subcontractor.
Account shall be taken of the following
British Standards and Codes of Practice or
their European equivalents or such codes
and standards as may supersede them:
BS 5268 Structural use of timber
BS 5628 Code of Practice for use of
masonry

2007 Chapter 1.1 Page 


1.1
1.1

Introduction and Technical Requirements

INDEX
A L S
Acknowledgements 1 Land quality 2 Samples 1
B Limitations 1 Standards commitees 1
British Standards 1 Low rise buildings 3 Statutory requirements 2
Building Systems 2 M Structural design 3
C Materials, critical 3 T
Codes of practice 1 functions Technical requirements 1
Critical functions 2 Materials, non-critical 3 Testing 1
functions
D Timber durability 3
Materials, requirements 2
Design requirements 3 Tolerances 1
P
F W
Performance standards 1
Foundations 3 Workmanship 3
R
G
Reclaimed materials 3
Guidance 1
I
Interpretation 1

Page  Chapter 1.1 2007


Part 1 General information

Chapter 1.2
A consistent approach to finishes
1.2
1.2

A consistent approach to finishes

CONTENTS SCOPE

Page This Chapter gives guidance on the suitability of the finishes


External walls 1 in new homes.
Fairfaced brickwork and blockwork 1
Appearance of external wall finishes 2 INTRODUCTION
External works 2
Doors and windows 3
A consistent approach to finishes gives guidance on the
Glazing 3
suitability of the finishes in new homes and will be used by
Walls and ceilings 3 NHBC Inspectors during the construction of new homes and
Floors 4 by NHBC Claims staff conducting Resolutions under Section
Finishes and fittings 4 2 of the Buildmark insurance cover. Its recommendations
will be considered in conjunction with relevant performance
Index 5
standards and guidance of the NHBC Standards.
The guide is intended to apply at the time the home is
physically complete and has passed its NHBC pre-handover
inspection. However, some elements may be subject to
thermal or drying movement and this may occur both before
and after completion. Where appropriate, guidance is given
as to the likely changes which may occur during this period.
Many sources of information relating to tolerances
have been reviewed in the preparation of the guide. The
tolerances given here are considered to be appropriate for
the house-building industry and take precedence over other
recommendations.
This guide is not intended to deal with every situation that
may arise and discretion should be exercised in its application
in specific circumstances. The nature and extent of work
necessary to remedy minor variances from the tolerances
given should be appropriate to the circumstances.

Page  Chapter 1.2 2007


1.2

1.2
A consistent approach to finishes

EXTERNAL WALLS Level of bed joints Plumb of wall - storey height


± 10mm deviation for walls 5m long (a pro Max deviation of ± 10mm in a storey
The variable nature of external wall rata tolerance is applicable for walls less height, approx 2.5m.
materials and their use than 5m long).
Many of the materials used to construct
external walls are not uniform, because ± 15mm deviation for walls over 5m long. 50 x 50mm spacing block

of their manufacturing process. Nor are Line of bed joint Max deviation Horizontal
reference line
they intended to be. In consequence,
external walls will have variations and
irregularities. Where reclaimed materials
5m
are used there may be even greater
There should not be frequent variations in the
irregularities and these characteristics are level of the bed joints Plumb line
often intended as an aesthetic feature.
The relevant recommendations are Thickness of bed joints
Storey
intended to be applied in the spirit of this The thickness of an individual bed joint height

overall context. should not vary from the average of any 8


successive joints by more than 5mm.
Commentary
• Bricks and other materials vary in size Commentary
and appearance for a number of reasons • Bricks and other materials vary in size
and in consequence the tolerances and and therefore some variation in the
finishes stated in this document may not thickness of bed joints is likely.
always be appropriate, especially where
Perpend alignment in external walls
reclaimed stock is used. Such materials Example:
Vertical alignment of perpend joints
will need to be considered separately. Using 50mm wide spacing block, the plumb
should not deviate significantly from the bob should be between 40mm and 60mm
• The tolerances described generally apply from the wall.
perpendicular.
to entire areas of walling, complete
Note:
panels and the like, and not to the Commentary Spacing block dimensions are a guide only.
elements of the construction, such as • Because bricks do vary in length To suit actual site conditions, final dimensions
should ensure plumb line is kept clear of the
individual bricks. as a result of their manufacturing wall face
• The tolerances do not apply to design process, not all perpend joints will
features and similar constructional align. However, there should not be Straightness in section
details which are not intended to lie a cumulative displacement of the Max deviation ± 10mm in any 2.5m height
within the limits stated in this document perpend joints in a wall. of wall.
(e.g. quoins, soldier courses, plinths). 25 x 25mm spacing block
Plumb of wall - overall height
Max deviation of ± 20mm in overall height Masonry line
FAIRFACED BRICKWORK of wall.
AND BLOCKWORK Max 10mm
deviation

Straightness on plan
± 10mm max deviation in any length of wall Nominal line
of wall 15mm
up to 5m.
35mm
2.5m
Masonry line

35mm Overall
height
Max 10mm Max 10mm deviation
Reference
deviation
line

15mm
5m

Example:
Nominal line Using 25mm wide spacing blocks, the masonry line
of wall should be between 15mm and 35mm from the
reference line
Reference
line Note:
Spacing block dimensions are a guide only.
To suit actual site conditions, final dimensions should
ensure reference line is kept clear of the wall face
25 x 25mm
spacing blocks
Example:
Using 25mm wide spacing blocks, the masonry
line should be between 15mm and 35mm from
the reference line.

Note:
Spacing block dimensions are a guide only.
To suit actual site conditions, final dimensions
should ensure reference line is kept clear of the
wall face.

2007 Chapter 1.2 Page 


1.2
1.2

A consistent approach to finishes

Straightness of external reveals APPEARANCE OF EXTERNAL WORKS


6mm max deviation.
EXTERNAL WALL FINISHES Drives and paths - standing water
Fairfaced brickwork and blockwork Surfaces should minimise the potential for
Fairfaced brickwork and blockwork should standing water.
be reasonably uniform in appearance, Commentary
texture and finish.
• One hour after rain has stopped, isolated
With certain walls, such as half brick walls, areas of temporary standing water up
a fairfaced finish can only be achieved on to 1m2 and no deeper than 7mm are
one face. The other face should be left considered to be reasonable.
neat and tidy.
Drives and paths - variations in surface
Mortar should be reasonably uniform in finish
appearance, texture and finish. Variations in the surface should not exceed
±10mm deviation from a 2m straight edge
Facing brick units should not have
with equal offsets.
significant cracks in them or other damage
such as chips and marks greater than Commentary
15mm in diameter. • Some minor variations in surface levels
Max 6mm Commentary including scuffing and pitting may
deviation
• Appearance should be considered for arise due to settlement, natural ground
entire wall areas, panels and the like and movement and vehicle use. In gravel
not for individual units. Consequently, and other loose surfaces, displacement
straight edge
Straightness the wall being considered should, where of stone etc., will require some
(1m long)
of reveal
possible, be viewed in daylight from a maintenance by the homeowner.
distance of 10m. • Localised falls into gulleys and channels
• Some mortar blemishes will occur on are acceptable.
individual masonry units.
Covers to the drainage system
• Some variation will occur in the
colour of individual masonry units and Covers to the drainage system in hard
generally over the wall. paved areas should align with the
• Some variation will occur in the adjacent ground.
RENDERING (PLAIN FINISH) appearance, texture and finish of mortar. Commentary
• Efflorescence occurs naturally in some • In hard landscaping, some settlement of
Vertical and horizontal flatness
types of masonry. It is not harmful and
± 10mm (excluding features). the area immediately around the cover is
usually disappears over time. to be expected. The difference in height
• Some brick products have natural or between a cover and the adjacent hard
design features which may be in excess surfaces should be not more than 10mm.
of 15mm in diameter.
Max 10mm
• In soft landscaping, such as lawned
• Some minor shrinkage cracking may
deviation areas, some settlement of the ground
occur between masonry units (bricks
Reference may occur and would be made good
line and blocks) and mortar joints.
by the homeowner as part of normal
Rendering household maintenance.
Rendering on walls should be reasonably
consistent in texture, finish and colour.
5m
Commentary
• Rendering should, where possible,
be viewed in natural daylight from a
Max 10mm distance of 10m.
deviation • Some minor cracking and crazing is
likely to occur but should not be such as
to affect its performance.
• Some patches and daywork joints may
be visible but should not be unduly
Equal spacing obtrusive.
blocks
Tile hanging
Panels of tile hanging should be
Rendering should have a maximum
vertical and horizontal deviation from flatness reasonably uniform in appearance,
of ± 10mm in 5m. particularly at abutments.
Commentary
Commentary • Tile hanging should, where possible,
• Features such as bell casts, and the be viewed in natural daylight from a
areas of render in close proximity to the distance of 10m.
feature, are excluded from the tolerance. • Certain handmade tiles vary in size and
• Flatness is measured in a similar way may not be of a uniform appearance.
to straightness on plan and plumb of • Some variation in colour may occur in tiles.
masonry.

Page  Chapter 1.2 2007


1.2

1.2
A consistent approach to finishes

DOORS AND WINDOWS Window frames up


to 1.5m in height –
Level of ceiling
Max 10mm deviation in 2m
max 6mm out of plumb.
Openings in walls (including external Over 1.5m in height
openings viewed from the inside) – max 10mm out of plumb.

Reveals, head and sill

Head and sill:


Flatness along the Max out of level
length of sills and tolerance 6mm for
window boards openings up to 1.5m
± 3mm in 1m wide. 10mm for
openings more than
1.5m wide

Max 3mm out of level


across reveal (measured
from frame)* GLAZING Max 15mm deviation using 500mm square
Reveals: When viewed in daylight from within the 15mm 15mm
Max out of plumb tolerance 6mm room and at least 2m from the panes (3m
for openings up to 1.5m high. 10mm
for openings more than 1.5m high for toughened, laminated or coated glass)
and looking at right angles through the
Maximum ± 8mm deviation off square glass, the following are acceptable if they
into reveal up to 200mm deep
are neither obtrusive nor bunched:
• bubbles or blisters
• hairlines or blobs
• fine scratches not more than 25mm long
• minute particles.
Flatness of ceiling:
Commentary Max ± 6mm deviation from 2m straight edge
8mm 8mm
• The above does not apply within 6mm with equal offsets
*Tiled sills, for example, in bathrooms of the edge of the pane, where minor
may be intentionally laid sloping scratching is acceptable.
away from the window 2m

WALLS AND CEILINGS


Gaps and distortion
Door distortion:
(PLASTERED AND DRY
Max 10mm out of
plumb over height of
Max 5mm across width
Max 9mm in height
LINED)
frame (in one
direction only)
Wall and ceiling surfaces
For all wall and ceiling surfaces no sharp
deviations exceeding 4mm in any 300mm
Max 5mm gap
between door
and head of
Flatness of
Window jamb (for fire
5mm wall, Max
and door doors the
deviation
frame manufacturer’s 2m
± 5mm from
should recommendations
2m straight
not be should be used)
edge with
distorted For double doors
equal offsets,
in the the gap at the
5mm horizontal
opening meeting stiles
and vertically
should be max
5mm
± 8mm in 200mm

± 8mm in 200mm

These dimensions are The gap between the


without prejudice to underside of an internal
satisfactory door and unfinished
performance in terms floor (concrete, screed, etc) Plumb of wall finish:
of weathertightness, should be min 5mm and Max 10mm out of plumb in a storey height
exclusion of draughts max 22mm up to 2.5m - max 20mm out of plumb for a
continuous wall height greater than 2.5m Surfaces should be reasonably uniform
and fire resistance
where appropriate although there may be minor textural
differences around lights and other
fittings. There should be no visible gaps
between fittings and the wall/ceiling, e.g.
around switch plates.
In plastered walls and ceilings some tooling
marks may be visible.

2007 Chapter 1.2 Page 


1.2
1.2

A consistent approach to finishes

In general wall surfaces, some cracking (up or there are heavy items of furniture on Commentary
to 2mm wide) is likely, due to shrinkage the floor. • Because timber is a natural material
and differential movement of materials and some resin is likely to exude from knots
should be made good by the homeowner Floor screeds even though modern primers contain a
As screeds dry, they may shrink causing knotting compound to limit the effect.
as part of normal household maintenance.
minor cracking, which requires no remedial
Junctions action. Fitted furniture (kitchen, bathroom and
At wall, floor and ceiling junctions where bedroom)
Underfloor service ducts
there are changes in the construction Doors and drawers of fitted furniture
Service ducts should be constructed so that
materials used, small cracks (up to 2mm should be visually aligned vertically,
the cover is level on completion with the
wide) may appear in the surface as a result horizontally and in plan, and operate as
adjacent floor finish provided by the builder.
of shrinkage and differential movement of intended by the manufacturer.
materials. Commentary
• Drying shrinkage of the floor may result Gaps between adjacent doors and/or
in minor differences in level between the drawers should be uniform.
Duct casings
Duct casings, access covers and any floor and duct cover. This may become There should not be a significant
associated framing should be neat and tidy evident with some types of thin floor difference in level at the intersection of
and have an appropriate decorative finish. coverings, and the choice of covering adjacent worktops.
should take this into account.
Skirtings Commentary
Joints in skirtings are likely in long Timber floors and staircases • No dimensional tolerance has been set
Timber floors and staircases are made of for gaps between adjacent doors and/or
lengths of walls. Joints should present a
materials which naturally shrink as they drawers or for their alignment because
continuous appearance when viewed from
dry. As this drying occurs, it may result in some variation will be necessary to take
a distance of 2m in daylight. Some initial squeaking of components as they move
shrinkage of the skirting may already be account of adjustments as part of the
against each other. This is natural and
evident at completion of the property. fitting process. Over time doors and
to be expected. Some squeaking is to be
drawers may need some adjustment
expected and cannot be totally eliminated.
Gaps in skirtings may appear at joints and by the homeowner as part of normal
corners due to shrinkage and should be household maintenance.
made good by the homeowner as part of FINISHES AND FITTINGS • No dimensional tolerance has been set
normal household maintenance. Painted and varnished surfaces for the abutment of adjacent worktops
Surfaces should be reasonably smooth because of the variety of materials
Blockwork walls in garages and free from nail holes, cracks and splits. available and because minor variations,
Normal drying out shrinkage may lead to Joints should be filled. Colour, texture and even with manufactured products, are
cracking of unplastered blockwork walls. finish should be reasonably uniform. inevitable and small differences in height
Thermal movement and drying shrinkage may be unavoidable.
Commentary
may become evident but cracks of up to • Fitted furniture should normally be
• Surfaces should be viewed in daylight
3mm are generally considered to be normal. viewed from a distance of 2m.
from a distance of 2m and not by shining
Commentary artificial light along the surface. Wall lights Scratches on doors (including fitted
• Small cracks may occur in wall finishes or uplighters should be switched off. furniture), windows and frames
which pass across floors e.g. in walls • Painted and varnished surfaces should Factory-finished door and window
adjacent to a staircase. be free from conspicuous runs and components should not have conspicuous
• Where stair strings abut a wall a crack prominent brush marks. There should be abrasions or scratches when viewed in
of up to 4mm may appear as a result of no bare or starved areas. daylight from a distance of 0.5m.
shrinkage of materials and should be • Timber surfaces may show limited raised
made good by the homeowner as part of grain and the colour and texture may Commentary
normal household maintenance. also vary. • Conspicuous surface abrasions caused
• Drying shrinkage of timber may cause during the building-in process should
cracking of the paint finish, particularly be removed in accordance with the
FLOORS where joints occur in plaster and manufacturer’s recommendations which
Level of floor woodwork, and should be made good may include polishing out, re-spraying or
Maximum 4mm out of level per metre by the homeowner as part of normal painting as appropriate.
for floors up to 6m across, and maximum household maintenance. • In rooms or areas when there is no
25mm overall in any other case. • Where painted surfaces are touched-up, daylight, scratches should be viewed
minor colour variations will occur. in artificial light from fixed wall or
Flatness of floor • External finishes will dull over time ceiling outlets and not from portable
Maximum ±5mm deviation from a 2m depending on a number of factors equipment.
straight edge with equal offsets. such as exposure to sunlight, rain and
pollutants. To minimise the dulling,
Skirting to floor gap surfaces should be washed regularly to
A gap of up to 5mm can be expected remove the accumulation of dirt and
between the floor finish (without grime.
coverings) and the bottom of the skirting
in a newly completed home. Knots in timber
Some exudation of resin from knots may
The gap between the floor finish and the occur and may cause discolouration of
skirting may increase because of drying paintwork, both internally and externally.
out shrinkage and deflection, particularly
in timber floors. A gap of up to 10mm is
normal but exceptionally 15mm may be
seen where timber floors have long spans

Page  Chapter 1.2 2007


1.2

1.2
A consistent approach to finishes

INDEX
A G S
Appearance of external walls 1 Garages, blockwork walls 4 Scratches 4
B Glazing 3 Skirting to floor gap 4
Bathroom fitted furniture 4 J Skirtings 4
Bed joints 1 Junctions 4 Standing water 2
Bedroom fitted furniture 4 K Straightness in section 1
C Kitchen fitted furniture 4 Straightness on plan 1
Covers to drainage system 2 Knots in timber 4 T
D L Thickness of bed joints 1
Doors and windows 3 Level of bed joints 1 Tile hanging 2
Drives and paths 2 Level of floors 4 Timber floors and stairs 4
Duct casings 4 O U
E Openings in walls 3 Underfloor service ducts 4
External reveals, straightness 2 P V
External wall finishes 2 Painted and varnished surfaces 4 Variations in surface finish 2
External walls 1 Perpend alignment 1 W
External works 2 Plumb of wall 1 Wall and ceiling interfaces 4
F R Wall and ceiling surfaces 3
Fairfaced brickwork and blockwork 1, 2 Rendering 2 Walls and ceilings, plastered and dry 3
lined
Finishes and fittings 4
Windows and door openings 3
Flatness of floors 4
Floor screeds 4
Floors 4

2007 Chapter 1.2 Page 


Part 1 General information

Chapter 1.4
Cold weather working
1.4
1.4

Cold weather working

CONTENTS SCOPE

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
There are no specific Design implications Requirements and recommendations for cold weather
working.

MATERIALS
There are no specific Materials implications

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 1
Temperature and weather conditions S2 1
Protection of stored materials S3 1
Concreting S4 1
Masonry S5 2
Rendering, plastering and screeding S6 2
Use of admixtures S7 2
Painting S8 2

INDEX 3

Page  Chapter 1.4 2007


1.4

1.4
Cold weather working

SITEWORK STANDARDS
TOPOGRAPHICAL FEATURES CONCRETING
High trees or adjacent buildings may
provide permanent shade from low winter 1.4 - S4 Concrete shall not be placed in
1.4 - S1 All sitework shall: cold weather unless suitable precautions
sun and slow down any temperature rise.
(a) meet the Technical Requirements are taken
(b) follow established good practice and
workmanship Items to be taken into account include:
(a) placing of foundation and oversite
Sitework that complies with the guidance
concrete
below will be acceptable for cold weather
Concrete should not be placed if the
working.
ground or oversite is frozen. Work built on
frozen ground can be severely damaged by
TEMPERATURE AND movement when thawing takes place.
WEATHER CONDITIONS
1.4 - S2 Allowance shall be made
Frost hollows can occur where cold air is
for cold weather conditions during
drawn into valleys.
construction
Unless the precautions detailed in the
following guidance are adopted, work
should NOT proceed when the air
temperature is below or likely to fall below
2°C. Frozen materials should not be used.
Items to be taken into account include:
If work has to be carried out during long
(a) temperature measurement PROTECTION OF STORED periods of cold weather, the whole work
A maximum/minimum thermometer
should be available to indicate whether MATERIALS area should be covered, and heated if
necessary, to maintain the temperature
the temperature is falling or rising. The 1.4 - S3 Stored materials shall be above freezing.
thermometer should be sited in the shade. adequately protected against cold
The temperature may drop rapidly after weather (b) placing concrete other than in
sunset. Items to be taken into account include: foundations or oversites
All surfaces which can come into contact
(a) overnight protection
(b) weather and local topography with fresh concrete, such as formwork,
During cold weather, the use of covers will
FORECASTS reinforcement, and other concrete
protect materials from overnight snow, ice
Plan ahead and take account of weather surfaces should be free of snow, ice and
and frost. They will also reduce the effects
forecasting services, by either stopping frost. Special care is needed when small
of longer term frosts, and permit an earlier
work or taking adequate precautions. The quantities of fresh concrete are placed
resumption of work. Frozen materials
following services are available: against a large volume of hardened
should not be used.
• pre-recorded weather forecasts on the concrete at a lower temperature.
WEATHERCALL telephone service Appropriate covers should be provided
for bricks and blocks and for sand, (c) mixing concrete
• weather forecasts specific to
contractors’ needs aggregates and cement, to prevent them READY-MIXED
• an assessment of time when suitable from becoming saturated, and damaged The minimum temperature of concrete
working conditions will prevail in a given by frost. when delivered should be 5°C. This is a
area. requirement of BS 5328.

All these services are provided by the


Meteorological Office.

WIND CHILL
The Meteorological Office can advise on
the wind chill factor. Strong winds can
reduce the temperature of concrete and
mortar more quickly than still conditions.
Work is more likely to be affected by frost protection of bricks and blocks
in windy freezing conditions.
(b) longer cold periods
If it is necessary to continue building
during longer periods of cold weather,
the use of heaters will protect aggregates
and other materials from being frozen,
and prevent frost damage to newly laid
masonry.

2007 Chapter 1.4 Page 


1.4
1.4

Cold weather working

MASONRY should be kept above freezing during the


curing period.
1.4 - S5 Masonry shall not be laid in
cold weather unless suitable precautions It is important that heaters used for this
minimum 5oc purpose do not produce water vapour.
are taken
While heaters are in use, the building
MINIMUM TEMPERATURES should be ventilated to disperse moisture.
Materials which have been damaged by
frost or are frozen should NOT be used. Because warm air rises, ground floors
and walls near to floor level may be slow
When the temperature is below or to respond to heating after a prolonged
likely to fall below 2°C, masonry should cold period. Warm air heaters should be
NOT be laid unless heating is provided. placed in the room a day before plastering
The temperature should be checked is to start, to allow sufficient time for the
throughout the day on a maximum and structure to warm up. Heating should
minimum thermometer. continue for at least 48 hours after
completion of work.
SITE-MIXED PROTECTION
If the air temperature drops to 2°C, Newly laid masonry will need protection To avoid damage to screeds, plaster
concrete work should NOT proceed unless: when the temperature is below or likely to finishes and woodwork, heating should not
• the aggregate temperature is above 2°C, fall below 2°C. be excessive.
and the aggregate is free of frost and
snow, and USE OF ADMIXTURES
• water for mixing is heated, but not in
1.4 - S7 Admixtures shall be used
excess of 60°C, and
correctly
• the cement is not heated, and
• the cast concrete can be properly PLASTICISERS AND ACCELERATORS
protected, taking account of the cross No admixture will prevent frost damage to
sectional area and location, and immature concrete or mortar.
• the ground into which the concrete is to
be placed is not frozen. Plasticisers (which entrain air during
mixing) can provide improved frost
Covers will not stop severe frost resistance to mature mortar and concrete.
penetrating the aggregate. If work is to
continue, it may be necessary to steam Additives should only be used strictly
heat aggregate or use hot air blowers in accordance with manufacturers’
below covers. Polyethylene will provide weather recommendations.
protection and prevent work from
Heated mixing water cannot be relied upon The use of accelerators may assist
becoming saturated.
to thaw frozen aggregates. The amount of the mortar or concrete to set before
water in a mix is only a small proportion of An air gap between the masonry and the temperatures fall.
the total mix volume. Very cold aggregate covers will enable new masonry to cure.
RETARDERS AND BONDING AGENTS
can absorb heat from water while Additional insulation will be necessary Retarding agents should NOT be used in
remaining frozen. at very low temperatures. If very severe cold weather as their use can seriously
(d) curing frosts are expected, heaters would be delay setting times of the cement. Bonding
Curing periods may need to be extended required. agents may be ineffective in cold weather.
at low temperatures. Advice on minimum Protection against frost may be required CALCIUM CHLORIDE
periods is given in BS 8110. Up to 6 for up to 6 days depending on the severity Calcium chloride and additives based on it
days may be required, depending on of the conditions. do not prevent frost damage to mortars.
the severity of conditions, location and
These additives should NOT be used. They
materials used.
RENDERING, PLASTERING are also likely to have undesirable side
50mm of insulation held down firmly at effects.
AND SCREEDING
the edges will give protection to oversite
concrete from slight overnight frosts. If 1.4 - S6 Rendering, plastering and PAINTING
very severe frosts are expected, insulation screeding shall not be carried out in cold
alone is inadequate, and heating should be weather unless suitable precautions are 1.4 - S8 Painting shall not be carried
provided. taken out when there is a risk of damage due
to cold weather
RENDERING
Rendering should NOT be carried out if: Painting should NOT be carried out:
• the temperature is below or likely to fall • on surfaces that are affected by damp,
below 2°C, or frost or condensation
• backgrounds are saturated or frozen, or • where the air temperature is below or
• there is a possibility that new work will likely to fall below 2°C
be subjected to frost before it has set. • when condensation is likely to occur
before paintwork is dry
PLASTER AND SCREED • when snow or rain is likely before the
Plastering and screed laying should NOT paintwork is dry.
be commenced unless the structure is free
of frost. The temperature of the structure

Page  Chapter 1.4 2007


1.4

1.4
Cold weather working

INDEX
A   M T
Accelerators 2 Masonry 2 Temperature 1, 2
Admixtures 2 Materials 1 Topographical features 1
Aggregates 2 Minimum temperatures 2 W
Air temperature 1 O Water 2
B Oversite concrete 1 Weather 1
Bonding agents 2 P Wind chill 1

C Painting 2
Calcium chloride 2 Plastering 2
Cast concrete 2 Plasticisers 2
Cement 2 Protection 1, 2
Concreting 1 R
Curing 2 Ready-mixed concrete 1
F Rendering 2
Forecasts 1 Retarding agents 2
Foundations 1 S
Frozen materials 1 Screeding 2
H Sitework standards 1
Heaters 2 Site-mixed concrete 2

2007 Chapter 1.4 Page 


Part 2
Materials

2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

2.2 No longer allocated

2.3 Timber preservation


(natural solid timber)
Part 2 Materials

Chapter 2.1
Concrete and its reinforcement
2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

CONTENTS SCOPE
2.1

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Design standards D1 1 Requirements and recommendations for concrete mixes
Suitability of concrete D2 1 suitable for various locations in and around dwellings.

Mix design D3-D4 1


Reinforced concrete D5-D6 2
Special types of concrete D7 2
Admixtures D8 2
Provision of information D9-D10 2-3

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 3
Ready-mixed concrete M2 3
Site-mixed concrete M3 3
Reinforcement M4 3

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 3
Storage of materials S2 3
Blinding concrete S3 3
Formwork S4 4
Reinforcement S5-S6 4
Ready-mixed concrete S7 4
On-site concrete mixing S8 5
Testing S9 5
Casting S10 5
Curing S11 5

APPENDIX 2.1-A
Table 1 - General purpose concrete mixes 6
Site-mixed concrete:
Table 2a - Mix proportion by weight 7
Table 2b - Mix proportion by volume 7
Table 2c - Slump classes 7
Table 3 - Exposure conditions 7
Buried concrete in aggressive ground:
Table 4a - Aggressive Chemical 8
Environment for Concrete
Table 4b - Design guide for concrete 9
elements in the ground

INDEX 10

Page  Chapter 2.1 2007


Concrete and its reinforcement 2.1
• Standardised prescribed mix for site (d) aggregates
DESIGN STANDARDS mixing. Aggregates should be of a grade which
ensures adequate durability of the

2.1
2.1 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical Equivalent Designated and Standardised
concrete.
Requirements Prescribed mixes are listed as suitable for
Design that follows the guidance below particular end uses, for example: Certain types of aggregate are shrinkable
will be acceptable for concrete and its and require special precautions in mixing,
unreinforced ground bearing garage floor as described in BRE Digest 357.
reinforcement. slabs can use either:
• a GEN3 Designated mix, or (e) alkali-silica reaction
SUITABILITY OF • a ST4 Standardised Prescribed mix. Certain aggregates may be susceptible
CONCRETE 2.1 - D4 Mix design shall ensure
to attack from alkalis originating in the
cement or other sources. The reaction
2.1 - D2 Concrete shall be suitable for adequate durability causes expansion and subsequent cracking
its intended use Items to be taken into account include: and disruption of the concrete.
Concrete should be in accordance with (a) mix proportions The total alkali content of the concrete
relevant Building Regulations and other The various uses of concrete are shown in arising from all sources, calculated in
statutory requirements. Table 1 in Appendix 2.1-A. Designated mixes accordance with BRE Digest 330 or
should conform to Table 7 of BS 8500-2. Concrete Society Report 30 should not
Items to be taken into account include:
Standardised Prescribed mixes conform exceed 3.0kg/m3.
(a) compliance with recognised design
standards to either Table 2a or 2b in Appendix 2.1-A Where unfamiliar aggregate materials are
Concrete design and specification should which are derived from Tables 10 and 12 used, special precautions may be required.
comply with the relevant British Standards. respectively of BS 8500-2. Damage will normally only occur when all
Mix design should take account of strength three of the following conditions exist:
(b) sulfates and acids in ground or
and durability and follow recognised • there is a high moisture level in the
groundwater
standards and practices. Alternatively, concrete, and
Sulfates and other chemicals can cause
mixes in accordance with the following • there is an alkali source, and
expansion and disruption of concrete.
guidance will be acceptable. (This applies • the aggregate contains an alkali reactive
Also, high acidity, for example in peat, or
to plain and reinforced concrete whether constituent.
permeable soil with acidic groundwater,
precast or in-situ.)
can cause damage to concrete. Where
(f) exposure to climate and atmosphere
Tables 1, 2a and 2b of Appendix 2.1-A list concrete is at risk from chemical attack
Five exposure conditions are given in Table
uses of concrete, mix specifications and from the ground or where the ground
3 of Appendix 2.1-A which corresponds to
the mix proportions for Standardised water is highly mobile the level of sulfate
Table 3.2 of BS 8110-1. Table 1 of Appendix
Prescribed mixes as described in BS 8500 and other chemicals should be determined,
2.1-A gives guidance on the strength
and BS EN 206. Table 3 of Appendix 2.1-A in terms of the ACEC Class (Aggressive
class of concrete suitable for particular
describes the exposure environments and Chemical Environment for Concrete Class)
exposures for superstructure elements.
examples where they may occur. Tables 4a in accordance with BRE Special Digest
Further guidance may be obtained from
and 4b in Appendix 2.1-A give guidance on 1. For the higher ACEC classes specialist
BS 8110-1.
selecting mixes for concrete elements in advice should be sought to determine the
aggressive ground. Design Chemical Class (DC Class) for the Any concrete mix should be designed for
concrete element and any appropriate the conditions expected:
(b) choice of supplier of ready-mixed Additional Protective Measures (APM) • at the geographical location of the site,
concrete which may be required. The mix and
Ready-mixed concrete will only be specification should then be selected from • at the location of the element in the
acceptable from suppliers who operate a Table A.7 of BS 8500-1. structure.
full quality control system which ensures
that the concrete specified is delivered. For lower levels of ACEC Class (AC-1, The higher the concrete grade, the greater
AC-1s, AC-2, AC-2s and AC-2z) the mix its resistance to:
Suppliers of ready-mixed concrete who specification may be selected using Tables • chemical attack, and
operate under the Quality Scheme for 4a and 4b in Appendix 2.1-A. • mechanical wear.
Ready-Mixed Concrete (QSRMC) or BSI
Kitemark scheme are acceptable. Other (c) chlorides Air entraining agents can effectively
suppliers of ready-mixed concrete may Chlorides in concrete are likely to increase reduce the risk of frost damage to cured
be accepted if their operations are to an the risk of corrosion of embedded metal concrete.
equivalent quality standard acceptable to and can also reduce the resistance of
NHBC. concrete to chemical attack. (g) overall performance
In addition to the items listed above,
All concrete materials contain some durability of concrete is dependent upon:
MIX DESIGN chlorides. For concrete mixes, the limits • correct control of the water/cement ratio
2.1 - D3 The concrete mix shall be on chloride content in fresh concrete are • full compaction of the placed concrete
specified correctly given in BS EN 206-1, Table 10. • good curing.
Concrete mixes should be specified in Cured concrete may also be damaged by
accordance with BS 8500-1. Concrete exposure to:
mixes for particular end uses in housing • chlorides in the ground
applications may be selected from Table 1 • sea spray, or
in Appendix 2.1-A or Table A.7 of BS 8500-1 • products used for de-icing highways.
as either:
Where these conditions might occur, follow
• Designated mix, which is supplied ready-
the guidance in relevant documents.
mixed, or

2007 Chapter 2.1 Page 


2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

REINFORCED CONCRETE The effects of carbonation on concrete the manufacturer’s recommendations,


are to increase porosity and decrease including the stated dosage.
2.1 - D5 Reinforced concrete shall be alkalinity. When alkalinity is reduced below
2.1

designed to ensure adequate durability Air entraining agents increase the air void
a certain level steel reinforcement can
content and thereby the frost resistance of
Items to be taken into account include: rust.
cured concrete, but do not prevent fresh
(a) loading Carbonation cannot be prevented. The concrete freezing in cold weather.
Reinforced concrete should be designed by risk of reinforcement corroding can be
an Engineer in accordance with Technical Admixtures should not be relied upon to
reduced by providing as great a concrete
Requirement R5. prevent freezing. Retarding agents can, in
cover as possible; and by ensuring that wet
fact, increase the risk of frost damage.
concrete is of good quality and properly
BS 8103-4 can be used for the design
compacted, so reducing the rate of Admixtures containing chloride should
of suspended ground floors in houses,
carbonation. never be used in reinforced concrete.
bungalows and garages.
2.1 - D6 Reinforcing steelwork shall be
(b) end restraint
properly and clearly detailed, specified PROVISION OF
Where the ends of slabs are cast
monolithically with concrete members, and scheduled INFORMATION
surface cracking may develop over the The steel specification should indicate the 2.1 - D9 Designs and specifications shall
supports. Reinforcement should therefore steel type, grade and size. Drawings and be produced in a clearly understandable
be provided in accordance with BS 8110-1. bending schedules should be prepared in format and include all relevant
accordance with BS 4466 and include all information
(c) cover necessary dimensions for completion of
For concrete not designed by an Engineer the sitework. Items to be taken into account include:
in accordance with Technical Requirement (a) ground aggressivity
R5, the minimum cover for reinforcement Any ground aggressivity to concrete
should be: SPECIAL TYPES OF should be indicated as:
Position of the Minimum cover [mm]
CONCRETE • Design Sulfate Class (DS Class)
concrete 2.1 - D7 Special types of concrete shall • Aggressive Chemical Environment for
be appropriate for their use Concrete Class (ACEC Class)
In contact with the 75
ground Propriety concrete, no-fines or lightweight (b) strength and durability
In external conditions 50 concrete should be of a quality and density Concrete performance depends as much
Cast against a dpm 40 appropriate for their conditions of use. on how the cured concrete element is
on sand blinding produced as on the composition of the
Against adequate 40
If used for a structural purpose, the design concrete.
blinding concrete should be in accordance with Technical
Requirement R5, and the concrete mix The concrete specification should indicate
In protected or 25
internal conditions
design should be properly detailed. clearly any requirements which are of
specific importance, such as:
If no-fines concrete is used, a render,
• strength
cover coat or cladding should be applied
(d) fire resistance • maximum free water/cement ratio and/
to the finished structure, unless otherwise
Concrete cover to reinforcement should or minimum cement content
acceptable under Technical Requirement R3.
be adequate not only for the exposure • consistence class (e.g. slump)
conditions but also, where necessary, to Proprietary methods of reinforcement, • air content (if required)
resist fire. Requirements for fire resistance eg glass fibre, should be assessed in • aggregate size
are given in BS 8110-1. accordance with Technical Requirement R3. • colour.
Cover of 20mm will normally provide up (c) mix design and Additional Protective
to one hour fire resistance for columns, ADMIXTURES Measures (APM)
simply supported beams and floors. 2.1 - D8 Admixtures shall only be Drawings and specifications for concrete
used to enhance the performance and work should include:
(e) blinding
durability of concrete • specification of mix designs (concrete
Blinding concrete should be used only in
Items to be taken into account include: strength class)
the following situations:
• details of any Additional Protective
• to protect the bottom of the trench/ (a) improved workability
Measures.
excavation if there is a delay in pouring (b) waterproofing
structural concrete (c) foaming agents (d) reinforcement and movement joints
• to provide sufficient support to Drawings and specifications for concrete
(d) accelerated strength
ensure that cover to reinforcement is work should include:
maintained (e) retardation
• cover to reinforcement
• where the foundation has been slightly (f) chlorides
• reinforcement, plans, sections and
overdug bending schedules
• where localised soft spots have been Admixtures should only be specified in full
• reinforcement details at supporting
removed. knowledge of how each one works, and any
edges
limitations on their use.
• camber in beams and slabs, where
(f) carbonation
Admixtures are permitted in accordance appropriate
Carbonation is of concern in reinforced
with BS EN 206-1. • reinforcement around openings
concrete because it reduces the corrosion
• movement joints.
protection given to the reinforcement by Where admixtures are permitted, they
the concrete. should be used strictly in accordance with

Page  Chapter 2.1 2007


Concrete and its reinforcement 2.1
(e) formwork READY-MIXED CONCRETE Air entraining admixtures should not be
Information should be included on: used in Standardized Prescribed concrete
• formwork materials and features 2.1 - M2 Ready-mixed concrete shall be mixes.

2.1
• joints in accordance with the design and shall
• mould release agents be chosen to ensure sufficient strength REINFORCEMENT
• holes for services. and durability
2.1 - M4 Reinforcement shall be in
Concrete which is to be left untouched Ready-mixed concrete should be ordered
accordance with the design
or with minimum finishing may require to a detailed specification conforming to
BS 8500 and BS EN 206-1. Reinforcement should comply with:
detailed formwork drawings indicating
the position and detail of joints between When Designated mixes are used, the BS 4449 Specification for carbon steel
shutters, corners and other critical ready-mix supplier will only require the mix bars for the reinforcement of
junctions. designation, and consistence class. concrete
BS 4482 Specification for cold reduced
(f) finish
Information should include details of final SITE-MIXED CONCRETE steel wire for the reinforcement
of concrete
finishing treatment. 2.1 - M3 Materials for site-mixed BS 4483 Specification for steel fabric for
concrete shall be in accordance with the the reinforcement of concrete
(g) testing
design and shall be chosen to ensure BS 6744 Specification for austenitic
Information should include:
sufficient strength and durability stainless steel bars for the
• number and frequency of samples to be
reinforcement of concrete.
taken Items to be taken into account include:
• test laboratory arrangements (a) cement or cementitious material
• recording of results. Cement and combination and combination
types should be as:
(h) curing and protection SITEWORK STANDARDS
Information should include: Table 1 of BS 8500-2 and should conform
to the Standards quoted therein and in 2.1 - S1 All sitework shall:
• requirements for curing and striking
the case of combinations to Annex A of BS (a) meet the Technical Requirements
formwork
8500-2. (b) take account of the design
• minimum period that should elapse
(c) follow established good practice and
before striking/removal of formwork
(b) aggregates workmanship
• minimum periods of curing
Aggregates should comply with:
• minimum periods of protection. Sitework that complies with the design and
BS EN 12620 Aggregates for concrete. the guidance below will be acceptable for
2.1 - D10 All relevant information shall the use of concrete and its reinforcement.
be distributed to appropriate personnel Aggregates should consist of any types of
coarse and/or fine aggregate as specified. Adequate concrete performance depends
Ensure that design and specification as much on how the cured concrete
Aggregates supplied as a mixture of
information is issued to site supervisors element is produced as on the composition
different sizes should be proportioned to
and relevant specialist subcontractors of the concrete.
ensure a reasonable consistency.
and/or suppliers.
Certain types of aggregate are shrinkable
and require special precautions in mixing STORAGE OF MATERIALS
as described in BRE Digest 357. 2.1 - S2 Materials shall be properly
MATERIALS STANDARDS stored to avoid impairing the
Certain types of aggregate may be
2.1 - M1 All materials shall: performance of the finished concrete
susceptible to alkali attack or excessive
(a) meet the Technical Requirements moisture movement. Unfamiliar materials Where materials need to be stored, the
(b) take account of the design should be checked and precautions taken, following precautions should be taken:
Materials that comply with the design and where necessary. Aggregate Carbon Range • store cement in a dry place
the guidance below will be acceptable for (ACR) should not exceed the specified • store each type of cement separately
concrete and its reinforcement. limits if required for use in concrete • follow the cement manufacturer’s
subject to aggressive sulfate ground recommendations on maximum storage
Materials for concrete and its conditions. time
reinforcement should comply with all • store different sizes of aggregate in
relevant standards, including those listed Proprietary aggregates should only be
separate bays
below. Where no standard exists, Technical specified where they have been assessed
in accordance with Technical Requirement R3. • keep sand and aggregate clean
Requirement R3 applies (see Chapter
• keep sand and aggregate dry - where
1.1 ‘Introduction to the Standards and
(c) water this is not possible, allowance must
Technical Requirements’).
Water from the mains is acceptable. Water be made in the concrete batching for
References to British Standards and Codes from other sources should meet: moisture in the sand and aggregate.
of Practice include those made under the
BS EN 1008 Mixing water for concrete. For precautions during cold weather,
Construction Products Directive (89/106/
reference should be made to Chapter 1.4
EEC) and, in particular, appropriate (d) admixtures ‘Cold weather working’.
European Technical Specifications Admixtures, other than air-entraining
approved by a European Committee for
Standardisation (CEN).
admixtures, should comply with: BLINDING CONCRETE
BS EN 934-2 Admixtures for concrete
mortar and grout - Concrete admixtures 2.1 - S3 Blinding concrete shall be used,
- Definitions, requirements, conformity, where required, to aid construction
marking and labelling. Blinding concrete should only be used in
the following situations:

2007 Chapter 2.1 Page 


2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

• to protect the bottom of the trench/ (especially shutter releasing agents and Supports should be placed not more
excavation if there is a delay in pouring oils) before, during and after placement. than one metre apart or closer where
structural concrete necessary.
2.1

• to provide sufficient support to ensure (b) shape of bars


Site bending should be carried out with Spacers for parallel bars should be
cover to reinforcement is maintained
the proper machinery for the job, whether staggered to avoid creating a plane of
• where the foundation has been slightly
hand-operated or powered. weakness in the concrete.
overdug
• where localised soft spots have been (c) placing of bars
removed. Bars should be bent and placed as shown
on the drawings.
FORMWORK spacers staggered
to avoid planes
Reinforcement should be laid so that the of weakness
2.1 - S4 Formwork shall be structurally main reinforcing bars are parallel to the
adequate and constructed in a span or as detailed in the design.
workmanlike manner
Slab reinforcement should be located
Items to be taken into account include: near the bottom of the slab, with the main
(a) setting out reinforcing bars usually placed first and
Where formwork is necessary, it should be the secondary bars on top. For beams, the
set out in relation to relevant reference main reinforcing bars should be placed Supports for top steel should be chairs (or
lines and benchmarks. Accuracy is inside the links. other proprietary products).
essential to ensure that the cover to the
reinforcement is as specified.
mild steel
supporting
(b) support of working loads span top layer
The formwork and its supports should
be rigid enough to maintain the correct
position and to withstand all extra loads
and accidental knocks likely to occur when
concrete is placed and compacted.
main bars
Wedges, inserts and boxes should be firmly
secured to avoid displacement during secondary bars
vibration.

(c) finish
For concrete which is to be left untreated
or with minimum finishing, the tightness of
formwork joints is particularly important
For details of reinforcement for suspended
to avoid grout loss and resulting ragged
ground floor slabs, reference should be
edges.
made to Chapter 5.2 ‘Suspended ground
Joints between shutters should be (d) lapping bars and mesh floors’ (Design).
constructed for easy stripping. Reinforcing bars or mesh should always
be lapped in accordance with their size 2.1 - S6 All installations and final
Any holes for bolts or spacers should and type, as indicated by the designer, to preparations shall be completed before
be drilled with care to avoid disfiguring ensure that the loading is fully transferred concreting starts
or splintering the formwork surface and across the lap. Any additional laps require Before concreting starts, all services,
giving a poor finish. the designer’s approval. ducts, inserts, etc to be embedded in the
(d) striking concrete should be installed and, where
(e) cover for bars
Formwork should be capable of being appropriate, tested.
Particular attention should be given
struck without damage to the concrete. to maintaining adequate cover for the All inserts, box-outs, cast-in fixings, etc
Formwork should be dismantled without reinforcement, especially for concrete in should be checked for correct positioning
shock, disturbance or damage to the exposed positions or in the ground. Check and secured.
concrete. Support for loadbearing that the cover is adequate for stirrups as
well as for the main bars, and that no ties The formwork should be cleaned out
elements should not be removed until the and checked for fallen debris, especially
concrete has achieved sufficient strength, or clips protrude into the cover.
nails and wire clippings. The completed
as detailed by the designer. reinforcement should be checked and,
Props under suspended floors or beams where necessary, approved by the designer
should be released from the centre, cover measured
or his representative.
between links
outwards to avoid overloading. and formwork
READY-MIXED CONCRETE
REINFORCEMENT 2.1 - S7 Ready-mixed concrete shall
2.1 - S5 All reinforcement shall be in be ordered to ensure it achieves the
(f) support of reinforcement required design strength and durability
accordance with the design
Cover spacers should be made of concrete
Items to be taken into account include: (eg broken concrete paving slabs) or ready When ordering ready-mixed concrete all
made of steel or plastic. Concrete cover requirements according to the design,
(a) condition of reinforcement
spacers should be not more than 50 x 50mm. including reference to Appendix 2.1-A,
Check that reinforcing bars are clean, and
should be specified.
free from loose rust and contaminants

Page  Chapter 2.1 2007


Concrete and its reinforcement 2.1
The concrete should be a GEN mix, FND reference. Proof of testing, with allied (f) compaction
mix or RC mix ordered in accordance with documentation, should be made available Concrete should be consolidated
Appendix 2.1-A Tables 1 and 4b. to NHBC upon request. A ready-mix according to the design and specification

2.1
concrete supplier should take test cubes, requirements.
Check the delivery ticket to ensure that
as required, for his quality assurance
the concrete meets the requirements given Reinforced concrete should be fully
procedures.
in the design. compacted using poker vibration unless
the design states otherwise. Poker
ON-SITE CONCRETE MIXING CASTING vibration should be carried out by
2.1 - S10 Concrete shall be cast so as to experienced operators to ensure complete
2.1 - S8 Concrete shall be mixed to coverage and avoid honeycombing.
achieve the required design strength and
achieve the required design strength and
durability Vibrating beams or hand tamping may be
durability
Items to be taken into account include: used to consolidate slabs up to 150mm
Items to be taken into account include: thick, unless the design details otherwise.
(a) transportation
(a) mixing methods
Concrete should be deposited as close as Excessive use of vibration can cause
Except for very small quantities, a
possible to its final location. Transportation segregation and prevent concrete reaching
mechanical mixer should be used. If hand
on site should be as fast and efficient as an adequate strength.
mixing, add an extra 10% of cement to the
possible in order to avoid segregation and
quantities shown in Tables 2a and 2b in
to ensure full compaction of the placed (g) protection after placing
Appendix 2.1-A.
concrete. Freshly poured concrete should be kept
(b) admixtures moist by covering as soon as the surface
(b) low temperatures is hard enough to resist damage. This is
Admixtures should be used only where
The temperature of the concrete at the particularly important in hot, windy or
permitted in the specification. Dosages
point of use should not be less than 5°C cold weather to prevent the surface drying
should be strictly in accordance with the
(41°F). out too rapidly or freezing. Damp hessian,
manufacturer’s instructions and should
be tested in trial mixes, where necessary. Fresh concrete is susceptible to frost damp sharp sand or an impervious sheet
Admixtures should, wherever possible, be damage. Freezing can cause internal (such as polyethylene) are acceptable
added to the mix water to ensure complete damage that is not immediately obvious. as surface coverings. An alternative is
dispersal. During cold weather, either stop working to apply a curing agent to the surface of
or follow the recommendations given in concrete.
Do not overdose concrete with admixtures
Chapter 1.4 ‘Cold weather working’.
- use the correct dosage.
CURING
(c) placing
Plasticizers can improve concrete cohesion 2.1 - S11 Concrete shall be adequately
Site-mixed concrete should be placed
and the bond with reinforcement. cured to achieve full design strength
within 30 minutes, and ready-mixed
Air entraining agents increase the air void concrete within 2 hours, of water being Check the design to see if there are any
content of the cured concrete and can help added to the cement. special requirements for curing concrete.
produce a more frost resistant surface.
Additional water should not be added to No load should be allowed on the work
They are recommended for paths, drives
ready-mixed concrete unless under the until the concrete has cured sufficiently.
and pavements which are likely to be
supervision and approval of the supplier.
exposed to freezing conditions. It is recommended that plain unreinforced
Concrete should not be placed in or under
Accelerators produce early setting of the water, unless it has been specially designed concrete made with ordinary Portland
concrete. No admixture should be relied for that use. cement is left for at least 4 days to cure.
upon as an anti-freeze for fresh concrete. It is possible to proceed with substructure
For details about concreting at low Concreting should, wherever possible, masonry above strip or trench fill
temperatures, reference should be made to be carried out in one operation, taking foundations on unreinforced ordinary
Chapter 1.4 ‘Cold weather working’. account of: Portland cement concrete at an early
• weather conditions, stage, provided care is taken to protect the
Admixtures containing chlorides can cause • available daylight, and surface from damage.
metal corrosion and should never be used • time to allow for surface finishing.
in reinforced concrete. Reinforced concrete, or concrete
(d) avoiding construction joints containing cement replacements, such as
Concrete cast in one operation (ie without PFA, will require a longer curing period.
TESTING construction joints) should not be greater This will normally be 7 days and the
2.1 - S9 Testing, where required, shall than the following, and should always be as concrete structure should not be loaded
be carried out to the full satisfaction of square in shape as possible: during this period.
NHBC • reinforced concrete 60m2
Any curing agents should comply with
Where testing is necessary to ensure that • unreinforced concrete 16m2.
Technical Requirement R3 and should be
concrete is to the strength required by Sufficient concrete should be mixed/ applied strictly in accordance with the
the design, ie with Designed mixes, UKAS ordered, so that it can be placed in a manufacturer’s instructions. Curing agents
approved laboratories should be used. continuous process. Construction joints should never be used on floors which are
should be formed only if unavoidable and to receive either a topping or a screed, as
Concrete test cubes should be prepared as
then in consultation with the Engineer. it could affect the future bond.
requested by the Engineer. These should
be marked, cured and stored safely until Before work continues beyond the joint, all
Curing periods may be extended at low
testing. Tests should be carried out in shuttering should be removed.
temperatures, as described in Chapter 1.4
accordance with BS EN 12390. ‘Cold weather working’.
(e) joints in foundations
Proof of testing with reports and Joints should not be positioned next to a
certificates, should be kept for later return in the foundation.

2007 Chapter 2.1 Page 


2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

Appendix 2.1-A
2.1

Table 1 - General purpose concrete mixes - minimum concrete specification (non-hazardous


conditions)
Use BS 8500 and BS EN 206-1
  Ready-mixed concrete Site-mixed concrete Consistence class
(Designated mix) (Standardised Prescribed mix)
Substructure and ground floors GEN1 ST2 S3
• rough blinding (non-structural)
• infill
• unreinforced oversite concrete below timber floors

• structural blinding and overbreak GEN1 ST2 S3/S41


• strip foundations
• trench fill
• other mass concrete foundations
• fill to wall cavity
• solid filling under steps

• house floors not designed as suspended and not


reinforced
- permanent finish to be added eg screed or floating GEN1 ST2 S2
floor
- no permanent finish to be added eg carpet GEN2 ST3 S2

• garage floors not designed as suspended and not GEN3 ST4 S2


reinforced

• house and garage ground floor slabs


- fully or nominally reinforced, either ground bearing, RC35 ST52 S2
suspended or over sub-floor voids

Superstructure
• general reinforced concrete exposure class3 to BS
8500-1
- nominal cover to reinforcement of 25mm plus a
tolerance of +10mm
- XC1 (dry) and XC2 (wet, rarely dry) RC30 4
S2
- XC3 (moderate humidity), XC4 (cyclic wet and dry) RC40 - S2
and XF1 (freeze/thaw attack and no de-icing agent)
- nominal cover to reinforcement of 30mm plus a
tolerance of +10mm
- Any exposure class (XC1-4 and XF1) RC35 5
S2

In-situ external concrete


• drives and paths PAV1 ST56 S2
• foundations for precast concrete paving slabs GEN1 ST1 S1

Notes
1 Consistence class S3 should be used for strip foundation concrete and Consistence class S4 should be used for trench fill foundation
concrete.
2 ST4 mix for house and garage floors may only be used in conjunction with Chapter 5.2 ‘Suspended ground floors’. In all other cases the
designated mix should be used.
3 Exposure classes (XC1-4 and XF1) are defined in BS 8500-1 Table A.1.
4 In this situation an ST4 mix may be used but only for small quantities of concrete. In all other cases the appropriate designated mix should
be used.
5 In this situation an ST5 mix may be used but only for small quantities of concrete. In all other cases the appropriate designated mix should
be used.
6 Not suitable in areas of severe exposure to frost attack (see Chapter 6.1 Appendix B). This is equivalent to Exposure Class XC4 above.

Page  Chapter 2.1 2007


Concrete and its reinforcement 2.1
Tables 2a, 2b and 2c - Site-mixed concrete for Standardised Prescribed Mixes

2.1
Table 2a - Mix proportions by weight
This table applies to cement strength class 32.5 and 20mm maximum aggregate size. Where cement strength class 42.5 or higher is used the
cement weight should be decreased by 10%.

Standardised Consistence Class Cement Fine aggregate Coarse aggregate


Prescribed Mix (see Table 2c) (kg) (kg) (kg)
ST1 S1 230 770 1155
ST2 S2 265 760 1135
ST2 S3 285 735 1105
ST2 S4 300 815 990
ST3 S2 295 745 1120
ST4 S2 330 735* 1100
ST5 S2 375 720* 1080

Table 2b - Mix proportions by volume


This table applies to 20mm maximum aggregate size

Cement Standardised Consistence Class Number of (25 kg) Fine aggregate Coarse aggregate
strength class Prescribed Mix (see Table 2c) bags of cement (litres) (litres)
32.5 ST1 S1 1 60 85
ST2 S2 1 50 75
ST2 S3 1 45 70
ST2 S4 1 50 60
ST3 S2 1 45 65
42.5 or higher ST1 S1 1 65 95
ST2 S2 1 55 80
ST2 S3 1 50 75
ST2 S4 1 55 65
ST3 S2 1 50 75

Table 2c - Consistence classes

Consistence class Consistence (slump) in mm


S1 10 to 40
S2 50 to 90
S3 100 to 150
S4 160 to 210

Notes
* Fine aggregate grading to be grades CP or MP only of BS EN 12620.

Table 3 - Exposure conditions


Environment Exposure conditions
Mild Concrete surfaces completely protected against weather or aggressive conditions
Moderate Exposed concrete surfaces but sheltered from severe rain or freezing wind whilst wet
Concrete surfaces continuously under non-aggresive water
Concrete in contact with non-aggressive soil (AC-1 and AC-1s classes)
Concrete subject to condensation
Severe Concrete surfaces exposed to severe rain, alternate wetting and drying or occasional freezing or severe condensation
Very severe Concrete surfaces exposed to sea water spray, or de-icing salts (directly or indirectly)
Concrete surfaces exposed to corrosive fumes or severe freezing conditions whilst wet
Most severe Concrete surfaces frequently exposed to sea water spray or de-icing salts (directly or indirectly)
Concrete in sea water tidal zone down to 1m below lowest water

Notes
This table is based on Table 3.2 of BS 8110-1. For very severe and most severe exposure conditions follow guidance in relevant documents
explained in Design clause 2.1-D4.

2007 Chapter 2.1 Page 


2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

Tables 4a and 4b - Buried concrete in aggressive ground


2.1

Tables 4a and 4b are based on extracts from BS 8500-1 & 2 and BRE Special Digest 1. They cover the lower range of chemical aggressiveness.
For concrete exposed to more aggressive conditions, specialist advice should be sought. For the purposes of Chapter 2.1 the following
terminology is used. Other related terms, which might be encountered in specialist reports, are described in BRE Special Digest 1.

Table 4a - Aggressive Chemical Environment for Concrete (ACEC) site classification(1)


This table applies to concrete exposed to ground with a pH value greater than 2.5

Sulfate and magnesium Natural soil Brownfield(3)


Design 2:1 Water/soil Groundwater Total Static water Mobile Static Mobile ACEC Class
Sulfate extract Potential water water water for site
Class for Sulfate(2)
site
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
SO4 Mg SO4 Mg SO4 pH pH pH(4) pH(4)

g/l g/l g/l g/l %

DS-1 <1.2 All Mg <0.4 All Mg <0.24 All pH values All pH values AC-1s
values values
>5.5 >6.5 AC-1

≤5.5 5.5-6.5 AC-2z

4.5-5.5 AC-3z

<4.5 AC-4z

DS-2 1.2-2.3 All Mg 0.4-1.4 All Mg 0.24-0.6 >3.5 >5.5 AC-1s


values values
>5.5 >6.5 AC-2

≤3.5 ≤5.5 AC-2s

≤5.5 5.5-6.5 AC-3z

4.5-5.5 AC-4z

<4.5 AC-5z

Notes
1 For concrete quality and APM for ACEC Classes above AC-2z follow specialist advice. For the full list of ACEC Classes refer to Table A.2 of BS
8500-1 or BRE Special Digest Part 1 Table 2.
2 Applies only to sites where concrete will be exposed to sulfate ions (SO4) which may result from the oxidation of sulphides such as pyrite,
following ground disturbance.
3 ‘Brownfield’ is defined as sites which may contain chemical residues remaining from previous industrial use or from imported wastes.
4 An additional account is taken of hydrochloric and nitric acids by adjustment to sulfate content.

Explanation of suffix symbols to ACEC Class number


• Suffix s indicates that, as the water has been classified as Static, no Additional Protective Measures are generally necessary.
• Concrete placed in ACEC Classes which include the suffix z have primarily to resist acid conditions and may be made with cements from any
of the Groups in Table 3 of Part 2 of BRE Special Digest 1.
This table is based on Table 2 of Part 1 of BRE Special Digest 1.

Page  Chapter 2.1 2007


Concrete and its reinforcement 2.1
Table 4b - Design guide for concrete elements in the ground

2.1
Concrete element ACEC Class(1) Designated mix
Strip or trenchfill foundation, raft foundation, pile(3) and AC-1, AC1s As Table 1
ground beams
AC-2, AC2s FND2(2)
AC-2z FND2z(2)

Notes
1 For all other ACEC Classes refer to BS 8500-1 Table A.4 or follow specialist advice.
2 Portland limestone cement may only be used if the Design Sulfate Class (see Table 4a) of
the site does not exceed DS-1.
3 Applies to cast-in-situ piles only and for other types of pile refer to BRE Special Digest 1 or
follow specialist advice.

Glossary of terms
Aggressive Chemical Environment for Concrete Classification (ACEC Class) - A new
system for the classification of aggressive ground conditions that are derived from Design
Sulfate Class. It takes into account the site (natural or brownfield) and the mobility and pH
of groundwater. Brownfield, ‘Mobile’ water and low pH (acidic) conditions, may have adverse
effects on buried concrete and hence result in a more severe ACEC Class.
Additional Protective Measures (APM) - These are defined as the extra measures that
could be taken to protect concrete where the basic concrete specification might not give
adequate resistance to chemical attack.
Design Chemical Class (DC Class) - This defines the qualities of concrete that are
required to resist chemical attack. The DC Class is derived from the ACEC Class of the
ground and other factors including the type of concrete element and its required structural
performance.
Design Sulfate Class (DS Class) - It is a site classification based on the determined sulfate
(including Potential sulfate) contents of the ground and/or groundwater. It is also dependent
of the type of site, presence or absence of magnesium ions, pyrite and for pH less than 5.5
chloride and nitrate ions. Five levels of classification are given that are equivalent to those
given in BRE Digest 363 (now superseded).
Enhanced concrete quality - An incremental step in concrete quality that could be used as
an Additional Protective Measure (APM). Each increment in concrete quality is counted as an
extra APM.
Mobile groundwater - Sites where water is free to flow into an excavation to give a standing
water level are affected by mobile ground water. The threshold ground permeability is
greater than 10-6 m/s (i.e. 86 mm/day).
Static groundwater - The sites where the free flow of water is confined due to either
permanently dry condition or the soil is relatively impermeable, of permeability less than 10-6
m/s.
Total Potential Sulfate (TPS) - The total potential sulfate content is the result of the
combination of sulfates already present in the ground and that which may be added due to
the oxidation of pyrite in the ground.

2007 Chapter 2.1 Page 


2.1 Concrete and its reinforcement

INDEX
2.1

A F S
ACEC class 8, 9 Finish 3 Site-mixed concrete 3, 5, 7
Acids 1 Fire resistance 2 Sitework standards 3
Admixtures 2, 3, 5 Formwork 3, 4 Special types of concrete 2
Aggregates 1, 3 G Standardised prescribed mixes 1, 6, 7
Alkali-silica reaction 1 General purpose mixes 6 Storage of materials 3
APM 2, 9 Glossary of terms 9 Sulfates 1, 9
B Ground aggressivity 2 T
Blinding 2, 3 J Testing 3, 5
C Joints 2, 3, 5 Transportation 5
Carbonation 2 L W
Cement 3, 8 Loading 2 Water 3
Chlorides 1, 2
M
Compaction 5
Mix design 1
Cover 2, 4
Mixing methods 5
Curing 3, 5
P
D Placing 5
Design standard 1
Protection 3, 5
Designated mixes 1, 6
Performance 2
Durability 2
R
E Ready-mixed concrete 1, 3, 4
Exposure 1, 7
Reinforced concrete 2
Reinforcement 2, 3, 4

Page 10 Chapter 2.1 2007


Part 2 Materials

Chapter 2.3
Timber preservation (natural solid timber)
2.3 Timber preservation (natural solid timber)

CONTENTS SCOPE
2.3

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Design standards D1 1 Requirements and recommendations for the protection of
natural solid timber against fungal decay when exposed to
Statutory requirements D2 1
damp conditions and against insect attack.
Durability D3 1
Method of treatment D4 1
Compatibility with metal components D5 1 LIMITATIONS
MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 1 This Chapter only refers to treatment of natural solid timber.
It does not relate to timber products such as plywood and
wood particle boards.
SITEWORK
This Chapter only gives acceptable treatment schedules and
Sitework standards S1 1
does not cover:
Protection and storage S2 1 • condition of the timber before treatment
Treatment of cut surfaces S3 1 • techniques of operating the treatment process, which is
the responsibility of the organisation carrying out the
APPENDIX 2.3-A operation.

Table 1 - Timber component groups and 2


preservative treatment (based on BS 8417)
Table 2 - Natural durability of building 3
timbers (heartwood only)
APPENDIX 2.3-B
Additional sources of information 3

INDEX 4

Page  Chapter 2.3 2007


Timber preservation (natural solid timber) 2.3
(7-14 days). In situations where occasional
DESIGN STANDARDS dampness is expected, metal fittings in SITEWORK STANDARDS

2.3
contact with timber treated with copper
2.3 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical 2.3 - S1 All sitework shall:
containing preservatives should be
Requirements (a) comply with the Technical
galvanized. Where timber treated with
Requirements
Design that follows the guidance below copper containing preservatives is likely to
(b) take account of the design
will be acceptable for timber selection and become wet, fittings of austenitic stainless
(c) follow established good practice and
preservation. steel should be used.
workmanship
Copper containing treatments can create
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS a corrosive cell between mild steel and
Sitework that complies with the design and
the guidance below will be acceptable for
2.3 - D2 Timber and its preservative aluminium.
timber preservation.
treatment shall comply with all
statutory requirements Timber treated with copper containing
preservations should be re-dried to a
Design should be in accordance with MATERIALS STANDARDS moisture content of 20% for at least 7 days
relevant Building Regulations and other before being in contact with metal fittings.
2.3 - M1 All materials shall:
statutory requirements.
(a) comply with the Technical In situations where occasional dampness
Requirements
DURABILITY (b) take account of the design
is expected, metal fittings in contact with
timber treated with copper containing
2.3 - D3 Timber and joinery used in the preservatives should be galvanized. Where
Materials that comply with the design and
construction of dwellings shall either timber treated with copper containing
the guidance given in Appendix 2.3-A will
have adequate natural durability or, preservatives is likely to become wet,
be acceptable for timber preservation.
where treatment is undertaken, receive fittings of austenitic stainless steel should
a satisfactory preservative treatment The specification should state the specific be used.
against fungal decay and insect attack treatment and standard required.
Check that when delivered to site, timber
Timber and external joinery should be Preservative treatments should comply and joinery products have received the
either: with all relevant standards and Codes specified treatment. This should be stated
• naturally durable and resistant to insect of Practice. Proprietary treatments on the delivery note.
attack, or not contained in this Chapter or in
• treated with preservative in accordance British Standards should comply with
with this Chapter. Technical Requirement R3 (see Chapter
PROTECTION AND STORAGE
1.1 ‘Introduction to the Standards and 2.3 - S2 Timber and joinery shall be
Appendix 2.3-A provides information stored and protected to ensure it is in a
Technical Requirements’).
to establish whether or not treatment suitable condition when installed in the
is necessary for a particular element In all cases, preservatives must meet the dwelling
or timber species and also the type of requirements of the Control of Pesticides
treatment. Regulations (1986) administered by the It is important when timber and joinery
Health and Safety Executive. products are stored that they are:
• protected from damage immediately
METHOD OF TREATMENT The safety instructions published by the upon delivery
2.3 - D4 The method of treatment and manufacturers should be followed. • protected from the weather
treatment process shall reasonably • stored off the ground
References to British Standards and Codes
ensure that the timber is safely and • stored in a way which limits the risk of
of Practice include those made under the
satisfactorily protected against fungal distortion
Construction Products Directive (89/106/
decay and insect attack • stored so that air can circulate freely
EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
around them.
For timber or joinery which requires European Technical Specifications
treatment, it is important that it is carried approved by a European Committee for
out to appropriate standards which are Standardisation (CEN). TREATMENT OF CUT
both suitable and safe. Treatments in
Where copper/chromium containing SURFACES
accordance with procedures set out in
preservatives (CC, CCP or CCB) have been 2.3 - S3 Timber which has been
British Standards, Codes of Practice or
used, it is important that metal fittings preservative treated and cut shall be
which have been satisfactorily assessed
are not applied to the timber until the re-treated on the cut surfaces
by an independent authority, will be
salts of the treatment have been “fixed”
acceptable, unless otherwise notified in Timber should not be cut after treatment
(7-14 days). In situations where occasional
writing. but where this is unavoidable (either at the
dampness is expected, metal fittings in
contact with timber treated with copper treatment plant or on site) all cut surfaces
COMPATIBILITY WITH containing preservatives should be should be given two liberal applications of
a suitable colour tinted preservative. The
METAL COMPONENTS galvanized. Where timber treated with
purpose of the colour tinting is to enable
copper containing preservatives is likely to
2.3 - D5 Measures shall be taken become wet, fittings of austenitic stainless checks to be made that re-treatment has
to prevent adverse effects from steel should be used. been carried out.
incompatibility between metal
Only in situations where colour tinting will
components and treated timber
affect the appearance of the timber when
Where copper/chromium containing fixed to the dwelling will clear preservatives
preservatives (CC, CCP or CCB) have been be acceptable for this purpose.
used, it is important that metal fittings
are not applied to the timber until the The site applied preservative should be
salts of the treatment have been “fixed” compatible with the original treatment.

2007 Chapter 2.3 Page 


2.3 Timber preservation (natural solid timber)

Appendix 2.3-A
2.3

Table 1 - Timber component groups and preservative treatment required (based on BS 8417)
Component group Examples Hazard Desired Preservative type required (see note 1) Preservative
class service treatment not
life required:
Copper Organic Boron
containing Solvent or
Microemulsion
Internal joinery, Architraves, internal 1 60 unless a specific request
intermediate floor joists doors, intermediate for treatment against
floor joists insect attack has been
made
Roof timbers (dry) Pitched roofs: rafters, 1 60 unless a specific request
purlins, joists, wall for treatment against
plates insect attack has been
made
Roof timbers (dry) Ditto 1 60 Where timber used is:
in areas with house • softwood - heartwood
longhorn beetle only (see note 2) and of
durability class 1 - 3 (see
note 3) or
• hardwood
Roof timbers (risk of Flat roofs joists, sarking, 2 60 Where timber used is
wetting) tiling battens, valley heartwood only (see note
boards, timbers exposed 2) and of durability class 1
to risk of condensation - 2 (see note 3)
Roof timbers (risk of Ditto 2 60 Where timber used is
wetting) in areas with heartwood only (see note
house longhorn beetle 2) and of durability class 1
- 2 (see note 3)
External walls/ground Timber frames, ground 2 60 Where timber used is
floors floor joists, l-beam heartwood only (see note
studwork 2) and of durability class 1
- 2 (see note 3)
External joinery, coated Window frames, door 3 30 (see note 5) Where timber used is
(not in ground contact) frames, doors, cladding heartwood only (see note
(see note 4) (coated), soffits, fascias, 2) and of durability class 1
barge boards - 3 (see note 3)
Uncoated external Decking, balcony infill, 3 15 Where timber used is
timbers (not in ground cladding (uncoated) heartwood only (see note
contact) 2) and of durability class 1
- 2 (see note 3)
Timber in contact with Decking timber in 4 15 Where timber used is
the ground ground contact, timber heartwood only (see note
below dpc 2) and of durability class 1
- 2 (see note 3)

Notes to table 1
1 Preservative treatment of timber should be in accordance with the recommendations of BS 8417. For preservatives listed in the supplement
to the BWPDA Manual treatment recommendations are given in table 9, BS 8417.
2 Almost always, packs of timber contain sapwood. It should be assumed that timber is sapwood and preservative treated accordingly unless
the timber has been specifically selected as heartwood only.
3 Natural durability classes are given in table 2.
4 The hardwoods known as Meranti, Seraya or Lauan should be treated in the same way as European redwood / Scots Pine when used for
joinery.
5 Generally, copper containing preservatives are not used for treating joinery items, but they can be used to treat claddings which are to be
coated.

Page  Chapter 2.3 2007


Timber preservation (natural solid timber) 2.3
Table 2 - Natural durability of building timbers (heartwood only) Appendix 2.3-B

2.3
Durability Class Timber Type Timber Species
1. Very durable Softwoods None Additional sources of
Hardwoods Opepe
Padauk-Andaman information
Afromosia
BS 8417 Preservation of Timber -
Greenheart
Guarea Recommendations.
Iroko
Jarrah BS EN 599 - Part 1 Durability of wood
Okan and wood-based products - Performance
Pyinkado of preventive wood preservatives as
Teak - Malaysian determined by biological tests - Part 1:
Kapur - Sabah
- Burma Specification according to hazard class.
Padauk - White
Peroba BWPDA Manual. The British Wood
2. Durable Softwoods Cedar - Western red (imported) Preserving & Damp-proofing Association,
1 Gleneagles House, Vernongate, Derby
Hardwoods Basralocus DE1 1UP Tel: 01322 225100;
Ekki
Chestnut - Sweet Email: info@bwpda.co.uk
Karri, Kempas
Louro - Red
Oak - American White
- European
Mahogany - American
3. Moderately durable Softwoods Pine - Caribbean pitch
Cedar - Western red (UK)
Fir - Douglas (North American)
- Douglas (UK)
- Dunkeld (UK)
Larch - European
- Hybrid
- Japanese
- Tamarack
- Western
- Maritime
Pine - American pitch
Hardwoods Keruing - Sabah
- Malaysian
Oak - Tasmanian
- Turkey
Mahogany - African
4. Slightly durable Softwoods Fir - Noble
- Silver
Pine - Canadian red
- Corsican
- Jack
- Parana
- Ponderosa
- Radiata
- Scots
- Southern
- Western white
- Yellow
Redwood - European
Fir - Balsam
- Grand
Hem-fir - USA and Canada
Pine - Lodgepole
Spruce - Eastern Canadian
- Engelmann
- European (Whitewood)
- Sitka
- Western white
Spruce-pine-fir - Canada
Hardwoods Elm - Dutch
- English
- White
Oak - American red
Beech - Silver
Elm - Rock
- Wych
5. Not durable Softwoods None
Hardwoods Alder
Beech - European
Birch - Silver
- European
- Paper
- Yellow
Chestnut - European horse
Lime
Sycamore

2007 Chapter 2.3 Page 


2.3 Timber preservation (natural solid timber)

INDEX
2.3

A H S
Additional sources of information 3 Hardwoods 3 Sapwood 2
C Hazard class 2 Softwoods 3
Compatibility with metal 1 Health and safety executive 1 Storage of timber 1
components House Longhorn beetle 2 T
Component group 2 I Timber elements 2
Control of pesticides regulations 1 Insect attack 1 Timber type 3
Cut surfaces 1 M Timber species 3
D Method of treatment 1 V
Desired service life 2 Moderately durable timber 3 Very durable timber 3
Durability 1 N
Durable timber 3 Natural durability 3
E Non-durable timber 3
External wall timbers 2 O
External woodwork 2 Organic solvent 2
F P
Flat roofs 2 Pitched roofs 2
Floors 2 Preservation 2
Fungal decay 1 Protection 1

Page  Chapter 2.3 2007


Part 4
Foundations

4.1 Land quality - managing ground


conditions

4.2 Building near trees

4.3 No longer allocated

4.4 Strip and trench fill foundations

4.5 Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations

4.6 Vibratory ground improvement


techniques
Part 4 Foundations

Chapter 4.1
Land quality - managing ground conditions
4.1 Land quality - managing ground conditions

CONTENTS SCOPE

Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical


Objectives Requirements and recommendations for assessing the site
with regard to managing the ground conditions.
Procedural summary 1
PROCEDURAL FLOW CHART 2
DESIGN
Initial assessment
Desk study D1 3
Walkover survey D2 3
Results D3 4
Where hazards are not suspected
Basic investigation D4 4
Where hazards are suspected
4.1

Detailed investigation D5 4
Managing the hazards D6 5
Documentation and validation D7 5
Unforeseen hazards D8 6

APPENDIX 4.1-A
References 6
APPENDIX 4.1-B
Potential hazards and associated risks 7
APPENDIX 4.1-C
Site investigation techniques 8
APPENDIX 4.1-D
“Suitable persons” and “Consultants or 9
Specialists”

INDEX 9

Hazardous sites
Builders are reminded that where a site* is hazardous,
NHBC Rules state that, they must notify NHBC in writing
at least 8 weeks before work begins.
Failure to provide NHBC with information about
hazardous sites may result in a delay in processing the
registration, hold up construction work on site and the
issue of the 10 year cover.
* Site is defined in NHBC Rules as an area of land which is
covered by a single detailed planning consent.

Page  Chapter 4.1 2007


Land quality - managing ground conditions 4.1
Objectives Procedural summary
This chapter provides a framework The processes to assess and manage the
for managing geotechnical and ground conditions are:
contamination issues with the objective of • illustrated in the Procedural flowchart,
ensuring that: and
• all sites are properly assessed and • described in detail in the pages that
investigated follow.
• foundations and substructure designs
are suitable for the ground conditions Useful references are contained in
• sites are properly remediated where Appendix 4.1-A.
necessary or appropriate design
Initial assessment (Clauses D1 to D3)
precautions are taken, and
NHBC requires all sites to be assessed by a
• appropriate documentation and
Desk study and a Walkover survey.
validation can be provided to NHBC.
The Results should be used to determine
Assessment of geotechnical and whether or not hazards are known or
contamination issues suspected.
Assessment should be carried out by
direct investigation and examination of the Basic investigation (Clause D4)
ground, supplemented where necessary Where hazards are not suspected a basic

4.1
by results of laboratory testing on samples investigation will be required to support
obtained. the results of the initial assessment.

Examples of potential hazards and Detailed investigation (Clause D5)


associated risks relating to geotechnical Where hazards are known or suspected a
and contamination issues are listed in detailed investigation will be required.
Appendix 4.1-B.
Further investigation
Additionally, contaminated land should be Where the results of the basic investigation
assessed using the following framework: or detailed investigation are inconclusive,
further site investigation will be required.

a substance or group
Where hazards are found (Clause D6)
of substances with Where hazards are identified, design
the potential to cause precautions or remediation will be required
source
significant harm to minimise their effects.
Documentation and validation (Clause D7)
NHBC will require documentation to show
that:
• the site has been properly assessed and
pathway

a route by which a investigated


source could reach • where necessary, suitable precautions
a target
are incorporated into the design
• all necessary remediation has been
carried out.
Unforeseen hazards (Clause D8)
that which could be If any unforeseen hazards are found
significantly harmed during the course of construction, further
target by the source investigation may be required.

2007 Chapter 4.1 Page 


4.1 Land quality - managing ground conditions

Procedural flowchart
INITIAL ASSESSMENT
• DESK STUDY
• WALKOVER SURVEY
• RESULTS

HAZARDS
NO KNOWN OR YES
SUSPECTED?

BASIC DETAILED
INVESTIGATION INVESTIGATION
4.1

FURTHER FURTHER
INVESTIGATION YES INVESTIGATION
REQUIRED? REQUIRED?

NO NO

ARE
MANAGE HAZARDS
YES
HAZARDS FOUND?

DOCUMENTATION NO
AND VALIDATION

COMMENCE
CONSTRUCTION

UNFORESEEN
YES
HAZARDS?

NO

COMPLETE
CONSTRUCTION

Page  Chapter 4.1 2007


Land quality - managing ground conditions 4.1
DESIGN STANDARDS INITIAL ASSESSMENT
Is there cracking or stickiness of
WALKOVER STUDY
the surface which may indicate a
INITIAL ASSESSMENT 4.1 - D2 A walkover survey of the shrinkable sub-soil?
site and the surrounding area shall be
DESK STUDY
undertaken by a suitable person
4.1 - D1 A desk study of the site and the
surrounding area shall be undertaken by A walkover survey is a direct inspection of Are there sudden changes in
the site and the surrounding area carried conditions e.g. clay to chalk or
a suitable person
soil to rock?
out in conjunction with the desk study.
A desk study is the collection and
examination of existing information Look for indications of any potential
obtained from a wide variety of sources. hazards to provide a basis for the (c) surface water and ground water
investigation.
It should indicate any potential hazards at
an early stage and provide a basis for the A photographic record of the site can help Is a high water table indicated,
investigation. in the reporting of the walkover survey. e.g. by waterlogged ground?

A suitable person, as described in A suitable person, as described in


Appendix 4.1-D, should carry out the desk Appendix 4.1-D, should carry out the
study. walkover survey.
Are there any signs of flooding?

4.1
Items to be taken into account include: Items to be taken into account include:
(a) soils, geology, surface water and (a) topography
ground water
Investigate the soils, geology, surface
water and ground water of the site and What is the significance of any Are there any reeds or water-
surrounding area. abrupt changes in slope? loving plants?

(b) use of the site and surrounding area


Research the current use and history of
the site and surrounding area to assess the Are there any valley bottoms or
depressions which may be soft Are there any springs, ponds,
potential problems including those which wells, ditches or streams?
or filled?
may have been left by:
• industrial, commercial and agricultural
uses including storage
• mining Is there evidence of overburden Is there any discoloured water?
• quarrying on slopes? What is its source?
• landfilling and tipping.
Some sites may have been associated with
more than one process.  egetation (which may indicate the
(d) v
Is there excavation at the base of nature of the soils)
(c) sources of information a slope?
Refer to key sources of information
including: Is the vegetation sparse, dead or
dying?
• the Environment Agency or its
equivalent, for example coastal erosion, Are there any signs of landslip,
landfill sites, details of water abstraction e.g. tilting trees, posts or walls?
• the Local Authority, for example
What is the type and condition
planning and environmental health of vegetation on land adjoining
• county records offices, libraries, the site?
museums, and local history sources Is there evidence of imported soil,
tipped material or rubbish? Is it
• the utility companies
hot? Does it have an odour?
• the Coal Authority
- mining reports - past, present and What are the species, height and
proposed mining condition of the trees?
• the British Geological Survey Are there signs of local
- maps and information subsidence?
• soil survey maps
• the Ordnance Survey What are the species, height,
spread and condition of hedges
- current and previous editions of plans and scrub on clay?
and aerial photographs. (b) soils and rocks

The above list is not exhaustive and local


sources may be relevant. What is the basic type of ground?
Is there evidence of former trees,
(d) existing site information hedges or scrub on clay?
Review all available information from:
• the vendor of the site
Is there any evidence of peat,
• previous in-house information
silt or other highly compressible
• ongoing monitoring. material at or below the surface?

2007 Chapter 4.1 Page 


4.1 Land quality - managing ground conditions

(e) structural information Sites where hazards are not Where there is any doubt about the
condition of the ground a detailed
suspected investigation should be carried out
Is there evidence of damage (see 4.1 - D5).
to structures, e.g. cracking in
buildings, on or around the site?
BASIC INVESTIGATION
FURTHER INVESTIGATION
4.1 - D4 A basic investigation of the
If the basic investigation reveals the
site shall be carried out and recorded by
presence of geotechnical and/or
a suitable person to the satisfaction of
contamination hazards further assessment
Is there other evidence of NHBC
movement? is required and a detailed investigation
Where the results of the initial assessment should be carried out (see Clause D5).
indicate that hazards are not suspected on
the site, this should be substantiated by Now refer to Clause D7, Documentation
carrying out a basic investigation. and Validation.
Is there evidence of any
structures or services below
ground? This approach is to provide assurance for Sites where hazards are
all sites, regardless of how free of hazards
they may appear. suspected
(f) local information Only suitable persons with the skills and DETAILED INVESTIGATION
knowledge described in Appendix 4.1-D
4.1

should carry out the basic investigation. 4.1 - D5 Where hazards are suspected
‘A few years back Is there local knowledge of the a detailed investigation of the site shall
there was a tip in
the area.’ site e.g. mining, refuse tipping, The following provides a specification for be carried out, under the supervision
flooding?
the basic investigation for all sites. of a consultant or specialist acceptable
to NHBC, to determine and report on
Trial pits should be located so as to be
the nature and extent of all hazardous
representative of the site. (For more
Are there local industrial history
detailed information refer to BS 5930.) ground conditions
records indicating past and
present uses of the site? A detailed investigation should be carried
The number and depth of trial pits needed
out where:
depends upon:
• hazards are suspected from the outset
• the proposed development
• the initial assessment identified hazards,
Do local place names and street • how inconsistent the soil and geology is
WATER LANE or
names give clues e.g. Brickfield across the site
• the basic investigation identified
Cottage, Water Lane? • the nature of the site.
hazards.
The depth of the trial pits should not
The basic (geotechnical and
usually be less than 3m.
contamination) investigation should form
INITIAL ASSESSMENT the minimum requirement for any site
Items to be taken into account include:
RESULTS investigation.
(a) geotechnical investigation
4.1 - D3 The results of the desk study (see Appendix 4.1-C) In addition to the basic investigation, the
and walkover survey shall be recorded
detailed investigation should:
and evaluated by a suitable person A basic geotechnical investigation should
• adopt a structured and staged approach
be carried out. This will include trial pits
A suitable person, as described in • gather information based on clearly
and, where they do not provide sufficient
Appendix 4.1-D, should record the results defined stages of investigation
information, boreholes will be necessary.
of the initial assessment and evaluate • consider the immediate site and the
whether hazards are suspected. Physical tests, such as plasticity index adjacent area
tests, should be carried out as appropriate • take into account the possibility of
The record should include the following as
to support the results of the initial future development in the vicinity of the
appropriate:
assessment. site
• site plans with dates, showing:
• consider the nature of the development
- previous uses of the site Trial pits should be located outside the • consider the complexity of the ground
- current uses of the site likely foundation area. The distance from conditions
- the proposed site layout the edge of the foundation should not be • consider the presence of soil gas; if
• details of the geology of the site from: less than the trial pit depth. there is any possibility of gas being
- geological maps
(b) contamination investigation present, then a full gas investigation
- previous site investigations
(see Appendix 4.1-C) should be carried out, which should
- laboratory test results
include flow measurements
• photographs of the site to show A basic contamination investigation • provide a clear understanding of the
particular points of interest or concern, should be carried out as part of the problems, and an understanding of the
(e.g. areas of ground instability), with basic geotechnical investigation. This liabilities, which have to be managed in
dates should consist of sampling and testing order to develop the site
• copies and interpretation of aerial of soil taken from trial pits during the • consider:
photographs, with dates geotechnical investigation, as found to be - the surface water and groundwater
• a list of sources of information necessary from the outcome of the initial conditions
consulted (e.g. Environment Agency, assessment. - the soils and geology, and
Coal Authority, etc.) and copies of the
- the previous site history.
information obtained. During the excavation of the trial pits the
use of sight and smell may help to identify A consultant or specialist acceptable to
certain contaminants. NHBC should be appointed to:

Page  Chapter 4.1 2007


Land quality - managing ground conditions 4.1
• design and supervise the detailed - biological means All sites
investigation - chemical means
• present all the factual data obtained - thermal means. DOCUMENTATION AND
from the detailed investigation.
(c) site location VALIDATION
Guidance for the appointment of a The identification of any constraints
consultant or specialist is given in associated with the site and surrounding 4.1 - D7 Documentation and validation
Appendix 4.1-D. area which could restrict design shall be provided to the satisfaction of
precautions or remediation techniques NHBC that the site is suitable for the
proposed development
MANAGING THE HAZARDS should be identified and specified.
Items to be taken into account include:
4.1 - D6 Any hazardous ground (d) timescale (a) geotechnical assessment
conditions shall be satisfactorily Time constraints may influence the WHERE GEOTECHNICAL HAZARDS
managed under the supervision of a solution chosen since some techniques are ARE PRESENT
consultant or specialist acceptable to very time consuming. This should not alter
NHBC should be provided with design
NHBC the requirement for effective remediation.
proposals to overcome the hazards.
As appropriate, the consultant or specialist (e) consultation
acceptable to NHBC should: (b) contamination assessment
In order to avoid abortive works it is
• identify any results which show that WHERE CONTAMINATION HAZARDS
important that the requirements of all
design precautions and/or remediation ARE NOT PRESENT
statutory authorities are met by the

4.1
may be necessary proposed solution for the site. Evidence to substantiate that the site is
• carry out a risk assessment to determine
not suspected to be hazardous may be
appropriate design precautions and/or REMEDIATION asked for.
remedial treatment (f) method statement
• specify the options for remediating any The method statement should detail the WHERE CONTAMINATION HAZARDS
contamination that may be present and proposed remediation strategy for the site. ARE PRESENT
provide a remediation statement
• make recommendations as to The statement should include the following NHBC should be provided with design
appropriate design precautions including details: proposals to overcome the hazards.
any ground improvement techniques as • original risk assessment, identification of
Radon gas
necessary the remediation objectives and outline
Where the site is within an area
• make recommendations on appropriate information of the method chosen
susceptible to radon it will be necessary
precautions for all underground services • remediation objectives for ground,
to follow appropriate guidance in Building
serving the site groundwater and soil gas
Regulations and associated documents.
• ensure the works are appropriately • working method for implementation of
supervised the remediation The following table indicates the
• produce a remediation report. • waste classification and methods for documentation required by NHBC.
controlling and disposing of waste
Items to be taken into account include: • proposed supervision and monitoring of
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS remediation
• all validation sampling and testing to be
(a) design precautions
implemented.
Solutions for dealing with geotechnical
hazards include the following: (g) reports
• specialist foundations: The report should include the following
- piling and ground beams information:
- rafts • photographic records, especially
• ground improvement techniques: for work which will be buried (e.g.
- vibro membranes)
- dynamic compaction • site diaries or drawings, environmental
- surcharging. supervisor’s site diary, and independent
witness statements where appropriate
(b) remediation techniques
• accurate surveys of the levels and
Solutions for dealing with contamination
position of all remediated areas
hazards include the following:
• a description of any remedial materials
• risk avoidance - treatment to reduce the
used
risk to the target by changing pathway
• details of soil movements and waste
or isolating the target by:
transfer notes
- changing layout
• results of post-remediation sampling;
- building protective measures into
laboratory certificates should be
construction
provided in appendices
• engineering based - treatment to
• validation test results
remove or isolate the contaminants or
• monitoring results
modify the pathway by:
• details of all consultations and meetings
- excavation
with statutory authorities.
- providing ground barriers
- covering and capping Now refer to Clause D7, Documentation
• process based - treatment to remove, and Validation.
modify, stabilise or destroy the
contaminants by:
- physical means

2007 Chapter 4.1 Page 


4.1 Land quality - managing ground conditions

Documentation required by NHBC


  No Geotechnical Contamination Geotechnical
geotechnical or hazards hazards and
contamination present (but no present (but no contamination
hazards present contamination geotechnical hazards present
hazards) hazards)
Initial
assessment
and basic
investigation
Detailed  
investigation
results
Proposals    
to manage
geotechnical
hazards
Proposals    
4.1

to manage
contamination

UNFORESEEN HAZARDS
4.1 - D8 Where any additional or unforeseen ground conditions are found during
construction, the builder shall ensure that they are investigated and managed to the
satisfaction of NHBC

As construction proceeds, additional or unforeseen hazards may be found. For example, it is


possible to have undetected hazards which are missed by the site investigation.
Where additional or unforeseen hazards are found additional specialist advice is required so
that the hazard is properly investigated, managed and validated.

APPENDIX 4.1-A
References
BRE: 
Report BR211 - ‘Radon: Guidance on protective measures for new dwellings’
Report BR212 - ‘Construction of new buildings on gas-contaminated land’
Report BR376 - ‘Radon: guidance on protective measures for new dwellings in Scotland’
Report BR413 - ‘Radon: guidance on protective measures for new dwellings in Northern
Ireland’
Report BR414 - ‘Protective measures for housing on gas-contaminated land’
Digest 383 - ‘Site investigation for low-rise buildings: Soil description’
Special Digest 1 - ‘Concrete in aggressive ground’
BSI:
BS 5930 - Code of practice for site investigations
BS 10175 - Investigation of potentially contaminated sites - Code of practice
CIRIA:
Special publications 101 - 112 - Remedial treatment for contaminated land
DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), its predecessor departments
and the EA (Environment Agency):
CLR Reports and CLEA (Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment) guidance, Software,
Soil Guideline Values and Toxicological Reports
Industry Profiles - information on the processes, materials and wastes associated with
individual industries
Waste Management Paper No 27 - The Control of Landfill Gas
EA/NHBC R&D Publication 66 - Guidance for the safe Development of Housing on Land
Affected by Contamination.

Page  Chapter 4.1 2007


Land quality - managing ground conditions 4.1
APPENDIX 4.1-B
Examples of potential hazards and associated risks
Potential hazard Associated risk
High water table or low lying land Flooding.
Effects from sulfates or toxic or noxious materials which
could be concentrated or transported by ground water.
Mining, past, present and proposed Ground movement which will depend on the type of
workings and materials extracted.
Existence of methane and carbon dioxide.
Solution features in chalk and limestone Underground cavities.
including swallow holes
Trees Shrinkage and heave of clay soils. See Technical
Requirement R5.
Physical damage caused by roots.
Peat Acid attack.
Changes in volume due to variations in moisture content.

4.1
Production of methane and carbon dioxide.
Low bearing capacity ground Settlement of foundations and sub-structures.
Infill and made ground including tipping Release of gases which may be explosive or asphyxiating.
Low bearing capacity causing settlement.
Former buildings or structures Underground obstructions producing variations in bearing
capacity and settlement characteristics.
Adjacent buildings Effect on stability of both the new and existing buildings.
Existing drains, including land drains Contamination, flooding, waterlogging and interruption of
land drainage systems.
Sulfates in ground or ground water Expansive reaction.
Chemical attack on concrete, mortar and bricks or blocks
made with cement.
Unstable ground subject to landslip Ground movement.
Seas, lakes and rivers adjacent to land Erosion.
Contamination Substances which may be:
• carcinogenic
• toxic
• asphyxiating
• corrosive
• phytotoxic
• combustive
• explosive
• radioactive.

2007 Chapter 4.1 Page 


4.1 Land quality - managing ground conditions

Sampling
APPENDIX 4.1-C The number and type of samples taken
and tests which are carried out for any
Site investigation techniques particular investigation are designed to
(In accordance with the recommendations be appropriate to the range of ground
of BS 5930 Site Investigations) materials encountered and to the
development which is planned. This is
Site investigation normally comprises a based on the results of the desk study, the
combination of the following: walkover survey and the site investigation.
Direct investigation Samples should always be taken, stored
These techniques involve actual and transported carefully to avoid cross
examination of the ground using the contamination.
following methods of investigation:
a) trial pits Samples can be taken of:
Trial pits allow the detailed inspection, a) soils and rocks
logging, sampling and in-situ testing of Samples from trial pits and boreholes are
large volumes of natural soil or fill and the taken to enable soil and rock descriptions
assessment of ground water conditions. to be made and to provide material for
physical and chemical testing.
b) trenches
4.1

Trenches are extended trial pits or linked Samples of soils may be either ‘disturbed’
trial pits which are excavated where (that is, not retaining the original structure
greater exposure of the ground conditions and consistency) or ‘undisturbed’. Having
is required. undergone minimal disturbance, it follows
that ‘undisturbed’ samples provide a
Trial pits and trenches should be more reliable indication of physical soil
positioned where they will not affect future properties than ‘disturbed’ samples.
foundations.
b) groundwater
c) boreholes Samples of groundwater are taken from
• Shell and auger trial pits, trenches and boreholes for
The conventional equipment used in the chemical testing.
UK to drill boreholes in soils and weak
rocks is the light cable percussion rig, c) gas
often referred to as the shell and auger Gas sampling may be carried out in
rig. boreholes, from standpipes which have
• Continuous flight auger been installed in trial pits or boreholes or
Exploratory boreholes may also be from spike-holes which have been driven
drilled in soils by mechanical continuous into the ground.
flight augers of various sizes.
• Rotary drilling Testing
Rotary drilling is used to investigate a) in-situ testing
rock and sometimes stiff soils such A wide variety of in-situ tests can be used
as Boulder Clay. The two basic rotary to support the results of direct testing.
methods are open-hole drilling and These range from basic tests undertaken
rotary coring. by geologists or engineers using simple
hand-held devices to elaborate methods
d) probes that require specialist personnel and
Probing techniques can be used for the equipment.
analysis of the relative density of soils
and also for environmental sampling and b) laboratory testing
monitoring (such as chemical and physical It is important that testing is undertaken
testing of gases, liquids and solids). using quality assured procedures by
laboratories which are UKAS accredited for
Indirect investigation these tests.
Geophysical techniques (for example,
electromagnetic, resistivity, seismic, Physical tests on soil and rock materials
gravity and ground radar) provide indirect are carried out to provide the following
interpretations of ground conditions. These information on ground:
measure from the surface, variations in • strength
properties of the ground both horizontally • relative density
and vertically and hence attempt to define • deformation
subsurface conditions. • settlement
• consolidation characteristics
Geophysical methods rely for their • permeability.
effectiveness on marked contrasts in
the physical properties being measured. Chemical tests on soils, rocks, groundwater
The required contrasts are provided by and gases can be carried out to provide an
boundaries between distinctive strata with indication of potential contamination on
different properties (for example, between the site.
sand and gravel and rockhead). Definable
contrasts may also be provided by faulting,
underground cables and pipelines or by
cavities.

Page  Chapter 4.1 2007


Land quality - managing ground conditions 4.1
APPENDIX 4.1-D
“Suitable persons” and “consultants or specialists”
SUITABLE PERSONS
The following skills and knowledge are required by the person responsible for the Initial Assessment (Clause D3), Basic Investigation
(Clause D4) and Documentation and Validation (Clause D7):

• be able to carry out a desk study and walkover survey


• understand the hazards that can affect the development and know from where they originate
• know how to collect information relating to such hazards on and adjacent to the site
• be able to recognise the signs of potential hazards
• be able to determine when specialist advice and detailed testing is required, and
• be able to report the findings in a clear and concise manner.

CONSULTANTS OR SPECIALISTS
The following criteria should be used as guidance for the appointment of a consultant or specialist responsible for the Detailed
Investigation (Clause D5), management of hazards (Clause D6) and Documentation and Validation (Clause D7):

4.1
Experience has experience with similar types of site and development
Appropriate discipline(s) a thorough understanding of all the relevant skills required on the project and has access to the skills of other disciplines including
chemists, geologists, hydrogeologists and environmental chemists
Project management ability to manage a project team consisting of the appropriate disciplines
Communication able to communicate effectively within their organisation, with the client, statutory authorities and the general public
Reporting can prepare comprehensive and well presented reports
Legislation understands the legislation and liabilities associated with the area of the United Kingdom in which the development is being
carried out
Quality assurance has an appropriate quality management system and uses appropriately accredited laboratories
Risk management can carry out risk assessments as part of the risk management process
Site investigation can design site investigation programmes which include soil sampling, testing and laboratory analysis
Health and safety is fully aware of all occupational hygiene issues and health and safety legislation
Engineering design understands effective risk reduction techniques e.g. engineered foundations and sub-structure details or suitable remediation
Professional indemnity has, and maintains, appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance for the work being carried out.
insurance

INDEX
A I T
Assessment 1 Initial assessment 1, 3, 4, 9 Target 2
B O U
Basic investigation 1, 4, 9 Objectives 1 Unforeseen hazards 2, 9
C P
Pathway 1 V
Consultant 5, 9
Potential hazards 7 Validation 2, 9
Contamination 5
Contamination hazards 4, 5 ,7 Procedural flow chart 1, 2 W
Procedural summary 1 Walkover survey 2, 4, 5, 10,
D
12, 14
Design considerations 5 R
Desk study 1, 3, 4, 9 Remediation 5
Detailed investigation 1, 4, 9 Results 1, 4, 5, 8, 9
S
Documentation 1, 5, 6, 9
Site investigation 8
F techniques
Further investigation 1, 4 Source 1
G Specialist 4, 5, 9
Geotechnical hazards 5, 6 Suitable person 3 ,4, 9
H
Supervision 4, 5
Hazards 1, 3, 4, 5 ,6, 7,
8, 9

2007 Chapter 4.1 Page 


Part 4 Foundations

Chapter 4.2
Building near trees
4.2 Building near trees

CONTENTS SCOPE

Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical


INTRODUCTION 1 Requirements and recommendations when building near
trees, hedgerows and shrubs, particularly in shrinkable soils.

DESIGN
Design standards D1 1 INTRODUCTION
Statutory requirements D2 1
Trees and hedgerows adjacent to D3 1
structures The combination of shrinkable soils and trees, hedgerows
or shrubs represents a hazard to structures that requires
Foundations (all soil types) D4 1 special consideration. Trees, hedgerows and shrubs take
moisture from the ground and, in cohesive soils such as
Foundations (shrinkable soils) D5-D7 1-3 clay, this can cause significant volume changes resulting
Designing to accommodate heave D8 4 in ground movement. This has the potential to affect
4.2

Provision of information D9 5 foundations and damage the supported structure. In order


to minimise this risk, foundations should be designed to
accommodate the movement or be taken to a depth where
MATERIALS
the likelihood of damaging movement is low.
Materials standards M1 5
Proprietary heave materials M2 5 This Chapter gives guidance for common foundation types
to deal with the hazard and includes suitable foundation
depths which have been established from field data,
SITEWORK research, NHBC data and practical experience. The depths
Sitework standards S1 5 are not those at which root activity, desiccation and ground
Foundation depths S2 5 movement are non existent but they are intended to provide
an acceptable level of risk. However, if significant quantities
Excavation for foundations S3 6
of roots are unexpectedly encountered in the base of the
Heave precautions S4 6 trench, the excavation may need to be deepened.
Drainage S5 7
The interaction between trees, soil and buildings is
dependent on many factors and is inherently complex. The
APPENDIX 4.2-A relationship becomes less predictable as factors combine to
Water demand and mature height of 8 produce extreme conditions. These are signified by the need
trees for deeper foundations. Depths greater than 2.5m indicate
APPENDIX 4.2-B that conditions exist where prescriptive guidance is less
reliable.
Foundation depth charts 9
APPENDIX 4.2-C The following situations are beyond the scope of the
guidance in this Chapter and will require a site specific
Foundation depth tables 13
assessment by an Engineer (see Technical Requirement R5):
APPENDIX 4.2-D • foundations with depths greater than 2.5m within the
Climate zones 19 influence of trees
APPENDIX 4.2-E • ground with a slope of greater than 1 in 7 (approximately
8°) and man made slopes such as embankments and
Information sources and 20
cuttings
acknowledgements
• underpinning.
APPENDIX 4.2-F
Worked example 21 Consideration has been given to the potential effects of
climate change in the guidance provided.

INDEX 23 The services of a specialist arboriculturalist may be helpful


for the identification of the type and condition of trees that
may affect building work. This includes trees both on and
adjacent to the site.

Page  Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
species of the tree. An arboriculturist Shrinkable soils are widely distributed
DESIGN STANDARDS may be required to assess these factors throughout the UK. Local geological survey
• ensuring services are not routed close maps may give relevant information.
4.2 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical to trees or, where this is impractical, are
Requirements installed in such a way as to minimise (b) soil classification
Design that follows the guidance below root damage. For the purposes of this Chapter,
will be acceptable for building near trees, shrinkable soils are those containing more
Further guidance is given in BS 5837. than 35% fine particles and having a
hedgerows and shrubs.
(c) allowance for physical growth of modified Plasticity Index of 10% or greater.
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS young trees Fine particles are defined as those having
Direct damage due to the growth of the a nominal diameter less than 60µm, ie.
4.2 - D2 Design shall comply with all main trunk and roots of young trees
relevant statutory requirements clay and silt particles.
should be avoided by locating structures
Design should be in accordance with and services at a safe distance from the The Plasticity Index (Ip) of a soil is a
relevant Building Regulations and other trees. Further guidance is given in BS 5837. measure of its volume change potential
statutory requirements Where this cannot be achieved precautions and is determined by Atterberg Limits
should be taken to allow for future growth. tests. These tests are carried out on the
TREES AND HEDGEROWS For example: fine particles and any medium and fine
sand particles. Soil particles with a nominal
ADJACENT TO STRUCTURES • foundations should be reinforced to

4.2
diameter greater than 425µm are removed
resist lateral forces by sieving beforehand. The percentage of
4.2 - D3 The design shall take account
• walls or structural slabs should bridge particles smaller than 425µm is routinely
of trees and hedgerows and their growth   
over the roots allowing sufficient reported for Atterberg Limits tests. This is
Items to be taken into account include: clearance for future growth or be a requirement of BS 1377, which specifies
(a) removal of existing trees and reinforced to avoid cracking the test procedure.
hedgerows • pavings and other surfaces should be
Dead trees and dead hedgerows should laid on a flexible base to allow for some The Modified Plasticity Index (I’p) is
be removed. Unstable trees should be movement. defined as the Plasticity Index (Ip) of
made stable but where this is not possible the soil multiplied by the percentage of
they should be felled. If in doubt, advice FOUNDATIONS (all soil types) particles less than 425µm.
should be obtained from a Registered
Arboriculturalist. 4.2 - D4 Foundations for all soil types
shall be designed to transmit loads to  
Acts of Parliament, planning conditions, the ground safely and without excessive Modified Plasticity Index is related to
conservation area restrictions or tree movement volume change potential as shown in Table 1.
preservation orders may mean that trees
and hedgerows are protected and must Foundations for all soil types should be Table 1 Volume change potential
be retained. The local planning authority designed and constructed in accordance
with Chapter 4.1 ‘Land quality - managing Modified Plasticity Volume change
should be consulted. Index potential
ground conditions’ and other relevant
(b) protection of remaining trees and Chapters of the Standards (depending on 40% and greater High
hedgerows site specific conditions). 20% to less than 40% Medium
Most of a tree’s root system is within 600mm l0% to less than 20% Low
of the surface and extends radially for Different foundation types should not
distances often in excess of the tree’s height. be used to support the same structure
unless the foundations and superstructure Alternatively the Plasticity Index may be
All parts of the root system are vulnerable used without modification. For pure clays
to damage and once damaged, roots may design are undertaken by an Engineer (see
Technical Requirement R5). and other soils with 100% of particles less
not regenerate. Extensive root damage may than 425µm the result will be the same.
impair the stability of the tree. The remainder of this Chapter gives However, for mixed soils such as glacial
Root damage and tree instability can be additional guidance that applies when tills, use of the modified Plasticity Index
caused by: building near trees, hedgerows and shrubs may result in a more economic design.
• stripping topsoil too close to trees on shrinkable soils as defined in Clause D5(b).
For further information about the modified
• excavating trenches for foundations and Plasticity Index refer to BRE Digest 240.
services too close to trees FOUNDATIONS (shrinkable soils)
• raising soil levels adjacent to trees, The volume change potential should be
4.2 - D5 The design shall make
particularly where non-granular established from site investigation and
allowance for the effect of trees and
materials are used reliable local knowledge of the geology.
hedgerows on shrinkable soils
• compaction of soil around trees by
Items to be taken into account include: Sufficient samples should be taken to
heavy plant
provide confidence that the test results are
• storage of heavy materials around trees (a) shrinkage and heave
representative of the soil volume change
• covering rooting area with impervious Shrinkable soils are subject to changes
potential for the site. If in doubt use the
surfaces. in volume as their moisture content
higher value of volume change potential.
is altered. Soil moisture contents vary
Trees should be protected from damage by:
seasonally and are influenced by a number If the volume change potential is unknown,
• a fence or barrier. The fence or barrier
of factors including the action of tree high volume change potential should be
should extend around a single trunk
roots. The resulting shrinkage or swelling assumed.
equivalent to a circle of radius 12 times
the trunk diameter measured 1.5m above of the soil can cause subsidence or heave
damage to foundations, the structures (c) water demand of trees
ground level. The shape of this area may
they support and services. Heave Water demand varies according to tree
change depending on specific factors
precautions are described in Clause D8. species and size.
such as local drainage, soil type, age and

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 


4.2 Building near trees

Appendix 4.2-A gives the water demand Figure 1 Tree height H to be used for D8 and their design takes account of
categories of common tree species. particular design cases Clause D7:
• strip
Where the species of a tree has not been
mature height • trench fill
identified, high water demand should be
• pier and beam
assumed. In this range use
H = mature height • pile and beam
as listed in
Where the species of a tree has been Appendix 4.2-B • raft.
identified but is not listed, the following
Variations to the foundation depths
assumptions may be made for broad leafed 50% mature height
derived from this Chapter may be
trees:
permitted where other foundation depths
• high water demand - all Elms, In this range use are traditionally acceptable or where
Eucalyptus, Hawthorn, Oaks, Poplars and H = actual height
necessary to take account of local ground
Willows
conditions, provided that they can be
• moderate water demand - all others.
supported by a design in accordance with
Where trees are not listed in Appendix Technical Requirement R5.
Figure 1 should be used when:
4.2-A, information may be obtained from • deriving foundation depths when trees have been removed (use Root barriers are not a reliable means
suitable alternative authoritative sources tree height at time of removal - see Design clause 4.2 - D5(a))
• checking the appropriate level from which depths should be of reducing the effects of trees on
(see Appendix 4.2-E). measured when trees remain and ground levels are increased (use
tree height at time of construction relative to original ground foundations in shrinkable soils and are not
4.2

Tree identification can be assisted by level - see Figure 5) an acceptable alternative to the guidance
• determining whether heave precautions should be provided
reference to a tree recognition book (see (use tree height at time of construction - see Design clause 4.2 - given in this Chapter.
D8(b) and (c)).
Appendix 4.2-E).
Freestanding masonry walls should be
For the purposes of this Chapter, the zone Where trees have undergone or are constructed on foundations in accordance
(i.e. lateral extent) of influence of trees is to undergo heavy crown reduction or with this Chapter or be designed to
shown in Table 2. pollarding, the mature height should be accommodate likely ground movement, for
used or a Registered Arboricuturalist example, by careful use of movement joints
Table 2 Zone of tree influence and reinforcement.
should be consulted to undertake a site
Water demand Zone of influence specific assessment. (b) method of assessment of foundation
High 1.25 x mature height depths
(e) climate
Moderate 0.75 x mature height One of the following methods may be used:
High rainfall reduces moisture deficits
• design in accordance with this Chapter
Low 0.5 x mature height caused by trees and hedgerows, and cool
to a depth derived from Appendix 4.2-B
damp weather reduces the rate of water
or 4.2-C taking account of:
(d) tree heights loss from the tree, thus reducing the risk
- the site investigation
Mature heights of common tree species of soil movement. As the driest and hottest
- the soil volume change potential
are listed in Appendix 4.2-A. For the conditions in the UK usually prevail in
- the water demand of the tree
purposes of this Chapter, these are the southeast England, the greater risk occurs
- the appropriate tree height
average mature heights to which healthy in that area and diminishes with distance
- the distance of the tree(s) from the
trees of the species may be expected north and west.
foundations
to grow in favourable ground and - the geographical location of the site
For the purposes of this Chapter, the
environmental conditions. These may be north and west of London
UK has been divided into zones at 50
used even when the actual heights are - appropriate heave precautions.
mile intervals from London. After the
greater.
foundation depth has been derived from
Note: the most onerous conditions should
The mature heights given in Appendix Appendix 4.2-B or 4.2-C a reduction of
be assumed in the absence of any of the
4.2-A should be used for trees that are to 0.05m (50mm) may be made for every 50
above information.
remain or are scheduled to be planted and miles distance north and west of London
• design by an Engineer in accordance
where ground levels are unaltered. Where (see Appendix 4.2-D).
with Technical Requirement R5, taking
ground levels are increased see also Figure account of:
1 and Sitework clause S3(c). 4.2 - D6 Foundations shall be capable of
accommodating the effects of trees and - the recommendations of this Chapter
Where there are different species within hedgerows on shrinkable soils without - results of the site investigation
hedgerows, the mature height of the excessive movement - advice, when necessary, from a
species likely to have the greatest effect Registered Arboriculturalist or
Items to be taken into account include: other competent person whose
should be used.
(a) foundations qualifications are acceptable to NHBC.
For trees which have been or are to be Foundations to all permanent structures
removed, allowance should be made for (including garages, porches and Note: when this method is used and it
the fact that the water demand of a tree conservatories) should take account of results in foundation depths or other
varies with its size and rate of growth (see the effects of soil desiccation caused by details less onerous than those derived
Figure 1). The water demand of a semi- previous or existing trees and trees which from this Chapter, the design should be
mature tree may be as great as that for a are scheduled to be planted. submitted to NHBC for approval prior to
mature tree of the same species whereas work commencing on site.
The following foundations will be
the water demand for a sapling or young (c) distance between tree and foundation
acceptable in shrinkable soils, provided
tree will be significantly less. The distance D between the centre of the
that they are capable of supporting the
applied loads without undue settlement, trunk and the nearest face of the foundation
heave precautions are taken as in Clause should be used to derive the foundation
depths from Appendix 4.2-B or 4.2-C.

Page  Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
For trees which have been or are to be The foundation design should consider Figure 2 Foundations in non shrinkable
removed from within 2m of the face of the shrub planting as follows: soils overlying shrinkable soil
proposed foundation and where the height • Shrubs whose mature height does not
on removal is less than 50% of the mature exceed 1.8m and climbing varieties (i.e.
acceptable depth
height given in Appendix 4.2-A, it may be those requiring a wall for support) whose foundation greater

non shrinkable soil


depth than
assumed that D = 2m. mature height does not exceed 5m: 3/4 X
- use foundation depth from Table 5 B
Note: This is to avoid the anomalous
• Pyracantha and Cotoneaster whose T equal to or depth X
situation where, for example, a “sapling” greater than B determined
mature height exceeds 1.8m: assuming
removed from the foundation line would soil is
- use foundation depth from Table 5 shrinkable
otherwise require an unnecessarily deep
and plant at least 1.0 x mature height

shrinkable
foundation since the D/H value would
from foundation, or

soil
always be zero regardless of the height H
- use foundation depth from Table 3
of the tree.
and plant at least 0.5 x mature height
(d) foundation depths related to from foundation (g) stepped foundations
proposed tree planting • All others: Where foundations are to be stepped to
Foundation depths relating to proposed - use foundation depth from Table take account of the influence of trees,
tree planting should be based on one of 5 and plant at least 0.75 x mature hedgerows and shrubs they should
the following: height from foundation, or be stepped gradually in accordance

4.2
• foundation depths derived in accordance - use foundation depth from Table 3 - no with Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and trench fill
with Appendix 4.2-B or 4.2-C, or restriction on minimum distance from foundations’ with no step exceeding 0.5m
• foundation depths shown in Table 3 with foundation. (see Sitework clause S3(b)).
limits agreed in the planting schedules
Planting schedules should be produced by (h) foundations on or near sloping ground
to exclude trees within the distances
a qualified landscape architect or other Where the foundations are on or adjacent
from foundations shown in Table 4, or
suitably qualified person and agreed with to sloping ground greater than 1 in 7
• foundation depths shown in Table 5 with
the local planning authority before work (approximately 8°) and man-made slopes
limits agreed in the planting schedules
commences on site. such as embankments and cuttings they
to exclude trees within the zone of
should be designed by an Engineer (see
influence shown in Table 2. The landscape and foundation designs
Technical Requirement R5).
should be compatible.
Table 3 Minimum foundations depths
Items to be taken into account include:
allowing for restricted new planting Table 6 - removed April 2005
• slope stability
Volume change Minimum depth [m] (f) strip or trench fill foundations in non • potentially enhanced desiccation due to
potential shrinkable soils overlying shrinkable soil increased run-off and the de-watering
High 1.5 Non shrinkable soils such as sands and effects of the slope and vegetation.
Medium 1.25 gravels may overlie shrinkable soil.
4.2 - D7 Foundations in shrinkable soils
Low 1.0 Foundations may be constructed on the shall be designed to transmit loads to
overlying non shrinkable soil in accordance the ground safely and without excessive
Table 4 No tree planting zone for with Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and trench fill movement
minimum depth foundations foundations’ provided all of the following
conditions are satisfied, as illustrated in Items to be taken into account include:
Water demand No tree planting zone Figure 2: (a) strip foundations
High 1.0 x mature height • consistent soil conditions exist across Strip foundations up to 1.5m deep should
each plot. This should be confirmed by be constructed in accordance with
Moderate 0.5 x mature height
the site investigation the recommendations of this Chapter
Low 0.2 x mature height and Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and trench fill
• the depth of the non shrinkable soil is
greater than 3/4 depth X, where X is foundations’. Depths should be determined
Table 5 Minimum foundations depths the foundation depth determined using in accordance with Clause D6.
outside zone of influence Appendix 4.2-B or 4.2-C, assuming that (b) trench fill foundations
Volume change Minimum depth [m] all the soil is shrinkable Trench fill foundations up to 2.5m deep
potential • the thickness T of non shrinkable soil should be constructed in accordance with
High 1.0 below the foundation is equal to or the recommendations of this Chapter
Medium 0.9 greater than the width of the foundation B and Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and trench fill
• the proposals are submitted to and foundations’. Depths should be determined
Low 0.75
approved by NHBC prior to work in accordance with Clause D6.
commencing on site.
Planting schedules should be agreed with Reference should be made to Clause D8
the local planning authority before work Where any of the above conditions is to establish the precautions necessary to
commences on site. not met, foundation depths should be cater for potential heave.
determined as for shrinkable soil.
The landscape and foundation designs Trench fill foundations deeper than 2.5m
should be compatible. will only be acceptable if they are designed
(e) foundation depths related to new by an Engineer (see Technical Requirement
shrub planting R5) taking account of all potential
Shrubs have considerable potential to movement of the soil on the foundations
cause changes in soil moisture content. and substructure.

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 


4.2 Building near trees

The following will need to be taken into The infill should not be less than 50% Heave precautions should be used:
account if foundations are to be deeper of the foundation depth derived in • where the foundation is within the zone
than 2.5m: accordance with Clause D6 and should of influence of trees (see Table 2), and
• foundation depths should be designed not exceed 1.25m. Site inspections by • where the foundation depth determined
taking account of soil desiccation and the Engineer may be required by NHBC in accordance with Clause D6 is greater
arboricultural advice to verify the compaction of the fill than 1.5m based on the appropriate tree
• additional heave precautions may be • the infill extends beyond the edge of the height (see Figure 1).
necessary to cater for lateral and shear foundation by a distance equal to the
Heave precautions for trench fill
forces acting on large vertical areas of natural angle of repose of the infill plus
foundations up to 2.5m should be in
foundation 0.5m
accordance with Sitework clause S4(a).
• instability of the trench sides can lead to • the raft is generally rectangular in plan
serious construction difficulties with a side ratio of not more than 2:1 (c) heave precautions for pier and beam
• the foundation is dependent upon a high • NHBC is satisfied that the raft is foundations
level of workmanship and detailing: sufficiently stiff to resist differential Pier and beam foundations should be
- concrete overspill or overbreak in the movements. designed in accordance with Clause D7.
excavations can result in additional
vertical forces being transmitted to Figure 3 Requirements for raft Heave precautions for piers should be
the foundation foundations on shrinkable soils used:
- construction joints will need to raft foundation
ground level • where the foundation is within the zone
4.2

be detailed to take account of the 1.25m max.


of influence of trees (see Table 2), and
angle of
increased lateral forces repose of depth (measured
in accordance with
• where the foundation depth derived in
infill material
- compressible material should be
Sitework clause S3) accordance with Clause D6 is greater
correctly placed to avoid excessive 0.5 m
level formation
0.5 m than 1.5m based on the appropriate tree
fully compacted
heave forces being applied to the infill material height (see Figure 1).
foundation. Heave precautions for pier and beam
DESIGNING TO
(c) pier and beam foundations foundations should be in accordance with
Pier and beam foundations should be
ACCOMMODATE HEAVE Sitework clause S4(b).
designed by an Engineer (see Technical 4.2 - D8 Foundations, substructure (d) heave precautions for pile and beam
Requirement R5) and constructed in and services shall incorporate adequate foundations
accordance with the recommendations of precautions to prevent excessive Pile and beam foundations should be
this Chapter and Chapter 4.5 ‘Raft, pile, movement due to heave designed in accordance with Clause D7.
pier and beam foundations’.
Heave can take place in a shrinkable soil Heave precautions should be used for
Note: pier depths up to 2.5m may be when it takes up moisture and swells piles and ground beams in accordance
derived from Clause D6. Pier depths after the felling or removal of trees and with Sitework clause S4(c). In addition the
greater than 2.5m require site specific hedgerows. It can also occur beneath a following should be taken into account in
assessment. building if roots are severed or if water the selection and design of piles:
enters the ground from leaking drains, • piles should be designed with an
Reference should be made to Clause D8 water services or changes in ground water
to establish the precautions necessary to adequate factor of safety to resist uplift
conditions. forces on the shaft due to heave by
cater for potential heave.
Items to be taken into account include: providing sufficient anchorage below
(d) pile and beam foundations (a) vegetation survey the depth of desiccated soil. Slip liners
Pile and beam foundations should be Before the site is cleared, the location, may be used to reduce the uplift but the
designed by an Engineer (see Technical heights and species of trees, hedgerows amount of reduction is small, as friction
Requirement R5) and constructed in and shrubs on and adjacent to the site and between materials cannot be eliminated
accordance with the recommendations of which may affect proposed foundations • piles should be reinforced for the length
this Chapter and Chapter 4.5 ‘Raft, pile, should be surveyed and recorded. of the pile governed by the heave design
pier and beam foundations’. • bored, cast-in-place piles are well
If the location of previously removed suited to this application. Most types
Reference should be made to Clause D8 vegetation is not known, local enquiries have a straight-sided shaft but some
to establish the precautions necessary to and reference to aerial photographs construction techniques produce a
cater for potential heave. may be necessary. Otherwise the design contoured shaft, similar to a screw
(e) raft foundations should assume the worst conditions or profile, to increase load capacity. The
Raft foundations should be designed by an an Engineer (see Technical Requirement design should allow for the enhanced
Engineer (see Technical Requirement R5) R5) should be consulted to undertake a tensile forces in such piles
and constructed in accordance with the site specific design based on all relevant • driven piles are less well suited to this
recommendations of this Chapter, Chapter information. application and are difficult to install in
4.5 ‘Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations’ Where root growth is noted within stiff desiccated clay without excessive
and the following conditions. shrinkable soil and where records are noise and vibration. Most types are
not available, an Engineer (see Technical jointed and, if these are to be used,
Raft foundations will only be acceptable
Requirement R5) should be consulted to the joint design should be capable of
where all of the following apply, as
assess whether heave is likely. transmitting tensile heave forces
illustrated in Figure 3:
• piles and ground beams should be
• the foundation depth derived in (b) heave precautions for trench fill designed taking into account the
accordance with Clause D6 is 2.5m or foundations upward force on the underside of the
less Trench fill foundations should be designed ground beams transmitted through the
• the raft is founded on granular infill in accordance with Clause D7. Any compressible material or void former prior
placed and fully compacted in layers foundations deeper than 2.5m should be to collapse (refer to manufacturer’s data).
in accordance with the Engineer’s designed by an Engineer (see Technical
specification and to NHBC’s satisfaction. Requirement R5).

Page  Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
(e) suspended ground floors used, for example taking the excavation
Suspended ground floors should be used in deeper and laying the pipework on MATERIALS STANDARDS
all situations where heave can occur within granular bedding of suitable thickness to
4.2 - M1 All materials shall:
the area bounded by the foundations. This reduce the extent of potential movement
(a) meet the Technical Requirements
includes: • a drainage system capable of
(b) take account of the design
• where the foundation depth derived in accommodating the likely movement
accordance with Clause D6 is greater should be used Materials that comply with the design and
than 1.5m based on the appropriate tree • pipes and services passing through the guidance below will be acceptable for
height (see Figure 1), unless NHBC is substructure walls or trench fill building near trees.
satisfied the soil is not desicated foundations should be designed and
Materials used when building near trees
• where ground floor construction is detailed so as to cope with the potential
should comply with all relevant standards,
undertaken when surface soils are ground movements shown in Table 7.
including those listed below. Where no
seasonally desiccated (i.e. during
Table 7 Potential ground movement standard exists, Technical Requirement R3
summer and autumn) unless NHBC is
applies (see Chapter 1.1 ‘Introduction to the
satisfied the soil is not desiccated. Volume change Potential ground
potential movement [mm] Standards and Technical Requirements’).
The following types of suspended floor will
High 150 References to British Standards and Codes
be acceptable where there is potential for
Medium 100 of Practice include those made under the
heave.
Construction Products Directive (89/106/

4.2
Low 50
PRECAST CONCRETE EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
A minimum void depth should be provided European Technical Specifications
Existing land drains should be maintained
between underside of beam and ground approved by a European Committee for
or diverted. Where the void beneath
level as shown in Table 10 (see Sitework suspended floors is liable to flooding, Standardisation (CEN).
clause S4(d)). drainage should be provided.
PROPRIETARY HEAVE
TIMBER (i) paths and driveways
A minimum void depth should be provided Drives and pathways should be designed MATERIALS
between underside of joist and ground and detailed to cater for the likely ground 4.2 - M2 Proprietary heave materials
level as shown in Table 10 (see Sitework movement. shall be assessed in accordance with
clause S4(d)). All sleeper walls should Technical Requirement R3
Further guidance is given in BS 5837.
have foundations with depths derived in
accordance with Clause D6. Where foundations and substructure
PROVISION OF INFORMATION could be subjected to heave, they should
IN-SITU CONCRETE be protected by voids, void formers or
4.2 - D9 Designs and specifications
A minimum void depth should be provided compressible materials in accordance with
shall be produced in a clearly
between the ground and the underside the design.
understandable format and all relevant
of slab as shown in Table 9 (see Sitework
information shall be distributed to Void formers consist of material that
clause S4(d)). Where proprietary materials
appropriate personnel collapses to form a void into which the clay
are used, they should be in accordance
It is important that all relevant information can swell reducing the build up of load on
with Materials clause M2 and the design
needed for the completion of the sitework the foundation.
should take into account the upward force
transmitted through the compressible is readily available to all appropriate Compressible material, such as low density
material or void former prior to collapse personnel. polystyrene, compacts as the clay expands
(refer to manufacturer’s data). reducing the build up of load on the
All necessary dimensions and levels should
be indicated and related to: foundation.
(f) heave precautions for raft foundations
Raft foundations constructed in • at least one benchmark, and Each material should be used in
accordance with Clause D7 should provide • reference points on site. accordance with the requirements of the
adequate protection from heave. relevant independent assessment and the
Details should be provided with respect to:
(g) other foundations • site investigation manufacturer’s recommendations.
All foundations not covered in the above • site survey including location and height
clauses, but specifically designed for heave, of trees and hedgerows affecting the site
should be designed by an Engineer (see • site layout SITEWORK STANDARDS
Technical Requirement R5) taking account • dimensions, type and depth of
of the recommendations of this Chapter foundations 4.2 - S1 All sitework shall:
and submitted to NHBC for approval prior • soil volume change potential (a) meet the Technical Requirements
to work commencing on site. • tree species (including existing, removed (b) take account of the design
and proposed) using English names (c) follow established good practice and
(h) heave precautions for new drains
• planting schedules workmanship
Drainage should be constructed in
• original and final ground levels
accordance with Chapter 5.3 ‘Drainage Sitework that complies with the design
• technical method statements including
below ground’ with the following additional and guidance below will be acceptable for
critical sequences of construction
precautions to guard against the effects building near trees.
• location of services
of heave:
• design of drainage system
• design gradients may need to be greater
• locations and detailing of: FOUNDATION DEPTHS
than the minimum gradients in Chapter
- steps in foundations 4.2 - S2 Foundation depths shall be in
5.3 as these do not allow for possible
- movement and construction joints accordance with the design
ground movement. Where sufficient
- ducts and services passing through
falls to cater for the likely movement A site plan should show the trees and
the foundations.
cannot be provided, alternative means hedgerows that affect the site together
of catering for the movement should be

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 


4.2 Building near trees

with the type, depth and dimensions of the Figure 5 Levels from which foundation Table 8 Minimum foundation depths
foundations that are within the influence depths are measured where trees or
of those trees and hedgerows. Where hedgerows are to remain Volume change potential Minimum depth
trees or hedgerows are either not shown [m]
tree to remain
or are in different positions and there High 1.0
is shrinkable soil, it may be necessary Medium 0.9
to adjust the foundation depths on site.
tree to remain
Low 0.75
Foundation depths should be determined
in accordance with Design clause D6
(b) stepped foundations
or the foundation depth calculator. If in b For stepped foundations, the relevant
doubt about any of the information either b
a recommendations of Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip
assume the worst conditions or consult a
and trench fill foundations’ should be
suitably qualified Engineer. original ground level
followed with the additional precaution
Use the lower of:
An Engineer should be consulted where a: foundation depth based on appropriate that the maximum step height should not
tree height (see Figure 8)
foundation depths exceed 2.5m (see b: foundation depth based on mature exceed 0.5m as shown in Figure 9.
height of tree
Technical Requirements R5).
On sloping ground, foundation trenches
Figure 4 NHBC foundation depth Figure 6 Levels from which foundation can be gradually stepped so that the
calculator depths are measured where trees or required foundation depth is reasonably
4.2

hedgerows are removed uniform below ground level.


tree to be removed Figure 9 Stepped foundations
ground level

foundation depth
tree to be removed

line of trench bottom

4.2 b a step not greater


ER
HA
PT
CU
LA
TE than 0.5m
SC AL
RD CA
LC
DA
ST
AN DE
PT
H
a
(c) trench bottoms
N
IO
D AT S LO
W
UN E L
FO T RE M
ED MED
H
AF
original ground level
Where trench bottoms become excessively
LE L
D M
OA H
BR
H
HIG
L
M
TY

dried or softened due to rain or ground


BILI H

Use the lower of:


KA D
RIN AN
Y SH DEM
CLA ER

TR
EE
WAT
a: foundation depth based on appropriate
tree height (see Figure 8)
b: minimum foundation depth (see Table 8)
water, the excavation should be re-
bottomed prior to concreting.
P TH
DE
N
IO
D AT

Figure 7 Levels from which foundation


UN

Some root activity may be expected below


FO

depths are measured where trees or the depths determined in accordance with
EE
TR

hedgerows are proposed Design clause D6. However, if significant


F
T O

EE
GH

TR
H EI

TO

proposed tree quantities of roots are unexpectedly


E
NC
TA

proposed tree
D IS

encountered in the base of the trench, the


ED
TR
EE
S
excavation should be deepened or consult
AF

BR
OA
D

DE
P
LE
TH an Engineer.
N
TIO
DA
UN
FO
TE

HEAVE PRECAUTIONS
U LA
CA
LC b a b
TO

4.2 - S4 Heave precautions shall be


original ground level
incorporated into foundations and
Use the lower of:
a: minimum foundation depth (see Table 8)
substructure in accordance with the
b: foundation depth based on mature
height of tree
design
Figure 8 Tree height H to be used for The following details show the minimum
EXCAVATION FOR particular design cases requirements for common foundation
types. They apply to all foundations within
FOUNDATIONS mature height
the zone of influence of trees which are to
In this range use
4.2 - S3 Excavation for foundations H = mature height remain or be removed.
as listed in
shall take account of the design and be Appendix 4.2-B
Correct placement of heave materials is
suitable to receive concrete
50% mature height
essential to ensure the foundations and
Items to be taken into account include: substructure are adequately protected
(a) measurement of foundation depths from heave forces.
Foundation depths should be measured on In this range use
H = actual height
the centre line of the excavation. (a) heave precautions for trench fill
foundations
Where ground levels are to remain Heave precautions should be provided as
unaltered foundation depths should be shown in Figure 10.
measured from original ground level. Figure 8 should be used when:
• deriving foundation depths when trees have been removed (use Compressible material should be provided
Where ground levels are reduced or tree height at time of removal - see Design clause 4.2 - D5(a))
against the inside faces of all external wall
• checking the appropriate level from which depths should be
increased (either in the recent past or measured when trees remain and ground levels are increased (use foundations greater than 1.5m deep based
tree height at time of construction relative to original ground
during construction) foundation depths level - see Figure 5) on the appropriate tree height (see Figure 8).
should be measured as shown in Figures • determining whether heave precautions should be provided

5 to 7.
(use tree height at time of construction - see Sitework clause 4.2 - No compressible material is required
S4(a) and (b)).
against the faces of internal foundations.

Page  Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Heave precautions are not required for faces of external ground beams unless Table 10 Minimum void dimensions under
proposed trees as the soil has not been NHBC is satisfied that the soil, at this level, precast concrete and timber ground floors
desiccated and therefore heave cannot is not desiccated.
Precast Suspended
take place.
Heave precautions are not required for concrete timber
Figure 10 Heave precautions for trench proposed trees as the soil has not been Soil Void dimension Void dimension
fill foundations up to 2.5m deep desiccated and heave cannot take place. heave [mm]1 [mm]2
potential
Figure 12 Heave precautions for pile and
High 225 300
Void
(see Table 9 or 10)
beam foundations
450mm backfill
max Medium 175 250
Void (see Table 9 or 10)
compressible material vertical Low 125 200
(see Table 9) face to backfill
foundation

500mm compressible material embedment of pile tension Note:


or void former to reinforcement to be 40 bar
inside face of external diameters or designed by 1 Measurement from underside of beam to
It is essential that: ground beams an Engineer (see Technical
(see Table 9) Requirement R5) ground level (includes 75mm ventilation
• compressible material is provided to the entire area shown, and
allowance).
compressible material optional rigid
• the foundation excavation has a vertical face. Where the
excavation is battered or if there is over break or concrete
or void former slip liner 2 Measurement from underside of joist
beneath ground
overspill it may be necessary to consult an Engineer. beams (see Table 9) to ground level (includes 150mm

4.2
ventilation allowance).
Trench fill foundations deeper than 2.5m pile length to
Engineer's design
will only be acceptable where they are
designed by an Engineer (see Technical
It is essential that heave material is provided to the entire areas
shown. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the full
DRAINAGE
width of the ground beam and the areas around the piles
Requirement R5). are protected. 4.2 - S5 Drainage shall be in
(b) heave precautions for pier and beam (d) minimum void dimensions accordance with the design and allow for
foundations ground movement
Voids should be provided to accommodate
Heave precautions should be provided as movement in accordance with Tables 9 Drainage construction should be in
shown in Figure 11. and 10. accordance with the design and the
Compressible material should be provided relevant recommendations of Chapter
Table 9 Minimum void dimension 5.3 ‘Drainage below ground’ should be
against all faces of the pier foundation
which are greater than 1.5m deep based on for foundations, ground beams and followed.
the appropriate tree height (see Figure 8). suspended in-situ concrete ground floors
Additional items to take into account
A void, void former or compressible Against side Under include:
of foundation ground beam • falls should be sufficient to cater
material should be provided below all and ground and suspended
ground beams. for possible ground movement or
beam in-situ concrete
alternative means should be used
ground floor
Compressible material or a void former to reduce the extent of potential
should also be provided against the inside Volume Void dimension Void dimension movement, for example by taking
faces of external ground beams unless change [mm]1 [mm]1 the excavation deeper and laying
potential
NHBC is satisfied that the soil, at this level, the pipework on granular bedding of
is not desiccated. High 35 150 suitable thickness
Medium 25 100 • a drainage system capable of
Heave precautions are not required for
accommodating the likely movement
proposed trees as the soil has not been Low 0 50 should be used
desiccated and heave cannot take place.
• pipes passing through substructure walls
Note: or trench fill foundations should have
Figure 11 Heave precautions for pier and
1 For compressible material the sufficient clearance to take account
beam foundations
void dimension is the amount the of the potential ground movement
void (see Table 9 or 10) material should be able to compress indicated in Table 11.
to accommodate heave. The actual
backfill thickness of compressible material Table 11 Minimum allowance for potential
compressible material
or void former to embedment of
anchorage bars to
required should be established from the ground movement
inside face of external
ground beams be 40 bar diameters
or designed by an
manufacturer’s recommendations and
(see Table 9) Volume change Potential ground
Engineer (see Technical is generally in the order of twice the
Requirement R5) potential movement [m]
compressible material
or void former beneath
void dimension shown. For void formers
compressible material
ground beams to sides of piers the void dimension is the remaining High 150
(see Table 9) 500mm (see Table 9)
void after collapse. The actual thickness Medium 100
It is essential that heave material is provided to the entire of void former required should be Low 50
areas shown. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the
full width of the ground beam is protected. established from the manufacturer’s
recommendations. Existing land drains should be maintained
(c) heave precautions for pile and beam
or diverted. Where the void beneath
foundations
suspended floors is liable to flooding,
Heave precautions should be provided as
drainage should be provided.
shown in Figure 12.
A void, void former or compressible
material should be provided below all
ground beams.
Compressible material or a void former
should also be provided against the inside

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 


4.2 Building near trees

Appendix 4.2-A
Water demand and mature height of trees
Table 12
Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees
Water demand Species Mature Water demand Species Mature
height [m] height [m]
High Elm High Cypress
English 24 Lawson’s 18
Wheatley 22 Leyland 20
Wych 18 Monterey 20
Eucalyptus 18 Moderate Cedar 20
Hawthorn 10 Douglas fir 20
Oak Larch 20
English 20 Monkey Puzzle 18
Holm 16 Pine 20
Red 24 Spruce 18
4.2

Turkey 24 Wellingtonia 30
Poplar Yew 12
Hybrid black 28
Lombardy 25 Note:
White 15 1 Where hedgerows contain trees, their effect should be
Willow assessed separately. In hedgerows, the height of the species
Crack 24 likely to have the greatest effect should be used.
Weeping 16 2 Within the classes of water demand, species are listed
White 24 alphabetically; the order does not signify any gradation in
Moderate Acacia false 18 water demand.
Alder 18 3 When the species is known but the sub-species is not, the
Apple 10 greatest height listed for the species should be assumed.
Ash 23 4 Further information regarding trees may be obtained from the
Bay Laurel 10 Arboricultural Association or the Arboricultural Advisory and
Beech 20 Information service (see Appendix 4.2-E).
Blackthorn 8
Cherry
Japanese 9
Laurel 8
Orchard 12
Wild 17
Chestnut
Horse 20
Sweet 24
Lime 22
Maple
Japanese 8
Norway 18
Mountain Ash 11
Pear 12
Plane 26
Plum 10
Sycamore 22
Tree of Heaven 20
Walnut 18
Whitebeam 12
Low Birch 14
Elder 10
Fig 8
Hazel 8
Holly 12
Honey Locust 14
Hornbeam 17
Laburnum 12
Magnolia 9
Mulberry 9
Tulip tree 20

Page  Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Appendix 4.2-B
Foundation Depth Charts
Table 13 Determination of D/H Value
Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m)
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 0.50 0.25 0.17 0.13 0.10 0.08 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.03
2 1.00 0.50 0.33 0.25 0.20 0.17 0.14 0.13 0.11 0.10 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.07
3   0.75 0.50 0.38 0.30 0.25 0.21 0.19 0.17 0.15 0.14 0.13 0.12 0.11 0.10
4   1.00 0.67 0.50 0.40 0.33 0.29 0.25 0.22 0.20 0.18 0.17 0.15 0.14 0.13
5     0.83 0.63 0.50 0.42 0.36 0.31 0.28 0.25 0.23 0.21 0.19 0.18 0.17
6     1.00 0.75 0.60 0.50 0.43 0.38 0.33 0.30 0.27 0.25 0.23 0.21 0.20
7     1.17 0.88 0.70 0.58 0.50 0.44 0.39 0.35 0.32 0.29 0.27 0.25 0.23
8       1.00 0.80 0.67 0.57 0.50 0.44 0.40 0.36 0.33 0.31 0.29 0.27

4.2
9       1.13 0.90 0.75 0.64 0.56 0.50 0.45 0.41 0.38 0.35 0.32 0.30
10         1.00 0.83 0.71 0.63 0.56 0.50 0.45 0.42 0.38 0.36 0.33
11         1.10 0.92 0.79 0.69 0.61 0.55 0.50 0.46 0.42 0.39 0.37
12         1.20 1.00 0.86 0.75 0.67 0.60 0.55 0.50 0.46 0.43 0.40
13           1.08 0.93 0.81 0.72 0.65 0.59 0.54 0.50 0.46 0.43
14           1.17 1.00 0.88 0.78 0.70 0.64 0.58 0.54 0.50 0.47
15             1.07 0.94 0.83 0.75 0.68 0.63 0.58 0.54 0.50
16             1.14 1.00 0.89 0.80 0.73 0.67 0.62 0.57 0.53
17             1.21 1.06 0.94 0.85 0.77 0.71 0.65 0.61 0.57
18               1.13 1.00 0.90 0.82 0.75 0.69 0.64 0.60
19               1.19 1.06 0.95 0.86 0.79 0.73 0.68 0.63
20                 1.11 1.00 0.91 0.83 0.77 0.71 0.67
21                 1.17 1.05 0.95 0.88 0.81 0.75 0.70
22                   1.10 1.00 0.92 0.85 0.79 0.73
23                   1.15 1.05 1.96 0.88 0.82 0.77
24                   1.20 1.09 1.00 0.92 0.86 0.80
25                     1.14 1.04 0.96 0.89 0.83
26                     1.18 1.08 1.00 0.93 0.87
27                       1.13 1.04 0.96 0.90
28                       1.17 1.08 1.00 0.93
29   Where no value is given in the table, minimum foundation depths       1.21 1.12 1.04 0.97
apply (i.e. 1.0m, 0.9m and 0.75m for high, medium and low volume
30   change potential soils respectively).         1.15 1.07 1.00

31           1.19 1.11 1.03


32             1.14 1.07
33             1.18 1.10
34                           1.21 1.13
35                             1.17
36                             1.20

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 


4.2 Building near trees

Chart 1 Soils with HIGH volume change potential: Modified Plasticity Index 40% or greater
(see Design clause D5(b))

D/H
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2
0

0.5
4.2

Minimum depth 1.0m


Foundation depths (m)

1.0

1.5
w
Lo

h
e ig
rat H
o de
M
te
era

2.0
d
Mo

h
Hig

2.5

TREE WATER DEMANDS

Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

High High

Moderate Moderate

Low

Page 10 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Chart 2 Soils with MEDIUM volume change potential: Modified Plasticity Index between 20% and less than 40%
(see Design clause D5(b))

D/H
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2
0

0.5

4.2
Minimum depth 0.9m
Foundation depths (m)

1.0

w
Lo

e
1.5 at
er
od
M
e
at
er
od

gh
M

Hi
h
Hig

2.0

2.5

TREE WATER DEMANDS

Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

High High

Moderate Moderate

Low

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 11


4.2 Building near trees

Chart 3 Soils with LOW volume change potential: Modified Plasticity Index 10 to less than 20%
(see Design clause D5(b))

D/H
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2
0

0.5

Minimum depth 0.75m


4.2

Foundation depths (m)

1.0
Low

te
dera
Mo
e
at
er
od
M

1.5
gh
Hi

gh
Hi

2.0

2.5
TREE WATER DEMANDS
Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

High High

Moderate Moderate

Low

Page 12 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Appendix 4.2-C
Foundation depth tables
Table 14 - HIGH shrinkage soil and HIGH water demand tree
Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

Foundation depth (m) Foundation depth (m)

Distance Tree height H (m) Distance Tree height H (m)


D (m) D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

1                         1                        

2                         2 2.50     Foundations greater than 2.5m  


3           3 1.95 2.25 2.50       deep to be Engineer designed  
Foundations greater than 2.5m deep to be
4 2.50     Engineer designed     4 1.45 1.85 2.15 2.35 2.50              

5 2.25 2.50                     5 1.00 1.45 1.80 2.05 2.20 2.35 2.50          

6 2.00 2.30 2.50                   6   1.00 1.45 1.75 1.95 2.15 2.25 2.40 2.50      

7 1.75 2.10 2.35 2.50                 7   1.00 1.10 1.45 1.70 1.90 2.05 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50  

4.2
8 1.50 1.90 2.20 2.40 2.50               8     1.00 1.15 1.45 1.65 1.85 2.00 2.15 2.25 2.35 2.40

9 1.25 1.70 2.00 2.25 2.40 2.50             9       1.00 1.20 1.45 1.65 1.80 1.95 2.10 2.20 2.25

10 1.00 1.50 1.85 2.10 2.25 2.40 2.50           10         1.00 1.20 1.45 1.65 1.80 1.90 2.05 2.15

11 1.00 1.30 1.70 1.95 2.15 2.30 2.40 2.50         11           1.00 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.90 2.00

12 1.00 1.10 1.50 1.80 2.00 2.20 2.30 2.45 2.50       12             1.00 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.85

13   1.00 1.35 1.65 1.90 2.10 2.20 2.35 2.45 2.50     13             1.00 1.05 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.70

14   1.00 1.20 1.50 1.75 1.95 2.10 2.25 2.35 2.45 2.50   14               1.00 1.10 1.30 1.45 1.60

15     1.00 1.40 1.65 1.85 2.00 2.15 2.25 2.35 2.45 2.50 15                 1.00 1.10 1.30 1.45

16     1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 1.90 2.05 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.45 16                   1.00 1.15 1.30

17     1.00 1.10 1.40 1.65 1.80 1.95 2.10 2.20 2.30 2.40 17                     1.00 1.15

18       1.00 1.25 1.50 1.70 1.90 2.00 2.15 2.25 2.30 18                       1.00

19       1.00 1.15 1.40 1.60 1.80 1.95 2.05 2.15 2.25 19     1.0m minimum foundation depth          

20         1.00 1.30 1.50 1.70 1.85 2.00 2.10 2.20 20                        

21         1.00 1.20 1.40 1.60 1.75 1.90 2.00 2.10 21                        

22         1.00 1.10 1.30 1.50 1.70 1.85 1.95 2.05 22                        

23           1.00 1.20 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.90 2.00 23                        

24           1.00 1.10 1.35 1.50 1.65 1.80 1.90 24                        

25             1.00 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.85 25                        

26             1.00 1.15 1.35 1.50 1.65 1.80 26                        

27             1.00 1.05 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.70 27                        

28               1.00 1.20 1.35 1.50 1.65 28                        

29               1.00 1.10 1.30 1.45 1.60 29                        

30                 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.50 30                        

31                 1.00 1.15 1.30 1.45 31                        

32                 1.00 1.05 1.25 1.40 32                        

33                   1.00 1.15 1.30 33                        

34                   1.00 1.10 1.25 34                        

35                     1.00 1.20 35                        

36                     1.00 1.10 36                        

37   1.0m minimum foundation depth       1.00 1.05 37                        

38                       1.00 38                        

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 13


4.2 Building near trees

Table 15 - HIGH Shrinkage soil and MODERATE water demand tree


Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

Foundation depth (m) Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree height H (m) Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m) D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 2.20 2.25 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.30 2.35 2.35 2.35 2.35 2.35 2.35 1 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.15 2.15 2.20 2.20 2.25 2.25 2.25 2.30 2.30
2 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.15 2.20 2.20 2.25 2.25 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.30 2 1.40 1.60 1.75 1.85 1.90 2.00 2.00 2.05 2.10 2.10 2.15 2.15
3 1.70 1.85 1.95 2.00 2.05 2.10 2.15 2.15 2.20 2.20 2.20 2.25 3 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.55 1.65 1.75 1.80 1.85 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.00
4 1.50 1.65 1.80 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.05 2.10 2.10 2.15 2.15 2.15 4   1.00 1.10 1.30 1.40 1.55 1.60 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.85 1.90
5 1.25 1.50 1.65 1.75 1.85 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.05 2.05 2.10 2.10 5     1.00 1.00 1.15 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.75
6 1.00 1.30 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.85 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.00 2.05 6         1.00 1.10 1.20 1.35 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.60
7 1.00 1.10 1.35 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.75 1.85 1.90 1.90 1.95 2.00 7           1.00 1.00 1.15 1.25 1.35 1.40 1.50
8   1.00 1.20 1.35 1.50 1.60 1.65 1.75 1.80 1.85 1.90 1.90 8               1.00 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.35
9     1.00 1.20 1.35 1.50 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.85 9                 1.00 1.05 1.15 1.20
10     1.00 1.10 1.25 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.80 10                   1.00 1.00 1.10
11       1.00 1.15 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.65 1.70 1.75 11                       1.00
4.2

12         1.00 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.60 1.65 12                        


13         1.00 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.60 13                        
14           1.00 1.10 1.25 1.35 1.40 1.50 1.55 14                        
15             1.00 1.15 1.25 1.35 1.40 1.50 15                        
16             1.00 1.05 1.20 1.25 1.35 1.40 16                        
17               1.00 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.35 17                        
18                 1.00 1.15 1.20 1.30 18                        
19                 1.00 1.05 1.15 1.25 19                        
20                   1.00 1.10 1.20 20                        
21   1.0m minimum foundation depth     1.00 1.10 21   1.0m minimum foundation depth        
22                     1.00 1.05 22                        
23                       1.00 23                        

Table 16 - HIGH shrinkage soil and LOW water demand tree


Broad leafed trees

Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.70 1.70 1.75 1.75 1.75 1.75 1.75 1.75 1.75
2 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.60 1.60 1.65 1.65 1.65 1.65 1.70 1.70 1.70
3 1.20 1.35 1.40 1.50 1.50 1.55 1.60 1.60 1.60 1.65 1.65 1.65
4 1.00 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.60 1.60
5   1.00 1.15 1.25 1.30 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.50 1.55 1.55
6     1.00 1.15 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.50
7       1.00 1.10 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.45
8         1.00 1.10 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.40
9           1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.35
10             1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30
11               1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.25
12         1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20
13   1.0m minimum foundation depth      1.00 1.10 1.15
14                     1.00 1.05
15                       1.00

Page 14 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Table 17 - MEDIUM shrinkage soil and HIGH water demand tree Table 17
Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

Foundation depth (m) Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree Height H (m) Distance Tree Height H (m)
D (m) D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

1                         1               Foundations greater than 2.5m


2           deep to be Engineer designed
Foundations greater than 2.5m deep   2 2.15 2.30 2.45 2.50      
3 2.40 2.50       to be Engineer designed   3 1.70 1.95 2.15 2.25 2.35 2.45 2.50        
4 2.20 2.35 2.45                   4 1.25 1.60 1.85 2.00 2.15 2.25 2.30 2.40 2.45 2.50 2.50  
5 1.95 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50               5 0.90 1.25 1.55 1.75 1.95 2.05 2.15 2.20 2.30 2.35 2.40 2.45
6 1.75 2.00 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.45 2.50           6   0.90 1.25 1.50 1.70 1.85 1.95 2.05 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.30
7 1.55 1.85 2.05 2.20 2.30 2.35 2.45 2.50         7     1.00 1.25 1.50 1.65 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.15 2.20
8 1.35 1.70 1.90 2.05 2.20 2.25 2.35 2.40 2.45 2.50     8     0.90 1.00 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.85 1.95 2.00 2.10
9 1.15 1.50 1.75 1.95 2.10 2.20 2.25 2.35 2.40 2.45 2.50 2.50 9       0.90 1.05 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.90 1.95
10 0.90 1.35 1.60 1.80 1.95 2.10 2.20 2.25 2.30 2.35 2.40 2.45 10         0.90 1.10 1.25 1.45 1.55 1.65 1.75 1.85
11 0.90 1.15 1.50 1.70 1.85 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.25 2.30 2.35 2.40 11           0.90 1.10 1.25 1.40 1.55 1.65 1.75

4.2
12 0.90 1.00 1.35 1.60 1.75 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.25 2.30 2.35 12             0.90 1.10 1.25 1.40 1.50 1.60
13   0.90 1.20 1.45 1.65 1.80 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.20 2.25 2.30 13             0.90 0.95 1.10 1.25 1.40 1.50
14   0.90 1.05 1.35 1.55 1.70 1.85 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.20 2.25 14               0.90 1.00 1.15 1.25 1.40
15     0.90 1.20 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.85 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.20 15                 0.90 1.00 1.15 1.25
16     0.90 1.10 1.35 1.55 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.05 2.10 16                   0.90 1.00 1.15
17     0.90 1.00 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.70 1.85 1.90 2.00 2.05 17                     0.90 1.05
18       0.90 1.15 1.35 1.50 1.65 1.75 1.85 1.95 2.00 18                       0.90
19       0.90 1.05 1.25 1.40 1.55 1.70 1.80 1.90 1.95 19                        
20         0.90 1.15 1.35 1.50 1.60 1.75 1.80 1.90 20                        
21         0.90 1.05 1.25 1.40 1.55 1.65 1.75 1.85 21                        
22         0.90 0.95 1.15 1.35 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 22                        
23           0.90 1.10 1.25 1.40 1.55 1.65 1.75 23                        
24           0.90 1.00 1.20 1.35 1.45 1.60 1.70 24                        
25             0.90 1.10 1.25 1.40 1.50 1.60 25                        
26             0.90 1.05 1.20 1.35 1.45 1.55 26                        
27             0.90 0.95 1.15 1.30 1.40 1.50 27                        
28               0.90 1.05 1.20 1.35 1.45 28                        
29               0.90 1.00 1.15 1.30 1.40 29                        
30                 0.90 1.10 1.20 1.35 30                        
31                 0.90 1.00 1.15 1.30 31                        
32                 0.90 0.95 1.10 1.25 32                        
33                   0.90 1.05 1.15 33                        
34                   0.90 1.00 1.10 34                        
35                     0.90 1.05 35                        
36   0.9m minimum foundation depth     0.90 1.00 36   0.9m minimum foundation depth        

37                     0.90 0.95 37                        

38                       0.90 38                        

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 15


4.2 Building near trees

Table 18 - MEDIUM shrinkage soil and MODERATE water demand tree


Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

Foundation depth (m) Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree height H (m) Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m) D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 1.85 1.85 1.90 1.90 1.95 1.95 1.95 1.95 1.95 1.95 1.95 1.95 1 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.80 1.85 1.85 1.90 1.90 1.90 1.90 1.90
2 1.65 1.75 1.80 1.80 1.85 1.85 1.85 1.90 1.90 1.90 1.90 1.90 2 1.25 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.65 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.75 1.80 1.80 1.80
3 1.45 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.85 1.85 1.85 1.85 3 0.90 1.10 1.25 1.35 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.60 1.65 1.65 1.70 1.70
4 1.30 1.45 1.55 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.75 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.80 4   0.90 0.95 1.10 1.25 1.30 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.55 1.60
5 1.10 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.70 1.75 1.75 1.80 5     0.90 0.90 1.05 1.15 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50
6 0.90 1.15 1.30 1.40 1.45 1.55 1.60 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.70 1.75 6         0.90 0.95 1.10 1.15 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.40
7 0.90 1.00 1.15 1.30 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.60 1.65 1.65 1.70 7           0.90 0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.25 1.30
8   0.90 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.55 1.60 1.65 8               0.90 0.95 1.05 1.10 1.20
9     0.90 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55 1.60 9                 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.10
10     0.90 0.95 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55 10                   0.90 0.90 0.95
11       0.90 1.00 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 11                       0.90
4.2

12         0.90 1.05 1.15 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 12                        


13         0.90 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.40 13                        
14           0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.25 1.30 1.35 14                        
15             0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.25 1.30 15                        
16             0.90 0.95 1.05 1.10 1.20 1.25 16                        
17               0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 17                        
18                 0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 18                        
19                 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.10 19                        
20                   0.90 0.95 1.05 20                        
21   0.9m minimum foundation depth     0.90 1.00 21   0.9m minimum foundation depth        
22                     0.90 0.95 22                        
23                       0.90 23                        

Table 19 - MEDIUM shrinkage soil and LOW water demand tree


Broad leafed trees

Foundation depth (m)

Distance Tree height H (m)


D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

1 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.50 1.50

2 1.20 1.30 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.45

3 1.05 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.40

4 0.90 1.05 1.10 1.20 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.30 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.35

5   0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.20 1.25 1.25 1.30 1.30 1.30

6     0.90 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.20 1.25 1.25 1.30

7       0.90 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.15 1.20 1.20 1.25

8         0.90 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.20

9           0.90 1.00 1.05 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.15

10             0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.10

11               0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10

12       0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05

13    0.9m minimum foundation depth     0.90 0.95 1.00

14                     0.90 0.95

15                       0.90

Page 16 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Table 20 - LOW shrinkage soil and HIGH water demand tree
Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

Foundation depth (m) Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree height H (m) Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m) D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 2.35 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 1 2.15 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.35 2.35 2.35 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.40
2 2.15 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.35 2.35 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.45 2 1.80 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.30 2.35
3 2.00 2.10 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.35 2.35 2.35 2.35 2.40 3 1.45 1.65 1.80 1.90 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.10 2.15 2.20 2.20 2.25
4 1.80 1.95 2.05 2.10 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.25 2.30 2.30 2.30 2.35 4 1.05 1.35 1.55 1.70 1.80 1.85 1.95 2.00 2.05 2.05 2.10 2.15
5 1.65 1.80 1.95 2.00 2.10 2.15 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.25 2.25 2.30 5 0.75 1.05 1.30 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.85 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.05
6 1.45 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.05 2.10 2.15 2.15 2.20 2.20 2.25 6   0.75 1.05 1.25 1.45 1.55 1.65 1.70 1.80 1.85 1.90 1.95
7 1.30 1.55 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.05 2.05 2.10 2.15 2.15 2.20 7   0.75 0.80 1.05 1.25 1.40 1.50 1.60 1.65 1.75 1.80 1.85
8 1.10 1.40 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.05 2.10 2.10 2.15 8     0.75 0.85 1.05 1.20 1.35 1.45 1.55 1.60 1.70 1.75
9 0.95 1.25 1.45 1.60 1.75 1.80 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.05 2.05 2.10 9       0.75 0.90 1.05 1.20 1.35 1.45 1.50 1.60 1.65
10 0.75 1.10 1.35 1.50 1.65 1.75 1.80 1.90 1.95 2.00 2.00 2.05 10         0.75 0.90 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.55
11 0.75 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.55 1.65 1.75 1.80 1.90 1.95 1.95 2.00 11           0.75 0.90 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.45

4.2
12 0.75 0.85 1.10 1.30 1.45 1.60 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.85 1.90 1.95 12             0.75 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25 1.35
13   0.75 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.85 1.90 13             0.75 0.80 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25
14   0.75 0.90 1.10 1.30 1.45 1.55 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.80 1.85 14               0.75 0.80 0.95 1.05 1.15
15     0.75 1.00 1.20 1.35 1.45 1.55 1.65 1.70 1.75 1.80 15                 0.75 0.85 0.95 1.05
16     0.75 0.90 1.10 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.60 1.65 1.70 1.75 16                   0.75 0.85 0.95
17     0.75 0.80 1.05 1.20 1.35 1.45 1.55 1.60 1.65 1.75 17                     0.75 0.85
18       0.75 0.95 1.10 1.25 1.35 1.45 1.55 1.60 1.70 18                       0.75
19       0.75 0.85 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.55 1.65 19                        
20         0.75 0.95 1.10 1.25 1.35 1.45 1.50 1.60 20                        
21         0.75 0.90 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.45 1.55 21                        
22         0.75 0.80 1.00 1.10 1.25 1.35 1.40 1.50 22                        
23           0.75 0.90 1.05 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.45 23                        
24           0.75 0.85 1.00 1.10 1.25 1.30 1.40 24                        
25             0.75 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25 1.35 25                        
26             0.75 0.85 1.00 1.10 1.20 1.30 26                        
27             0.75 0.80 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25 27                        
28               0.75 0.90 1.00 1.10 1.20 28                        
29               0.75 0.85 0.95 1.05 1.15 29                        
30                 0.75 0.90 1.00 1.10 30                        
31                 0.75 0.85 0.95 1.05 31                        
32                 0.75 0.80 0.90 1.05 32                        
33                   0.75 0.85 1.00 33                        
34                   0.75 0.80 0.95 34                        
35                     0.75 0.90 35                        
36                     0.75 0.85 36                        
37   0.75m minimum foundation depth     0.75 0.80 37   0.75m minimum foundation depth        
38                       0.75 38                        

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 17


4.2 Building near trees

Table 21 - LOW shrinkage soil and MODERATE water demand tree


Broad leafed trees Coniferous trees

Foundation depth (m) Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree height H (m) Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m) D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 1.50 1.50 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.60 1.60 1.60 1 1.30 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.55 1.55 1.55
2 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.55 1.55 1.55 1.55 2 1.00 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.45
3 1.20 1.30 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 3 0.75 0.90 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.40
4 1.05 1.15 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 4   0.75 0.80 0.95 1.00 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.20 1.25 1.25 1.30
5 0.90 1.05 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.40 1.40 1.40 1.45 5     0.75 0.75 0.85 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.20
6 0.75 0.95 1.05 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.30 1.35 1.35 1.40 1.40 6         0.75 0.80 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15
7 0.75 0.85 0.95 1.05 1.10 1.20 1.20 1.25 1.30 1.30 1.35 1.35 7           0.75 0.75 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05
8   0.75 0.85 0.95 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.25 1.30 1.30 8               0.75 0.80 0.85 0.95 0.95
9     0.75 0.90 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.25 1.25 1.30 9                 0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90
10     0.75 0.80 0.90 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20 1.20 1.25 10                   0.75 0.75 0.80
11       0.75 0.85 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.15 1.20
4.2

11                       0.75
12         0.75 0.85 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.15 12                        
13         0.75 0.80 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 13                        
14           0.75 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 14                        
15             0.75 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 15                        
16             0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 16                        
17               0.75 0.80 0.90 0.95 1.00 17                        
18                 0.75 0.85 0.90 0.95 18                        
19                 0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90 19                        
20                   0.75 0.80 0.85 20                        
21   0.75m minimum foundation depth     0.75 0.85 21   0.75m minimum foundation depth        
22                     0.75 0.80 22                        
23                       0.75 23                        

Table 22 - LOW shrinkage soil and LOW water demand tree

Broad leafed trees

Foundation depth (m)


Distance Tree height H (m)
D (m)
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
1 1.10 1.15 1.15 1.15 1.15 1.15 1.20 1.20 1.20 1.20 1.20 1.20
2 1.00 1.05 1.05 1.10 1.10 1.10 1.15 1.15 1.15 1.15 1.15 1.15
3 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.05 1.05 1.10 1.10 1.10 1.10 1.10 1.15
4 0.75 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.00 1.05 1.05 1.05 1.10 1.10 1.10
5   0.75 0.85 0.90 0.95 0.95 1.00 1.00 1.05 1.05 1.05 1.05
6     0.75 0.85 0.90 0.90 0.95 0.95 1.00 1.00 1.05 1.05
7       0.75 0.85 0.85 0.90 0.95 0.95 1.00 1.00 1.00
8         0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90 0.90 0.95 0.95 1.00
9           0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90 0.90 0.95 0.95
10             0.75 0.80 0.85 0.85 0.90 0.90
11               0.75 0.80 0.85 0.85 0.90
12       0.75 0.80 0.85 0.85
13    0.75m minimum foundation depth    0.75 0.80 0.85
14                     0.75 0.80
15                       0.75

Page 18 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Appendix 4.2-D
Climate zones
Figure 13 Reductions in foundation depth due to climate variations
The foundation depth may be reduced by the amounts shown on the map for each climatic zone (see Design clause D5(e)). Where it is unclear
which zone applies, the lower reduction value should be used.

Thurso 0.50m (500mm)

Wick

0.45m (450mm)
Dingwall

4.2
Inverness Peterhead
0.40m (400mm)
Aberdeen
Fort William
Pitlochry
Montrose
0.35m (350mm)
Oban Perth

Dunbar
Edinburgh 0.30m (300mm)
Glasgow Berwick Upon Tweed

Ayr

Londonderry
0.25m (250mm)
Dumfries
Newcastle Tynemouth

Carlisle
Belfast Middlesbrough
Darlington
Enniskillen 0.20m (200mm)
Scarborough
Barrow-in-Furness
Douglas
Lancaster York
Blackpool Leeds Hull 0.15m (150mm)
Manchester
Grimsby
Holyhead Liverpool Lincoln
Conwy Chester
Skegness 0.10m (100mm)
Stoke on Trent
Derby
Shrewsbury Stafford Norwich
Kings Lynn Yarmouth
Aberystwyth Leicester
Birmingham Lowestoft 0.05m (50mm)
Cardigan Cambridge
Worcester
Banbury
Brecon
Cheltenham Ipswich
Colchester
Swansea
Newport Oxford
Pembroke Chelmsford
Cardiff
Swindon
Ilfracombe Bristol Reading London Margate
Salisbury Winchester
Barnstaple Dover
Taunton Southampton
Exeter Poole Brighton
Hastings
Portsmouth
St. Austell Plymouth Weymouth

Penzance

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 19


4.2 Building near trees

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Appendix 4.2-E NHBC gratefully acknowledges the help
given by authoritative organisations
Information sources and and individuals in the preparation of this
Chapter, particularly:
acknowledgements Building Research Establishment
INFORMATION SOURCES Dr P G Biddle Arboricultural Consultant
Further recommendations and information
can be obtained from:

Publications
BS 1377 ‘Methods of test for soils for civil
engineering purposes’
BS 5837 ‘Guide for trees in relation to
construction’
BS 5930 ‘Code of practice for site
investigations’
BRE Digests 240, 241 and 242 ‘Low rise
4.2

buildings on shrinkable clay soils’, parts 1,


2 and 3
BRE Digest 298 ‘The influence of trees on
house foundations in clay soils’
BRE Digest 412 ‘Desiccation in clay soils’

Tree Recognition - A Pocket Manual


by Ian Richardson and Rowena Gale,
Richardson’s Botanical Identifications,
49/51 Whiteknights Road, Reading, Berks
RG6 7BB

Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and


Northern Europe
by Alan Mitchell, Harper Collins, Glasgow

Geological survey maps


obtainable from British Geological Survey,
Nicker Hill, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG
Tel: 0115 936 3100; www.bgs.ac.uk

Tree root damage to buildings


Vol.1 Causes, Diagnosis and Remedy
Vol. 2 Patterns of Soil Drying in
Proximity to Trees on Clay Soils
by P G Biddle, Willowmead Publishing,
Wantage OX12 9JA

Organisations
Arboricultural Association
Ampfield House, Ampfield, nr. Romsey,
Hants SO51 9PA
Tel: 01794 368717; www.trees.org.uk

Arboricultural Advisory and Information


Service
Forest Research Station, Alice Holt Lodge,
Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LH
Tel: 01420 22022; www.treehelp.info
(Tree Helpline telephone no. 0906 516 1147)

Institution of Civil Engineers


1-7 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA
Tel: 020 7222 7722; www.ice.org.uk

Institution of Structural Engineers


11 Upper Belgrave Street, London SW1X 8BH
Tel: 020 7235 4535; www.istructe.org.uk

Page 20 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
Appendix 4.2-F
Worked example
How to determine foundation depths from the Charts in Appendix 4.2-B or the Tables in Appendix 4.2-C.

Step Ref Example


1 Determine the volume change potential D5(b) Site at Oxford, building near a Lombardy Poplar (to be retained) and a
of the soil. Ensure the site investigation Sycamore (to be removed)
includes representative sampling and testing.
From laboratory tests,
Plasticity Index, Ip = 36%.
Test results also report that 100% of particles are smaller than 425µm.
Therefore,
modified Plasticity Index, l’p = 36 x 100 = 36%
100
From Table 1, Volume change potential = Medium

4.2
(in the absence of tests assume high volume change potential)
This example is typical of Oxford Clay. More than 35% of the particles
are smaller than 60µm and therefore the soil is shrinkable. 100% of the
particles are smaller than 425µm and therefore the l’p is the same as the lp.
A typical Boulder Clay also has more than 35% of particles smaller than
60µm and is therefore also shrinkable. However, it may have only 80% of
its particles smaller than 425µm in which case the l’p is 80% of the lp.
A typical clayey sand may have less than 30% of its particles smaller than
60µm in which case the soil would be non shrinkable.
2 Establish the species, mature height and D5(c)
Lombardy Poplar Sycamore
water demand of all trees and hedgerows and
within their influencing radii. D5(d) From Appendix 4.2-A From Appendix 4.2-A
Mature height = 25m Mature height = 22m
Water demand = High Water demand = Moderate

3 Plot the trees and hedgerows relative D5(c)


to the foundations and draw their zones zone of influence
of Lombardy Poplar
of influence to determine which trees will 1.25 x 25 = 31.25m
affect the foundation design. Use a scaled
plan. Lombardy Poplar
mature height 25m
house
10m

Sycamore 8m
mature
height 22m
zone of influence
of Sycamore
0.75 x 22 = 16.5m

4 Establish the appropriate tree height H D5(d)


Lombardy Poplar Sycamore
to use.
Always use the mature height for remaining Tree to remain. Therefore, Tree to be removed
and proposed trees and hedgerows. The H = Mature height Mature height = 22m
appropriate height to use for removed trees = 25m Actual height = 15m
and hedgerows depends on the actual height Actual height greater than 50%
when they are removed. mature height. Therefore,
H = Mature height
= 22m

5 Measure the distance D from the centre D6(c)


Lombardy Poplar Sycamore
of the trees or hedgerows to the face of the
foundation. Distance D = 10m from foundation Distance D = 8m from foundation

6 Select Steps 6C(a) and (b) if using Charts in


Appendix 4.2-B to derive depths or select
Step 6T if using Tables in Appendix 4.2-C
to derive depths. Alternatively the NHBC
foundation depth calculator may be used
(see Sitework clause S2).

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 21


4.2 Building near trees

6C (a) Calculate D/H


Lombardy Poplar Sycamore
i.e. distance D from face of foundation (Step
5) divided by the appropriate tree height H D = 10 = 0.4 D = 8 = 0.36
(Step 4). Alternatively D/H can be obtained H 25 H 22
from Table 13 in Appendix 4.2-B.
6C(b) Determine foundation depth using the
Lombardy Poplar Sycamore
Charts in Appendix 4.2-B as follows:
In this example the volume In this example the volume
Volume change potential Chart change potential is Medium, then change potential is Medium, then
number from Chart 2 for broadleafed high from Chart 2 for broadleafed
water demand trees at D moderate water demand trees
High 1 = 0.4, at D
H = 0.36,
Medium 2
Foundation depth = 2.33m
H
Low 3 Foundation depth = 1.50m
The Lombardy Poplar is the tree requiring the greater depth (2.33m)

6T Determine foundation depth using the


Lombardy Poplar Sycamore
Tables in Appendix 4.2-C as follows:
4.2

In this example the volume In this example the volume


Volume Tree water Table
change potential is Medium and change potential is Medium and
change demand number
the water demand is High, then the water demand is Moderate,
potential
from Table 17, for broad leafed then from Table 18, for broad
High High 14 high water demand trees at D = leafed moderate water demand
Moderate 15 10m and H = 25m, Foundation trees at D = 8m and H = 22m,
Low 16 depth = 2.33m (by interpolation) Foundation depth = 1.50m
Medium High 17 The Lombardy Poplar is the tree requiring the greater depth (2.33m)
Moderate 18
Low 19
Low High 20
Moderate 21
Low 22

7 Adjust the depth according to the climatic D5(e)


Oxford is between 50 and 100 miles NW of London. From Appendix 4.2-D,
zone. A reduction may be made for distance
a reduction of 0.05m is permitted.
north and west of London but the final depth
Final foundation depth = 2.33 - 0.05 = 2.28m
should not be less than the minimum given
in each Chart and Table.
8 Check that the recommendations of this  
Chapter have been met for:

Acceptable foundation types D6(a)

New planting D6(d),


(including shrubs) D6(e)

Non shrinkable soil overlying shrinkable soil D6(f)

Variations in foundation depths D6(g),


S3(b)

Foundations on sloping ground D6(h)

Precautions against heave D8,S4


(including suspended floors)

Measurement of foundation depths S3(a)

Foundation trench bottoms S3(c)

Precautions for drainage S5

Note:
The above process may be repeated to allow the foundation to be stepped as its distance from the tree increases.

Page 22 Chapter 4.2 2007


Building near trees 4.2
INDEX
B M T
Broad leafed trees 8, 13 - 18 Modified Plasticity Index 1, 10, 11, 21 Tree heights 2, 6, 8, 13 - 18
C N Tree species 8
Climate 2, 19 New planting 3 Trench bottoms 6
Compressible materials 5, 6, 7 Trench fill foundations 2, 4, 6
P
Coniferous trees 8, 13 - 18 Pier and beam foundations 2, 4, 7 V
D Pile and beam foundations 2, 4, 7 Void formers 5, 7
Depth charts 9 - 12 Plasticity Index 1, 10, 11, 21 Volume change potential 1
Depth Tables 13 - 18 Protection of trees 1 W
Drainage 5, 7, 21, 22 R Water demand 1, 8, 13 - 18

E Raft foundations 2, 4, 5 Z
Excavation 6 Zone of influence 2, 21
S
F Shrinkable soils 1, 3, 13 - 18

4.2
Foundation depths 2, 3, 6, 9 - 18 Shrubs 3
Foundation types 2, 4 Sloping ground 3
H Soil classification 1
Heave 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 Stepped foundations 2, 6
Heave precautions 4, 5, 6, 7 Strip foundations 2, 3
Suspended ground floors 5

2007 Chapter 4.2 Page 23


Part 4 Foundations

Chapter 4.4
Strip and trench fill foundations
4.4 Strip and trench fill foundations

CONTENTS SCOPE

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Design standards D1 1 Requirements and recommendations for strip and trench
Statutory requirements D2 1 fill foundations.
Requirement for foundations D3 1
Safe transmission of loads D4 1
Design by an Engineer D5-D6 1
Site conditions D7 1
Foundation depth D8 1
Stepped foundations D9 2
Services and drainage D10 2
Movement joints D11 2
Provision of information D12-D13 2
4.4

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 2
Concrete M2 2
Reinforcement M3 2
Other materials M4 2

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 2
Setting out foundations S2 3
Excavations S3-S8 3
Services and drainage S9-S10 3
General construction S11-S12 4
Strip and trench fill foundations S13 4

APPENDIX 4.4-A
Dimensions of strip foundations 6

INDEX 7

Page  Chapter 4.4 2007


Strip and trench fill foundations 4.4
(b) stability of the dwelling and any work starts. Hazardous ground is defined
DESIGN STANDARDS associated constructions in Chapter 4.1 ‘Land quality - managing
Where appropriate, reference should be ground conditions’.
4.4 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical
made to BS 8103.
Requirements NHBC Rules state:
Design that follows the guidance below will Unless there are reasons for doing “If a Home is to be constructed on a
be acceptable for both strip foundations otherwise, foundations should be Hazardous Site you must before making an
and trench fill foundations. symmetrical beneath loadbearing Application for Inspection notify the NHBC
elements. in writing of the particular hazards which
arise. You must do this at least 8 weeks
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS Strip and trench fill foundations should before work begins on the site.”
be continuous throughout the building,
4.4 - D2 Design shall comply with all
including integral garages, porches,
relevant statutory requirements
conservatories, bay windows, etc. The SITE CONDITIONS
Design should be in accordance with foundations should be of sufficient width 4.4 - D7 Foundation design shall take
relevant Building Regulations and other throughout to avoid overstressing the account of site conditions
statutory requirements. ground, especially where the foundation is
required to support piers or columns. Items to be taken into account include:
(a) the results of site appraisal
REQUIREMENT FOR Reference should be made to Chapter 4.2 All relevant information about the nature
FOUNDATIONS

4.4
‘Building near trees’ where: and loadbearing capacity of the ground
• soil is shrinkable should be available before the foundations
4.4 - D3 All loadbearing elements shall
• trees have been, or are being, removed are designed.
be adequately supported by foundations since heave is possible in these situations
Elements requiring foundations include the special precautions are necessary. Information about ground conditions
following: and the past history of the site may be
The width of the foundation will depend available from a number of sources.
• external walls
on the loadbearing capacity of the sub-soil These include NHBC, Local Authorities
• separating (party) walls
and the loads from the building. However, and the area offices of the Gas, Water and
• chimney breasts
the foundation width should not be less Electricity Companies. Aerial photographs,
• piers
than the wall thickness, plus at least 50mm Ordnance Survey maps and geological
• internal loadbearing walls.
each side, to ensure that the foundation is maps and surveys may often be studied at
SLEEPER WALLS not oversailed by any part of the wall. local Public Libraries and Record Offices.
In Scotland, a sleeper wall is also defined
(c) stability of any adjoining dwelling or Site assessment surveys may require
as a loadbearing element and must be
construction supplementary site investigations involving
provided with a suitable foundation.
Foundations adjoining those of an existing trial pits and borings. Details are given
In England, Wales, Northern Ireland and building may require special design. If in Chapter 4.1 ‘Land quality - managing
the Isle of Man, sleeper walls should not be taken to a greater depth, such foundations ground conditions’.
built off oversite concrete: will usually need to be Engineer designed
• on shrinkable clay soils where heave and carefully supervised to check (b) dwelling design and layout
could take place the standard of workmanship. Where Foundation design is governed by the
• where infill below the oversite concrete necessary, allowance should be made in shape and size of the dwellings as well
is greater than 600mm the design for differential movement. as the site conditions. Foundations for
• which is less than 100mm thick. terraced dwellings may require special
precautions to prevent damage from
In these situations, suitable foundations DESIGN BY AN ENGINEER differential settlement.
will be required. 4.4 - D5 Foundations on hazardous
ground shall be designed by an Engineer (c) site levels
SAFE TRANSMISSION OF Stepped foundations or suspended floors
Details of hazardous ground to be taken may be needed for sloping sites. Reference
LOADS into consideration are given in Chapters: should be made to Clause D9 for stepped
4.1 ‘Land quality - managing ground foundations and to Chapter 5.2 ‘Suspended
4.4 - D4 Foundations shall be designed
conditions’, and ground floors’ (Design).
to transmit loads to the ground safely 4.2 ‘Building near trees’.
and without excessive settlement
Items to be taken into account include:
Foundations should be designed by an FOUNDATION DEPTH
Engineer in accordance with Technical
(a) dead and imposed loads 4.4 - D8 Foundation depth shall be
Requirement R5 where:
Dead and imposed loads should be adequate for the site conditions
• buildings exceed 3 storeys in height
calculated in accordance with BS 6399 and • retaining walls are required for habitable Items to be taken into account include:
BS 648. rooms below ground. (a) soils with volume change potential
Appendix 4.4-A shows suitable foundation In shrinkable soils that are classified as
4.4 - D6 Where foundations are on containing more than 35% fine particles
dimensions and gives minimum widths
hazardous ground, notice shall be given (clay and silt), and have a modified
of strip foundations for different sub-
to NHBC before work starts on site Plasticity Index of 10% or greater, the
soil and wall loadings. Strip foundations
should be 150mm to 500mm thick. Trench Where hazardous ground has been minimum foundation depth should be as in
fill foundations should be greater than identified, NHBC must be notified before the following table:
500mm thick.

2007 Chapter 4.4 Page 


4.4 Strip and trench fill foundations

Modified Volume Minimum


them to be installed later. Materials for strip and trench fill
Plasticity change depth (m) foundations should comply with all
Reference should be made to Chapters 8.1
Index potential relevant standards, including those listed
‘Internal services’ (Design and Sitework)
40% and High 1.0 below. Where no standard exists, Technical
and 5.3 ‘Drainage below ground’ (Design
greater Requirement R3 applies (see Chapter
and Sitework) for further details.
20% to less Medium 0.9
1.1 ‘Introduction to the Standards and
Technical Requirements’).
than 40%
MOVEMENT JOINTS
10% to less Low 0.75 References to British Standards and Codes
than 20% 4.4 - D11 Movement joints shall be
of Practice include those made under the
suitable for their intended purpose
Construction Products Directive (89/106/
(b) frost susceptible soils Where movement joints are specified in EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
To avoid damage from frost action, the foundations, they should be continuous European Technical Specifications
depth to the underside of the foundation with those in the superstructure. approved by a European Committee for
in frost susceptible ground, eg chalk, Standardisation (CEN).
should be at least 450mm below finished PROVISION OF
ground level. INFORMATION CONCRETE
This depth should also be used when 4.4 - D12 Drawings and specifications 4.4 - M2 Concrete shall be of a mix
construction is undertaken during cold shall be produced in a clearly design which is suitable for the intended use
4.4

weather. Alternatively, precautions should understandable format Items to be taken into account include:
be taken to prevent freezing of the ground.
It is important that all relevant information (a) strength to safely transmit loads
(c) suitable bearing strata needed for the completion of the sitework (b) durability against chemical or
The depth of foundations should be such is stated clearly and unambiguously and is frost action
as to give a clean, firm and adequate readily available to all concerned.
bearing for the design loads. For guidance on the specification and use
All necessary dimensions and levels should of concrete, particularly in relation to the
Trench fill foundations greater than 2.5m in be indicated and related to: choice of mix to resist deterioration due
depth must be designed by an Engineer in • at least one benchmark, and to ground aggressivity, reference should
accordance with Technical Requirement R5. • reference points on site. be made to Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its
reinforcement’ (each section).
All necessary details of junctions, steps,
STEPPED FOUNDATIONS movement joints and, where necessary,
4.4 - D9 Foundations shall be taken to any critical sequences of construction REINFORCEMENT
a suitable bearing level when building on should be provided. 4.4 - M3 Reinforcement shall be
sloping ground sufficient to ensure proper transfer
4.4 - D13 Designs and specifications,
of loads
Sloping ground may require stepped together with relevant site information,
foundations. shall be distributed to appropriate Where reinforcement may be necessary,
personnel for example at construction joints or over
Where foundations are stepped, the height
small localised soft spots or changes in
of the step should not exceed the thickness Both designers and site operatives need
bearing strata, it should be in accordance
of the foundation, unless it forms part of to be aware of the ground conditions
with Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its
a foundation designed by an Engineer in and, in particular, any features requiring
reinforcement’ (each section).
accordance with Technical Requirement R5. special attention, such as any existing
sewers or other services, levels of water
For details of stepped foundations,
table and the presence of any deleterious OTHER MATERIALS
reference should be made to Sitework
substances, especially sulfates. 4.4 - M4 Compressible materials shall
Clause 4.4 - S13(b).
Information on ground conditions, the be capable of absorbing potential heave
forces, where appropriate
SERVICES AND DRAINAGE results of site investigation and the
foundation design can be requested by Proprietary materials should have been
4.4 - D10 Foundation design shall NHBC, even for those sites which are not assessed in accordance with Technical
make allowance for drainage and other classified as hazardous. Requirement R3.
services
Where toxic materials (or materials likely
Items to be taken into account include: to present a health hazard) are found, all
(a) ground water drainage
Provision should be made for adjusting any
available information should be supplied to SITEWORK STANDARDS
NHBC, together with proposals for dealing
existing ground water drains affected by with the hazard. 4.4 - S1 All sitework shall:
excavation work. (a) meet the Technical Requirements
(b) take account of the design
(b) existing services
(c) follow established good practice and
Precautions should be taken to MATERIALS STANDARDS workmanship
accommodate the effects of settlement,
where drains run under or near a building. 4.4 - M1 All materials shall:
Sitework that complies with the design
(a) meet the Technical Requirements
and the guidance below will be acceptable
(c) access for services (b) take account of the design
for both strip foundations and trench fill
Where services are to pass through or
Materials that comply with the design and foundations.
under foundations, provision should be
the guidance below will be acceptable
made for suitable ducts or lintels to enable
for both strip foundations and trench fill
foundations.

Page  Chapter 4.4 2007


Strip and trench fill foundations 4.4
SETTING OUT ground should be at least 450mm below
ground level. If finished ground level is to
FOUNDATIONS be above existing ground level then, in cold
4.4 - S2 The setting out of foundations conditions when freezing is expected, the
vertical sides
shall take account of the design details foundation depth should be taken from the and steps horizontal
existing, not finished, ground level.
The accuracy of setting out should be
4.4 - S8 Trench bottoms, when
checked by control measurements of finished ground level
prepared for concreting, shall be
trenches, including their location relative
compact, reasonably dry and even
to site boundaries and adjacent buildings.
at least
Levels should be checked against bench 450mm If any part of a trench bottom is affected
marks, where appropriate. by rainwater, ground water or drying, it
should be re-bottomed.
In particular, for excavations check:
4.4 - S5 Excavation in shrinkable soil
• trench lengths Trenches should be kept free of water.
shall take account of the foundation
• trench widths
design
• length of diagonals between SERVICES AND DRAINAGE
external corners. The design should specify the minimum
foundation depth. In shrinkable soils, the 4.4 - S9 Existing services shall be
minimum foundation depth should be as in adequately protected

4.4
bou
the following table: Any existing services, such as cables,
nda
ry water pipes or gas mains, may need to be
Volume change Minimum depth (m)
potential supported and protected.
High 1.0 Drains which are redundant should be cut
distance from boundary
Medium 0.9 open and filled or removed.
Low 0.75 Any existing drains should be diverted or
di
ag adequately protected.
trench
on
als
trench
These minimum depths may only be used
length width where any existing or proposed trees Services should not be rigidly encased in
or shrubs are outside the zone of tree the foundations.
influence (See Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near Ground water drains should be diverted.
trees’ (Design)).

4.4 - S6 Excavations shall take account


trench length
of localised effects
Walls should be located centrally on Where localised changes in strata give
the foundation, unless specifically rise to differences in bearing capacity,
designed otherwise. special precautions will be necessary and land drains
reference should be made to the designer. diverted to
Any discrepancy in dimensions should suitable
outfall
be reported promptly to the designer. At soft spots, excavations should be
Resulting variations should be distributed deepened locally to a sound bottom diversion
to all concerned with sitework, including or, alternatively, the concrete should
NHBC, where appropriate. be reinforced.
Hard spots should be removed.
EXCAVATIONS
Where roots are visible on the sides or
4.4 - S3 Excavations for foundations
bottoms of trenches (especially in clay
shall take account of design dimensions
soils), excavations may need to be taken
Excess excavation should be avoided. deeper, or special precautions determined
Inaccuracy may prevent walls and piers by an Engineer in accordance with
being located centrally and therefore Technical Requirement R5.
result in eccentric loading of foundations
On sites where there are or have been 4.4 - S10 Provision shall be made for
and possible foundation failure.
trees, foundations constructed in service entries or services to safely
Accurate trench digging is particularly accordance with the guidance given in pass through, or above, foundations
important where the width of the Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near trees’ will be
foundation is only slightly wider than the acceptable to NHBC. For details of underground drains and
wall to be supported. services, reference should be made to
4.4 - S7 The shape of the trench shall Chapters 8.1 ‘Internal services’ (Design and
Any ground condition that might cause the not impair the performance of the Sitework) and 5.3 ‘Drainage below ground’
foundation design to be modified should foundation (Design and Sitework). Reference should
be reported promptly to the designer. also be made to Chapter 5.1 ‘Substructure
Unless otherwise designed by an Engineer
in accordance with Technical Requirement and ground bearing floors’ (Design and
4.4 - S4 Excavation shall be to a
R5, trench bottoms should be horizontal Sitework).
depth that gives adequate bearing and
protection from frost damage with all loose material removed. Trench
STRIP FOUNDATIONS
sides and steps should be, as near as
To avoid damage from frost action, the Services should not pass through strip
possible, vertical.
depth of foundation in frost susceptible foundations but through the masonry
above. Adequate lintels should be provided

2007 Chapter 4.4 Page 


4.4 Strip and trench fill foundations

in the masonry. Reference should be made For trench fill, it is particularly important
to Chapter 5.1 ‘Substructure and ground to check that the finished foundation level
bearing floors’ (Design and Sitework). is correct and horizontal. It will be difficult
to adjust for discrepancies in the small
TRENCH FILL FOUNDATIONS number of brick courses (possibly only 6)
Where services pass through trench fill between foundation and dpc level.
foundations, they should not affect the
ability of the foundations to carry loads.
Services should be either sleeved or
passed through a suitably strengthened joint using
reinforcing bars
opening in the foundation. This is to
ensure that differential movement will not
damage services.
In the case of drains, it is important to
leave sufficient space for movement
to ensure that the drain is capable of pegs help
to ensure
maintaining line and gradient. correct levels

flexible material 4.4 - S12 Strip and trench fill


4.4

around pipe
foundations shall be reinforced, where joint with
expanded
necessary, to suit localised ground metal lath
flexible conditions
joint flexible
joint
Reinforcement, if needed, should be clean TRENCH FILL FOUNDATIONS
and free from loose rust and should be It is important that concrete mix,
placed correctly. Bars, of an appropriate workability and placement are maintained
size, should be properly supported to throughout a trench fill foundation.
ensure that they are 75mm above the base However, where a joint is unavoidable,
of the foundation or as indicated in the it should not be positioned near a
design. They should be secured at laps and return in the foundation. Before work
granular lintel
backfill crossings. continues beyond the construction
around pipe
joint, all shuttering should be removed.
If in doubt about any soft spots, the Construction joints may be formed by one
designer’s advice should be taken before of the methods shown below.
placing the concrete.

50mm gap
all round

masked
opening

GENERAL CONSTRUCTION joint using


corrugated
metal former
4.4 - S11 Concrete shall be correctly
mixed, placed and cured
Concreting should be carried out, as far as
at least
possible, in one operation, taking account 75mm
75mm cover
of weather conditions and available side
cover
daylight. Concrete should be placed as
soon as possible after the excavation has
been checked. STRIP AND TRENCH FILL
Mixing, placing, testing and curing FOUNDATIONS
of concrete should be carried out as joint with
indicated in Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its 4.4 - S13 Strip and trench fill expanded
metal lath
reinforcement’ (each section), and for work foundations shall be constructed to take
carried out in cold weather, Chapter 1.4 account of the foundation design
(b) stepping of foundations
‘Cold weather working’. Items to be taken into account include: Sloping ground may require stepped
(a) construction joints foundations.
The foundation thickness should be:
• 150mm to 500mm - for strip foundation STRIP FOUNDATIONS
If construction joints are unavoidable, Where foundations are stepped, the height
• not less than 500mm - for trench fill
they should not be positioned near a of the step should not exceed the thickness
foundations.
return in the foundation. All shuttering of the foundation, unless it forms part of
Where trench fill foundations are in excess should be removed before work continues a foundation designed by an Engineer in
of 2.5m depth, they must be designed by beyond the construction joint. For strip accordance with Technical Requirement R5.
an Engineer in accordance with Technical foundations, construction joints may be Foundation bottoms should be horizontal
Requirement R5. formed by one of the methods shown below. and steps, as near as possible, vertical.

Page  Chapter 4.4 2007


Strip and trench fill foundations 4.4
STRIP FOUNDATIONS
The overlap should be not less than:
• 2 x S, or
• T (maximum 500mm), or
• 300mm,
whichever is the largest.

S T

overlap

TRENCH FILL FOUNDATIONS


The overlap should be not less than:
• 2 x S, or

4.4
• one metre,
whichever is the larger.

S
T

overlap

2007 Chapter 4.4 Page 


4.4 Strip and trench fill foundations

Appendix 4.4-A
Approved Document A1/2, Section 2E, specifies the size of strip foundations using Diagram 24 and Table 10.
Also see Technical booklet D of Building Regulations (N Ireland) 1990.
Strip foundations should be:
• Located centrally under the wall
• of thickness P or 150mm (whichever is greater)
• of the width shown in Table 10.

Diagram 24 Foundation dimensions

wall should be
central on foundation

P W P

The minimum thickness


of the foundation (T)
4.4

should either be P or T
150mm, whichever is
greater.

foundation width
should be not less
than the appropriate
dimension in Table 10

Trench fill foundations may be used as an


alternative to strip foundations

Table 10 Minimum width of strip footings


Type of ground Condition of ground Field test applicable Total load of load-bearing walling not more than (kN/linear
(including engineered metre)
fill)
20 30 40 50 60 70
Minimum width of strip foundation (mm)
I Requires at least a pneumatic in each case equal to the width of the wall
Rock Not inferior to sandstone, or other mechanically
limestone or firm chalk operated pick for excavation
II Requires pick for excavation. 250 300 400 500 600 650
Gravel or Medium Dense Wooden peg 50mm square
Sand in cross section hard to drive
beyond 150mm
III Can be indented slightly by 250 300 400 500 600 650
Clay Stiff thumb
Sandy clay Stiff
IV Thumb makes impression 300 350 450 600 750 850
Clay Firm easily
Sandy clay Firm
V Can be excavated with a 400 600
Sand Loose spade. Wooden peg 50mm
Silty sand Loose square in cross section can be
Clayey sand Loose easily driven Note
Foundations on soil types V and VI do
VI Finger pushed in up to 10mm 450 650 not fall within the provisions of this
Silt Soft section if the total load exceeds 30 kN/m
Clay Soft
Sandy clay Soft
Clay or silt Soft
VII Finger easily pushed in up to
Silt Very soft 25mm
Clay Very soft Refer to specialist advice
Sandy clay Very soft
Clay or silt Very soft

This table is applicable only within the strict terms of the criteria described within it.

Page  Chapter 4.4 2007


Strip and trench fill foundations 4.4
INDEX
A   H R
Adjoining constructions 1 Hazardous ground 1 Reinforcement 2, 4
C I S
Compressible materials 2 Imposed loads 1 Services 2, 3
Concrete 2, 4 J Setting out 3
D Joints 4 Shrinkable clay 1, 3
Dead loads 1 L Site conditions 1
Design standard 1 Loads 1 Sitework standards 2
Drainage 2, 3 Sleeper walls 1
M
E Materials standards 2 Soft spots 4
Excavations 3 Movement joints 2 Stepped foundations 2, 4
F O Statutory requirements 1
Foundation depths 1 Overlap 5 T

4.4
Foundation dimensions 6 Transmission of loads 1
P
Frost 2 Trench bottoms 3
Provision of information 2

2007 Chapter 4.4 Page 


Part 4 Foundations

Chapter 4.5
Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations
4.5 Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations

CONTENTS SCOPE

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Design standards D1 1 Requirements and recommendations for raft, pile, pier and
beam foundations.
Statutory requirements and D2-D3 1
other standards
Hazardous ground D4 1
Notification D5 1
Supervision by an Engineer D6 1
Requirement for foundations D7 1
Site conditions D8 1
Differential settlement D9 1
Services, including drainage D10 1
Movement joints D11 1
4.5

Damp-proofing D12 2
Safe transmission of loads D13 2
Provision of information D14-D15 2

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 2
Concrete M2 3
Reinforcement M3 3
Other materials M4-M5 3

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 3
Setting out foundations S2 3
Excavations S3-S5 3
Services and drainage S6-S7 4
Reinforcement S8 4
Concreting S9 4
Raft foundations S10 4
Piled foundations S11 4
Pier and beam foundations S12 4

APPENDIX 4.5-A
Guidance for the design of semi- 4
raft foundations on made ground

INDEX 5

Page  Chapter 4.5 2007


Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations 4.5
DESIGN STANDARDS SUPERVISION BY AN in terms of the ACEC Class (Aggressive
Chemical Environment for Concrete Class)
ENGINEER in accordance with BRE Special Digest 1.
4.5 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical
4.5 - D6 When foundations have been Where sulfates or high acidity in ground or
Requirements
designed by an Engineer, the Builder groundwater are present, reference should
Design that follows the guidance below will shall require the Engineer to visit the be made to Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its
be acceptable for raft, pile, pier and beam site during construction reinforcement’ (each section) for guidance
foundations. concerning acceptable concrete mixes.
The visits by the Engineer are necessary
so that the Engineer can be satisfied that (f) trees
STATUTORY the design of the foundation is suitable for Where trees are nearby or are to be
REQUIREMENTS AND the actual ground conditions encountered planted nearby (especially where the
OTHER STANDARDS and that the construction is in accordance soil is shrinkable), foundations should be
with the design. designed as shown in Chapter 4.2 ‘Building
4.5 - D2 Design shall comply with near trees’.
statutory requirements
REQUIREMENT FOR (g) frost susceptible soils
Design should be in accordance with
relevant Building Regulations and other
FOUNDATIONS To avoid damage from frost action, the
4.5 - D7 All masonry and all loadbearing depth to the underside of the foundation in
statutory requirements.
frost susceptible ground should be at least

4.5
elements shall be adequately supported
4.5 - D3 Design shall follow relevant 450mm below finished ground level.
by foundations
Standards and Codes of Practice
Elements requiring foundations include the
Relevant British Standards and Codes of following:
DIFFERENTIAL
Practice include: • external walls SETTLEMENT
BS 648 Schedule of weights of building • separating (party) walls 4.5 - D9 Foundations shall be
materials • chimney breasts designed to take account of differential
BS 6399 Loading for buildings • piers settlement
BS 8004 Code of Practice for • internal loadbearing or masonry walls
foundations • sleeper walls. Foundations should be designed to avoid
BS 8110 Structural use of concrete any local stress points or any differential
BS 10175 Investigation of potentially settlement. Foundations for attached bays,
contaminated sites - Code of
SITE CONDITIONS porches, garages, conservatories and
practice. 4.5 - D8 Foundations shall be designed other structures should be a continuation
to suit site conditions of those for the main dwelling, unless
HAZARDOUS GROUND the design indicates an alternative which
Items to be taken into account include:
takes account of differential movement,
4.5 - D4 The design of foundations shall (a) site and ground appraisals
for example separate foundations.
All information relating to the site and its
take account of the characteristics of Foundations adjoining those of an existing
ground conditions which is necessary for
the site, its ground and any hazards building may require special precautions to
full and proper foundation design should
Where there is hazardous ground, the limit differential movement.
be obtained.
foundation design must be carried out by
an Engineer in accordance with Technical (b) dwelling design SERVICES, INCLUDING
Requirement R5. Foundation design should take account
of the shape, size and construction of the
DRAINAGE
Details of ground hazards to be taken into dwellings as well as the site layout. 4.5 - D10 Foundation design shall take
consideration are given in Chapters: account of access for services
4.1 ‘Land quality - managing ground Foundations for terraced dwellings may
conditions’ require special precautions to prevent Where services are to pass through, or
4.2 ‘Building near trees’ damage from differential settlement. under, foundations provision should be
made for suitable ducts or lintels to enable
(c) site layout them to be installed later, in such a way
NOTIFICATION Building over changes in ground as not to impair structural stability. For
4.5 - D5 NHBC shall be notified before characteristics should be avoided. further details, reference should be made
work starts on site to the Design and Sitework sections of
(d) site levels Chapters:
NHBC Rules state: Stepped foundations and suspended floor 5.1 ‘Substructure and ground bearing
“If a Home is to be constructed on a slabs may be needed for sloping sites. floors’
Hazardous Site you must before making an
(e) sulfate and acids in ground or 5.3 ‘Drainage below ground’
Application for Inspection notify the NHBC
groundwater 8.1 ‘Internal services’.
in writing of the particular hazards which
arise. You must do this at least 8 weeks Sulfates and other chemicals can cause
before work begins on the site.” expansion and disruption of concrete. MOVEMENT JOINTS
Also, high acidity, for example in peat, or 4.5 - D11 Movement joints should be
permeable soil with acidic groundwater, suitable for their intended purpose
can cause damage to concrete. Where
concrete is at risk from chemical attack Movement joints should be located so
from the ground or where the groundwater as to limit the risk of damage caused by
is highly mobile, the level of sulfate and movement. Suitable materials are given in
other chemicals should be determined, the Materials section.

2007 Chapter 4.5 Page 


4.5 Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations

DAMP-PROOFING SAFE TRANSMISSION OF PROVISION OF


4.5 - D12 The foundation design shall LOADS INFORMATION
prevent the passage of moisture to the 4.5 - D13 Foundations shall transmit 4.5 - D14 Drawings and specifications
inside of the dwelling the loads from the structure to the should be produced in a clearly
Items to be taken into account include: supporting strata safely and without understandable format
(a) a drained cavity excessive settlement
All relevant information needed for the
Cavity walls should drain below dpc and
Items to be taken into account include: completion of the sitework should be
prevent water flooding cavities above
(a) need for adequate stiffness to stated clearly and unambiguously and be
dpc levels or crossing from the outside
ensure differential movement does not readily available to all concerned.
to the inside. A clear cavity of 225mm
adversely affect the supported structure
minimum below dpc is required. Where All necessary dimensions and levels should
(b) the nature and bearing capacity of
foundations other than strip or trench be indicated and related to:
the fill material to be placed under the
fill are used, including those for timber • at least one bench mark, and
foundation
framed dwellings, this may be reduced to • reference points on site.
(c) specification of concrete
150mm minimum below dpc provided that
(d) cover to reinforcement 4.5 - D15 Designs and specifications,
weep holes and other measures, where
necessary, are taken to ensure that the together with relevant site information,
RAFT FOUNDATIONS
cavity can drain freely. Dpc cavity trays are Rafts and semi-rafts should: shall be distributed to appropriate
4.5

not an acceptable weather-proofing to the • meet Clauses D1 to D12, where applicable personnel
edges of specialised foundations, such as • prevent the erosion of ground beneath Details should be provided with respect to:
rafts and ground beams. the raft • dimensions, type and depth of
• be designed to accommodate, where foundations
required, warm air ducts, service ducts • junctions
dpc
or services without any adverse effect • steps
at least upon performance of the foundation. • movement and construction joints
225mm
• detailing of ducts
Where appropriate, precautions should be
• location of services
taken to limit the risk of ducts becoming
• critical sequences of construction.
flooded.
Designers need to be aware of the ground
Semi-raft foundations on made ground
conditions and, in particular, any features
should follow the guidance given in
requiring special attention, such as any
Appendix 4.5-A.
existing sewers or other services, levels
GROUND
BEAM For details of suitable fill for raft of water table and the presence of any
foundations, refer to Chapter 5.1 deleterious substances, especially sulfates.
‘Substructure and ground bearing floors’
Where toxic materials (or materials likely
Appendix 5.1-A.
to present a health hazard) are found, all
PILED FOUNDATIONS available information should be supplied to
Piled foundations should: NHBC, together with proposals for dealing
• meet Clauses D1 to D12, where applicable with the hazard.
• follow the guidance given in Sitework
clause 4.5 - S11.
weep
hole The design should specify precautions to MATERIALS STANDARDS
dpc
be taken in cohesive soils where volume
4.5 - M1 All materials shall:
changes can occur.
at least (a) meet the Technical Requirements
150mm
The bearing capacity and integrity of piles (b) take account of the design
should be confirmed by testing, when Materials that comply with the design and
required. the guidance below will be acceptable for
PIER/PAD AND BEAM FOUNDATIONS raft, pile, pier and beam foundations.
Pier/pad and beam foundations should: Materials for raft, pile, pier and beam
RAFT
FOUNDATION
• meet Clauses D1 to D12, where foundations should comply with all
applicable. relevant standards, including those listed
below. Where no standard exists, Technical
VIBRATORY GROUND IMPROVEMENT
Requirement R3 applies (see Chapter
TECHNIQUES
1.1 ‘Introduction to the Standards and
Vibratory ground improvement should:
Technical Requirements’).
• meet Clauses D1 to D12, where applicable
(b) damp-proof membranes • comply with Chapter 4.6 ‘Vibratory References to British Standards and Codes
For the provision of damp-proof ground improvement techniques’. of Practice include those made under the
membranes, reference should be made Construction Products Directive (89/106/
to Chapters 5.1 ‘Substructure and ground EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
bearing floors’ (each section) and 5.2 European Technical Specifications
‘Suspended ground floors’ (each section). approved by a European Committee for
Standardisation (CEN).

Page  Chapter 4.5 2007


Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations 4.5
CONCRETE foam rubbers are the most satisfactory be modified, should be reported formally
materials for backing to movement joints to the Engineer. Resulting variations
4.5 - M2 Concrete shall be of a mix in fired clay brickwork. should be recorded and distributed to all
design which will achieve the required concerned (including NHBC).
strength and be sufficiently resistant to Hemp, fibreboard, cork and similar
chemical and frost action materials are suitable for movement joints bound
ary
in concrete, but should not be used for
For guidance on the specification expansion joints in fired clay brickwork.
and use of concrete, particularly in
distance from boundary
relation to the choice of mix to achieve
sufficient structural strength and resist
deterioration due to ground aggressivity SITEWORK STANDARDS
and frost action, reference should be diagonals

made to Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its 4.5 - S1 All sitework shall:
reinforcement’ (each section). (a) meet the Technical Requirements
(b) take account of the design
alignment
(c) follow established good practice and
REINFORCEMENT workmanship
4.5 - M3 Reinforcement shall be Sitework that follows the design and the
sufficient to ensure proper transfer of guidance below will be acceptable for raft,

4.5
loads pile, pier and beam foundations.
Reinforcement shall be in accordance
with Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its SETTING OUT
reinforcement’ (each section).
FOUNDATIONS alignment

OTHER MATERIALS 4.5 - S2 The setting out of foundations EXCAVATIONS


shall take account of the design details 4.5 - S3 Excavations for foundations
4.5 - M4 Compressible materials shall
The accuracy of setting out should be shall take account of design dimensions
be capable of absorbing potential heave
forces, where appropriate checked by control measurements of Excess excavations should be avoided.
trenches, including their location relative Inaccuracy may prevent walls and piers
Proprietary materials should be either to site boundaries and adjacent buildings. being located centrally and therefore
assessed in accordance with Technical Levels should be checked against bench result in eccentric loading of foundations,
Requirement R3 or acceptable to NHBC marks, where appropriate. possibly foundation failure.
through established custom and practice.
In particular, for excavations check: To avoid damage, foundation excavation
4.5 - M5 Sealing materials for • trench lengths should be kept free from water (see Clause
movement joints shall be suitable for • trench widths S5).
their intended purpose • length of diagonals between external
corners. 4.5 - S4 Excavations shall take account
Joints often fail because the likely
of localised effects
variation in the size of the joint is not
compatible with the movement capability Where localised changes in strata give
of the sealing material. bou
nda
rise to differences in bearing capacity,
ry
reference should be made to the Engineer
Factors to be taken into account when to ensure this has been allowed for in the
choosing materials for movement joints design.
should include:
distance from boundary
• designed joint width At soft spots, excavations should be
• actual joint width deepened locally to a sound bottom or,
• joint depth di
alternatively, the concrete should be
ag
• anticipated movement on
als
reinforced.
trench trench
• movement capability of seal length width
Hard spots should be removed.
• surface preparation
• backing medium Where roots are visible on the sides or
• projected life span of joint. bottoms of excavations (especially in clay
soils), the Engineer should be consulted
Sealants should be such that there is good
and the design depth modified.
adhesion between the sealant and the trench length
material either side of the joint. Where there are, or have been, trees or
In addition, for piles, pier and beam
foundations and ground improvement hedges, foundation depth should be in
Back up material should be resilient and
techniques, check: accordance with the guidance given in
should not adhere to, or react with, the
• spacing Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near trees’.
sealant.
• alignment 4.5 - S5 Excavation bottoms, when
The compressibility of the sealant back- • positions in relation to the proposed
up/joint filler is possibly the most critical prepared for concreting, shall be
superstructure. compact, reasonably dry and even
factor in the design of an adequate joint
for fired clay brickwork. Walls should be located centrally on the Trench bottoms affected by rainwater,
foundation, unless specifically designed to ground water or drying should be re-
A pressure of about 0.1N/mm should be
2
do otherwise. bottomed to form a sound surface.
sufficient to compress the material to 50%
of its original thickness. Flexible cellular Any discrepancy in dimensions, and any
polyethylene, cellular polyurethane or ground condition that causes the design to

2007 Chapter 4.5 Page 


4.5 Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations

SERVICES AND DRAINAGE Mixing, placing, testing and curing


Appendix 4.5-A
of concrete should be carried out as
4.5 - S6 Existing services shall be indicated in Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and
adequately protected its reinforcement’ (each section) and Guidance for the design of
when work is carried out in cold weather,
Any existing services, such as cables,
Chapter 1.4 ‘Cold weather working’.
semi-raft foundations on
water pipes or gas mains, may need to
be supported and protected. Any existing made ground
drains should be diverted, or bridged, RAFT FOUNDATIONS The following notes are to be used as
to prevent any foundation loads being a guide for Engineers designing raft
4.5 - S10 Raft and semi-raft
transmitted to them. foundations, but are by no means
foundations shall be constructed in
exhaustive. Special consideration will be
Services should not be rigidly encased in accordance with the design
required for certain sites.
concrete, masonry, etc.
Raft and semi-raft foundations should be
1 Raft foundations are to be designed by
Land drains should be diverted to a constructed in accordance with Clauses S1
a Chartered Civil or Structural Engineer
suitable outfall. to S9, as appropriate.
taking account of ground conditions
4.5 - S7 Provision shall be made for and the results of the site appraisal and
PILED FOUNDATIONS ground assessment.
service entries or services
4.5 - S11 Piled foundations shall be 2 Sufficient internal beams are to be
For relevant details, reference should be
4.5

constructed in accordance with the provided to adequately stiffen the slab.


made to the Design and Sitework sections 3 The area between downstand beams
design
of Chapters: should not be greater than 35m2.
5.1 ‘Substructure and ground bearing Items to be taken into account include: 4 The ratio of adjacent sides on plan
floors’, (a) alignment should not exceed 2 : 1.
5.3 ‘Drainage below ground’ Piles are to be vertical, unless designed 5 The minimum depth of perimeter and
8.1 ‘Internal services’ otherwise. party wall beams is to be 450mm. On
Where services pass through foundations, Piles are to be installed by an appropriate larger dwellings some internal beams
they must not affect the ability of the specialist under the Engineer’s should be of the same depth as the
foundation to carry loads. supervision. perimeter beams.
6 Perimeter and internal beams should
Services should be either sleeved or (b) load capacity verification be sufficiently wide at their base to
passed through a suitably strengthened Care should be taken to ensure that carry their total loading at the allowable
opening in the foundation. the bond of beams to pads and piles is bearing pressure for the site.
in accordance with the design and is 7 Beams are to be designed to span 3m
In the case of drains, it is important to
adequate. simply supported and cantilever 1.5m.
leave sufficient space for movement,
8 Beams are to use properly formed
to ensure that the drain is capable of Test loading should be undertaken when
reinforcement in accordance with BS
maintaining line and gradient and any required.
8110.
movement which may take place.
The Builder is to obtain written 9 Where mesh is used in beams, it should
confirmation that the piles are suitable for be delivered to the site pre-bent.
REINFORCEMENT their design load. 10 All beams should be cast on a minimum
4.5 - S8 Reinforcement shall be cut, of 50mm concrete blinding.
If piles are more than 75mm out of 11 Minimum cover to reinforcement should
bent and placed as shown in the design
position, or out of alignment by more than be 40mm.
Reinforcement shall be clean and free from 1 : 75, the Engineer should reconsider the 12 Floor slabs should be a minimum
loose rust and should be placed correctly. adequacy of the foundation design. 150mm thick, with nominal top face
Bars should be properly supported to reinforcement as a minimum and anti-
Unless otherwise recommended by the
ensure that the cover indicated in the crack reinforcement in the bottom face,
Engineer, NHBC will expect piles which
design is maintained. if appropriate.
are misaligned by more than 150mm in
Bars should be secured at laps and any direction, or which are more than 5° 13 Stools or similar should be used to
crossings. from their specified rake, to be replaced, support floor slab mesh during casting.
or additional piles to be provided in 14 Corners and junctions to beams should
be adequately tied using similar
CONCRETING accordance with design modifications
reinforcement to the beams.
provided by the Engineer.
4.5 - S9 Concrete shall be correctly 15 A minimum cavity drain of 225mm
mixed, placed and cured below dpc is to be maintained.
PIER AND BEAM
Concreting should be carried out, as far as
possible, in one operation, taking account of
FOUNDATIONS
weather conditions and available daylight. 4.5 - S12 Pier and beam foundations
Concrete should be placed as soon as shall be constructed in accordance with
possible after the excavation or, where the design
necessary, after the reinforcement has been
Pier/pad and beam (and reinforced
checked. Excavation and/or reinforcement
concrete strip) foundations should be
may need to be approved by the Engineer
constructed to meet Clauses S1 to S9, as
or his representative, before concreting
appropriate.
commences. In England and Wales,
foundations should be approved by the
person responsible for the Building Control
inspections, before the concrete is placed.

Page  Chapter 4.5 2007


Raft, pile, pier and beam foundations 4.5
INDEX
A   L   S  
Alignment 4 Levels 1  Sealing materials 3 
C   Loads 2, 4  Services 1, 4 
Cavity walls 2 M   Setting out 3 
Compatible materials 2  Made ground 4  Settlement 1 
Concrete 3, 4  Materials standards 2  Site conditions 1 
D   Movement joints 1, 3  Sitework standards 3 
Damp proofing 2  N Statutory requirements 1 
Design standards 1  Notification 1  Sulfates 1 
Drainage 1, 4  P   Supervision 1 
Dwelling design 1  Pier/pad and beam 2, 4  T  
E   foundations Trees 1 
Excavations 3  Piled foundations 2 , 4 Trench bottoms 3 
F   Provision of information 2 

4.5
V  
Frost 1  R   Vibratory techniques 2 
H   Raft foundations 2, 4 
Hazardous ground 1  Reinforcement 3 

2007 Chapter 4.5 Page 


Part 4 Foundations

Chapter 4.6
Vibratory ground improvement techniques
4.6 Vibratory ground improvement techniques

CONTENTS SCOPE

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Design standards D1 1 Requirements and recommendations for vibratory ground
Statutory requirements and other D2-D3 1
improvement techniques.
standards
Hazardous ground D4 1
Notification D5 1
Site investigation D6 1
Suitability of ground conditions D7 1
Confirmation of suitability of proposed D8 2
treatment
Compatibility of layout and design for D9 2
the treated ground
4.6

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 3
Stone fill M2 3
Granular material M3 4

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 4
Site supervision S2 4
Verification of completed treatment S3-S4 4-5

APPENDIX 4.6-A
Soil classification chart 6
Vibratory techniques 7

APPENDIX 4.6-B
Materials for use as fill 9

INDEX 9

Page  Chapter 4.6 2007


Vibratory ground improvement techniques 4.6
DESIGN STANDARDS SITE INVESTIGATION SUITABILITY OF GROUND
4.6 - D6 The Engineer shall commission CONDITIONS
4.6 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical a site investigation and advise the
Requirements 4.6 - D7 The ground shall be suitable
interested parties for vibratory ground improvement
Design that follows the guidance below will The site investigation should take account of:
be acceptable for foundations on ground The Engineer should assess the ground
BS 5930 Code of practice for site
improved by vibratory techniques. and be satisfied that it is suitable for
investigations
treatment. Vibratory ground improvement
BS 10175 Investigation of potentially
techniques suitable for various ground
STATUTORY contaminated sites - Code of
conditions are detailed in Appendix 4.6-A.
practice.
REQUIREMENTS AND Items to be taken into account include:
OTHER STANDARDS Chapter 4.1 ‘Land quality - managing (a) ground conditions acceptable for
ground conditions’ treatment
4.6 - D2 Design shall comply with
statutory requirements Conditions acceptable for treatment are
The site investigation should at least
only those within zones A and B of the
Design should be in accordance with determine:
chart.
relevant Building Regulations and other • the depths and properties of the natural
statutory requirements. materials under the site, including the

Micron

1.18

3.35

37.5
mm
150

212

300
425

600

6.3
63

10

14

20
28

50
63
75
2

5
100

4.6
presence of caves, workings, or natural 90

phenomena such as rocks or soils which


80

4.6 - D3 Design shall follow relevant 70


Zone B
stone
columns

dissolve or erode when exposed to the

PERCENTAGE PASSING
Standards and Codes of Practice 60

50
Zone A
deep

passage of water. The Engineer should 40


compaction

Relevant British Standards and Codes of


establish the scope of, and supervise,
30

Practice include: 20

the site investigation, taking account 10

BS 5930 Code of practice for site 0

of the findings of the desk study. Data


2 6 20 60 200 600 2 6 20 60 200 mm
Fine Medium Coarse Fine Medium Coarse Fine Medium Coarse

investigations
CLAY COBBLES
SILT SAND GRAVEL

for comparison with post treatment


BS 8004 Code of practice for
properties should be established
foundations Note: an enlarged chart appears in
• the extent and nature of any areas of
BS 8110 Structural use of concrete Appendix 4.6-A.
filled ground on the site, including:
BS 10175 Investigation of potentially
- the proportions and distribution of (b) ground conditions not acceptable for
contaminated sites - Code of
constituent materials treatment
practice.
- the state of compaction of the fill The following ground conditions are NOT
material throughout its depth acceptable for treatment:
HAZARDOUS GROUND - the grading and particle size • soft clays with an undrained shear
distribution of fill materials strength less than 30kN/m2. The wet
4.6 - D4 The design of foundations shall
- the potential for gas generation from process may be applicable to clays
be undertaken by an Engineer and take
fill materials with a lower undrained shear strength
account of the characteristics of the
- the potential for spontaneous but such sites should be examined
site, its ground and any hazards
combustion of fill and/or natural individually. Under no circumstances can
The foundation design should be carried deposits the treatment of clays with an undrained
out by an Engineer in accordance with • the presence and extent of any existing shear strength of 15kN/m2 or less be
Technical Requirement R5 - see Chapter 1.1. or redundant services and drains, and accepted
what information is available regarding • ground with peat layers close to
In this Chapter, the term “Engineer” means the extent and nature of the backfill to foundation level or the base of the
an engineer who is independent of the the excavations stone column, or where intermediate
specialist contractor responsible for the • the presence, level and nature of any layers of peat are thicker than 200mm
vibratory ground improvement techniques. ground water, and if it is likely to rise and either as a single layer or the sum of
Details of ground hazards to be taken into cause heave or collapse by saturation the thicknesses of individual layers
consideration are given in Chapters: • whether the site has been previously throughout the length of the stone
4.1 ‘Land quality - managing ground occupied by any structure, and whether column
conditions’ these structures have left any potential • voided filled ground, eg old water tanks,
4.2 ‘Building near trees’ underground obstructions or hardspots, pottery, glass bottles, concrete rubble or
eg basement walls, floor slabs etc brick fill of unsuitable grading
• whether there are any contaminated • chalk fill or clay fills subject to:
NOTIFICATION substances or gases present or - collapse settlement
4.6 - D5 NHBC shall be notified before suspected. - collapse caused by saturation
work starts on site - rising or fluctuating water levels
The Specialist Contractor should be
NHBC Rules state: “If a Home is to be • filled ground still settling or expected to
involved in the investigation.
constructed on a Hazardous Site you must settle:
before making Application for Inspection The results of the investigation should be - under its own weight
notify the NHBC in writing of the particular sent to NHBC. - where there is a high organic content
hazards which arise. You must do this at - where decay is continuing
least 8 weeks before work begins on the
settlement
site.” of fill

layers with
high organic
content

2007 Chapter 4.6 Page 


4.6 Vibratory ground improvement techniques

• fill, containing degradable material • obstructions and variations in the CONFIRMATION OF


where organic material forms more than density of fill and natural ground (hard
15% of fill by volume spots) SUITABILITY OF
• highly contaminated ground, eg toxic • alterations to the oversite level before PROPOSED TREATMENT
waste, or where inflammable, explosive or after treatment or disturbance of
or toxic gas generation will take place ground by excavations after treatment 4.6 - D8 The builder shall obtain
(stone columns may act as vertical vents) • the location of changes in the profile of written confirmation from the Engineer
the natural underlying ground eg edges and Specialist Contractor that the site
of pits or quarries, slopes, or manmade is suitable for the proposed ground
obstructions such as soakaways or improvement system
drainage runs Confirmation that the site is suitable for
• long term lowering of water table the proposed system should be made
causing settlement of existing adjacent available to NHBC.
stone column acting as vent
for dangerous gases
buildings
The Engineer and Specialist Contractor
should agree the following in writing
before work commences on site:
adjacent new
building building • a detailed schedule of work
• a programme of work
4.6

• what tests are to be carried out on


completion of the work
stone column
• clays with a plasticity index greater than • responsibility for procedures and tests.
original water level
40% For details of tests see Sitework clause S3.
• highly sensitive soils liable to collapse or
remoulding The following should also be taken into
depressed water level account:
dry process
(c) detrimental factors • the layout and depth of the stone
Factors to be considered include the columns and the accuracy to be
following: • short term rise in local water table due
to large volumes of water used in wet achieved (see Sitework clause S2)
• where partial depth treatment of filled • what factors of safety have been
ground is proposed, the Engineer process during construction causing
settlement or heave of existing adjacent incorporated into the design to allow for
should be satisfied as to the anticipated unforeseen contingencies
performance of both the treated buildings
• the criteria for non acceptance of the
and untreated zones. The Specialist vibrating poker work
Contractor should take responsibility for new • what calculations and case histories
adjacent
the treated zone and the decision as to building
building
are required to justify the ground
the depth of treatment improvement proposals together with
• the minimum depth of soil treated the layout of the stone columns and
should allow for the interaction of details of the equipment and process to
stone column raised water level
adjacent foundations be used on site.
house A house B original water level These written agreements should be made
available to NHBC before work commences
wet process on site.

• surface water sewers should be used COMPATIBILITY OF


for rainwater disposal where possible,
but where soakaways are necessary,
LAYOUT AND DESIGN FOR
these should be positioned so that THE TREATED GROUND
their construction and operation is not
4.6 - D9 Design shall ensure that
detrimental to the treated ground
interaction of site layout and dwelling design are
adjacent foundations • soils with a modified Plasticity Index of
compatible with the treated ground
10% or greater should have foundations
• stone columns may form vertical drains designed to accommodate volume Items to be taken into account include:
allowing the passage of water to a changes, and the depth of concrete (a) limitations of the treated ground
moisture susceptible strata, or provide foundation should be in accordance with The Engineer should:
seepage paths for gases Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near trees’. • undertake discussion with the Specialist
Contractor to confirm the feasibility of
proposals
• determine the loads to be imposed by
the buildings and assess against the
results of the site investigation

depth in accordance
with Chapter 4.2

stone column acting


as soakaway

Page  Chapter 4.6 2007


Vibratory ground improvement techniques 4.6
• if during excavations for foundations in
structural load
from design
treated ground it is found that excessive
depths of concrete are required, then
precautions should be taken to ensure
overall stability of the foundations, and
the Engineer should be satisfied that
construction of the foundation will not
be detrimental to the treated ground.
(e) use of suspended ground floors
ground bearing capacity
and settlement potential
45º Suspended ground floors should be
provided for all dwellings where vibratory
ground improvement has been carried out.
• consider limitations of the configuration
of the dwellings: (f) notice to NHBC
- T-block vulnerable at junction excavation and Notice of the proposed development
drain/service
- vulnerability of long blocks trenches should should be forwarded to NHBC.
be above 45º line
• avoid siting buildings in locations where
major changes in ground conditions can Inform NHBC of the appointment of
be expected the Specialist Contractor and of the

4.6
anticipated commencement date for
(d) suitable foundation types treatment.
The following criteria should be
incorporated in the foundation design
to ensure the compatibility and overall
stability of the foundations and MATERIALS STANDARDS
superstructure:
• only two types of foundations are 4.6 - M1 All materials shall:
suitable, both of which should comply (a) meet the Technical Requirements
with the minimum criteria for areas of (b) take account of the design
reinforcement as defined in BS 8110. Materials that comply with the design and
They are: the guidance below will be acceptable for
- reinforced concrete strip foundation use in conjunction with vibratory ground
improvement techniques.
Materials for use in conjunction with
• advise and discuss design criteria with vibratory ground improvement techniques
NHBC at the design stage. shall comply with all relevant standards,
(b) limitations of ground support including those listed below. Where no
The Engineer should: reinforced concrete standard exists, Technical Requirement R3
strip foundation
• establish the likely limits of ground applies (see Chapter 1.1 ‘Introduction to the
movement Standards and Technical Requirements’).
• allow for ground movement in the - reinforced concrete raft or semi-raft References to British Standards and Codes
design, including where appropriate: foundation positioned on a uniformly of Practice include those made under the
- position and spacing of movement compacted bed of hardcore Construction Products Directive (89/106/
joints EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
- flexibility of masonry mortars raft or
semi-raft European Technical Specifications
- masonry reinforcement. foundation
approved by a European Committee for
Standardisation (CEN).

• the depth of foundations to be a


brick reinforcement minimum of 600mm below the surface
STONE FILL
and movement
joints in walls of the treated ground, and founded 4.6 - M2 Stone fill for forming columns
if required
on firm material of adequate bearing shall be compatible with the ground
capacity conditions, and be suitable for the
• where the treated ground is of a vibratory ground improvement process
granular nature, a reinforced concrete
Stone fill should be clean, hard, inert
strip foundation will normally be
material complying with the guidance
acceptable provided that the full depth
(c) drainage and service trenches given in Appendix 4.6-B.
of all fill material is treated
The Engineer should consider the influence • if the treated ground is of a cohesive In acidic ground conditions, limestone fill
of drainage and other service trenches on nature, a suitably designed raft, may not be acceptable.
the stability of the complete design (see semi-raft or reinforced concrete strip
Sitework clause S4). Natural gravel or crushed rock aggregate
foundation will normally be acceptable.
of nominal single-size within the range 20-
The reinforced concrete foundation
75mm will normally be acceptable.
should be designed to span between the
centres of adjacent stone columns
• if partial depth treatment of filled
ground is proposed then a suitably
designed reinforced concrete raft or
semi-raft foundation should be used

2007 Chapter 4.6 Page 


4.6 Vibratory ground improvement techniques

GRANULAR MATERIAL the intersection of adjacent reinforced

anticipated depth
concrete strips
4.6 - M3 Granular material for raising
2m 2m 2m maximum
site levels before treatment or adding centres
during deep compaction shall:
50% more
(a) be free from hazardous materials backfill than
anticipated
unless appropriate precautions are depth 25%
taken, and 2m max
greater than
anticipated
centres
(b) be suitable for compaction
The appropriate precautions to be taken VERIFICATION OF
where hazardous materials are present in
fill are detailed in Appendix 4.6-B. COMPLETED TREATMENT
• missing stone columns are replaced 4.6 - S3 The Engineer shall require the
The test requirements for fill given in • stone columns which are misaligned by
Appendix 4.6-B should be followed where Specialist Contractor to verify that the
more than 150mm in any direction are ground treatment is satisfactory
appropriate. replaced
Items to be taken into account include:
Well graded, inert fill which passes a stone column mis-aligned
100mm x 100mm screen in all directions by 150mm or less - (a) suitable testing
no action needed
and contains less than 10% fine material of Tests should be carried out to establish the
4.6

silt or clay size will normally be acceptable degree of ground improvement, its load-
for raising site levels. bearing characteristics and settlement
stone column potential.
mis-aligned by
The grading of material for adding during more than
deep compaction should be within Zone A missing stone 150mm - new The types of test that can be used are
column - new column required
of the chart shown in Design clause D7 and column required in correct position described in the following clauses. The
Appendix 4.6-A. Specialist Contractor should predict the
results from his experience of work on the
type of ground, prior to the test taking
• a check on the location of all stone place. Prediction of the results and the
SITEWORK STANDARDS columns is made by the Engineer’s degree of tolerance within those results
representative prior to the specialist is to be agreed with the Engineer prior to
4.6 - S1 All sitework shall: testing, and compared with the test results.
(a) meet the Technical Requirements plant leaving the site.
(b) take account of the design If for example a threefold improvement
(b) unforeseen circumstances
(c) follow established good practice and were predicted and only a twofold
Allowance should be made for:
workmanship improvement achieved, this could mean
• unforeseen changes in the site
that the ground was different to that
Sitework that complies with the design conditions, or trends which may affect
indicated by the investigation, or that the
and guidance below will be acceptable for site conditions. Changes should be
treatment carried out differed from the
vibratory ground improvement. recorded and reported to the Engineer
specified treatment. In such a case, further
immediately they become apparent
investigation would be necessary.
• changes in the anticipated depth of
SITE SUPERVISION the compaction point in excess of 25% Tests on ground containing clay soils may
4.6 - S2 The Builder shall ensure that should be recorded and reported to the need to be delayed for a few days after the
the Engineer visits the site and provides Engineer and Specialist Contractor as completion of treatment to allow excess
competent supervision throughout the soon as possible but no later than the pore pressures to dissipate.
ground treatment process end of the day on which they occur
• variations of over 50% in the quantity The Engineer may choose any combination
The Engineer should provide competent of the following tests:
full time site supervision throughout the of backfill used in compaction points of
the same length. Variations should be • 600mm diameter plate tests or dummy
period of the ground treatment process. footing tests using long stiffened steel
recorded and reported to the Engineer
Some aspects of sitework may be the and Specialist Contractor at the end of plates
responsibility of the Engineer or his the day on which they occur • mini zone test
representative, or of the Specialist • unforeseen obstructions requiring • in-situ test
Contractor, rather than of the Builder. either local removal and backfilling prior • trial pits
to treatment, or realignment of, and • zone test.
Items to be taken into account include:
additional columns, coupled with local 600MM DIAMETER PLATE TESTS OR
(a) location, depth and alignment of amendment of foundation design
columns DUMMY FOOTING TESTS USING LONG
• the effects of any of the above on STIFFENED STEEL PLATES
Supervision should be provided to ensure the final efficiency of the treatment.
that: This test will not determine the design but
These are to be fully considered by the will allow for an assessment to be made of
• the minimum required depth of the Engineer and the Specialist Contractor.
stone columns is achieved, and they are the workmanship on the stone columns.
The Builder and NHBC are to be advised Plate tests should be carried out on stone
correctly located. The Builder should immediately about proposed remedial
provide sufficient profiles to enable columns or treated ground at a frequency
measures. of at least one test per day per rig.
locations to be checked
• the stone columns are located either
centrally under the foundations they
are to support or in the predetermined
staggered arrangement, at a maximum
of 2 metres centre to centre and at

Page  Chapter 4.6 2007


Vibratory ground improvement techniques 4.6
MINI ZONE TEST (b) written confirmation of completed
A mini zone test can be used as a limited treatment
substitute for zone tests. The test should On completion of the treatment the
be applied to at least two stone columns Engineer should:
and the area of foundation which they • from the results of the tests carried out
support. The load may be applied through satisfy himself that the treated ground
a rigid beam or stiffened plate using skips has achieved the anticipated condition
or other known loads arranged to give a assumed in his design
uniform distribution of the load. • once satisfied with the effectiveness of
the treatment in relation to the design,
To be useful, mini zone tests should be
advise the Builder and NHBC accordingly
continued for sufficient time for creep
in writing
behaviour to be quantified and allowances
• advise the Builder of any special
for this time should be made in the overall
precautions which should be taken for
project programme.
the positioning of services both beneath
the dwelling and adjacent to it.

(c) record of the work


A comprehensive record of all works

4.6
mini zone including information concerning the
test using skips
treatment, depth of fill, volume of stone
used, on-site changes and all other
relevant information, should be made
available to NHBC.

IN-SITU TEST 4.6 - S4 The Builder shall ensure that


Where vibration will improve the ground treated ground is not disturbed by
itself, eg granular materials, then in-situ subsequent excavations
testing is appropriate. The improvement Ensure that the minimum clearance
in density of deep fill (greater than 5m) between excavations and foundations
should be checked in this manner. The is not less than the depth of excavation
improvement can be assessed when the minus the depth of the structural foundation.
test results are compared with the in-situ
test results recorded during the pre-
treatment investigation.

TRIAL PITS
Trial pits can be excavated around trial
stone columns to prove that they are fully
formed and to the required depth and
diameter. This is a destructive test and
allowance should be made accordingly.
45º
ZONE TEST
An isolated pad or strip footing is
used, and up to 8 stone columns and
the intervening ground can be tested.
excavation and
Loadings, which must simulate the drain/service
trenches should
dwelling loads, are held for 24 hours at be above 45º line
pre-determined stages to examine creep
behaviour.

zone test

2007 Chapter 4.6 Page 


4.6 Vibratory ground improvement techniques

Appendix 4.6-A
SOIL CLASSIFICATION CHART
Conditions acceptable for treatment are only those within zones A and B of the chart.

Micron

1.18

3.35

37.5
mm
150

212

300
425

600

6.3
63

10

14

20
28

50
63
75
2

5
100

90

80
Zone B
70 stone
columns
PERCENTAGE PASSING

60
Zone A
50 deep
compaction
4.6

40

30

20

10

0
0.002 0.006 0.02 0.06 0.2 0.6 2 6 20 60 200 mm
Fine Medium Coarse Fine Medium Coarse Fine Medium Coarse
CLAY COBBLES
SILT SAND GRAVEL

Page  Chapter 4.6 2007


Vibratory ground improvement techniques 4.6
Vibratory techniques
The vibratory process is applied usually to weak natural soils and filled ground. The purpose
is to improve the load bearing capacity, reduce settlement and provide an adequate bearing
stratum for the foundation supporting the dwelling.
A decision to buy a hazardous site is an acceptance by the builder/developer of the risks
involved. It is important that the ground hazards are assessed before buying the site, and
that allowance is made in foundation design for any consequences of this assessment.
Hazardous sites are defined in NHBC Rules.

ACCEPTABLE METHODS
Several vibratory techniques are acceptable. Some use a vibrating poker suspended from a
crane. The poker penetrates the ground under its own weight aided by horizontal vibration
and thus forms a void. Other techniques use an impact hammer system to form and compact
stone columns. The two common techniques are:

Stone columns - Dry process


(applicable to soft clays and silts and to inorganic filled ground)

4.6
The poker is withdrawn to leave a void which is partially filled with stone. The poker is then
reintroduced and used to compact the stone and the surrounding strata. This process is
repeated until the whole void is filled with compacted stone and the surrounding existing
granular strata increased in density. Penetration of the poker is assisted by compressed air
delivered to the nose of the vibrator which also releases suction on withdrawal.

compressed air

clean, hard
inert stone

void is formed as stone backfill is continuous stone


vibrator displaces placed into void column formed
the ground during withdrawal
of vibrator

Stone columns - Wet process


(applicable to soft clays and silts and to inorganic filled ground, and where the water table is
high)
The process is similar to the dry process except that water is used to maintain ground
stability and to keep the stone ‘clean’ while it is being placed and compacted.
Note: Special bottom feed pokers or choke tubes which introduce stone into the void via the
end of the poker or tube are available. These use compressed air as a flushing medium but
can be used in weak ground or ground with a high water table.

water jet
water compacted
flushing column
clean, hard
inert stone

void is formed as vibrator stone backfill is placed continuous stone


displaces the ground into the void during column formed
withdrawal of vibrator -
water assists in
stabilising the hole

2007 Chapter 4.6 Page 


4.6 Vibratory ground improvement techniques

A third technique is:

Deep Compaction
(applicable to saturated fine sands, which are rarely found in the UK)
After penetration the poker is withdrawn in stages and compacts the existing strata. Granular
material is introduced in a similar manner to the wet and dry process. Water flushing, where
excess water drains into sands, can assist this process.

compacted zone

granular
material
4.6

vibrator displaces granular material existing ground


the ground is placed into is compacted
the depression
around vibrator

Alternative systems, methods or variations to those given in this Chapter must be shown
to be suitable for their purpose and for the conditions for which they are intended, prior to
acceptance by NHBC.
On completion of the vibratory ground improvement, the combined ground/column system
offers support to the foundations for the proposed structures. The application of vibratory
techniques improves the strength of the combined ground/column system and the stiffness
by between two and three times in clay soils. Settlements of the treated area may therefore
be reduced to between half and a third of the magnitude of that which would otherwise occur.
Note: The stone columns produced by vibratory techniques are not piles and should never
be considered so. Stone columns derive their capacity by interacting with the surrounding
ground. Piles are more than 10 times stiffer than stone columns.
The compaction is localised and could be variable. Reinforced foundations are needed.
It should not be assumed that all of the surrounding ground has been improved.

Page  Chapter 4.6 2007


Vibratory ground improvement techniques 4.6
Sulfate content should be expressed as a • on wet sites, or sites with a high water
Appendix 4.6-B percentage SO4 by weight on the basis of table, crushed or broken bricks which
acid soluble testing, taking full account of have no limit on their soluble salt
the recommendations of BRE Digest 363 content (as defined in BS EN 771).
and BS 5328 Part 1.
MATERIALS FOR USE AS Expansive materials
FILL Sources of fill material Fill containing expansive materials is not
Where the material is of a stable and acceptable for use as support to structural
Hazardous materials uniform type from one source, it may foundations and slabs or as backfill to
The following materials require testing to only be necessary to check its suitability associated trenches.
ensure their suitability for use as fill to once. If material is variable, or from a
support structural foundations and slabs number of sources, it should all be suitable.
or as backfill to associated trenches: Regular inspections and/or testing may be
• acid wastes required.
• reactive materials
• materials that include sulfates (eg Where industrial waste is permitted as
gypsum) fill material, it is essential that sufficient
• organic materials testing is carried out to ensure suitability.
• toxic materials
Where material is obtained from stockpiles,
• materials that cause noxious fumes,

4.6
check the material is uniform. Different
rot, undue settlement or damage to
forms of stockpiling can affect particle
surrounding materials.
size/grading. The outside of a stockpile
Test requirements may be weathered and may not be the
Tests should be carried out by a suitably same as unweathered material.
qualified person with a detailed knowledge
Fill requiring NHBC approval
of:
The following types of fill should not be
• the material to be tested, and
used unless written permission has been
• the proposed conditions of use.
obtained from NHBC:
The samples tested must be representative • colliery shale and any other residue
of the true nature of the material. It may from mineral extraction
be necessary to take a number of samples • slags
to find out the material characteristics of • furnace ashes and other products of
the fill. combustion
• material obtained from demolition

INDEX
A   L   V  
Approval 9  Layout 2  Verification 4 
C M   Vibratory techniques 7 
Compatibility 2  Materials standards 3  W  
D N   Written confirmation 2 
Deep compaction 6, 8  Notifications 1, 3 
Design 2  S  
Design standards 1  Service trenches 3 
Drainage 3  Site investigations 1 
E   Sitework standards 4 
Expansive materials 9  Soil classifications 6 
F   Statutory requirements 1 
Fill materials 9  Stone columns 6, 7 
Foundation types 3  Stone fill 3 
G   Supervision 4 
Granular material 4  Suspended ground floors 3 
Ground conditions 1 T  
H   Testing 4, 5, 9 
Hazardous materials 9 

2007 Chapter 4.6 Page 


Part 5
Substructure and ground floors

5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

5.2 Suspended ground floors

5.3 Drainage below ground


Part 5 Substructure and ground floors

Chapter 5.1
Substructure and ground bearing floors
5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

CONTENTS SCOPE

DESIGN Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Requirements and recommendations for substructure,
Design standards D1 1 excluding foundations. It includes substructure walls, ground
Statutory requirements D2 1 bearing floors (where depth of fill is not more than 600mm),
Transfer of loads D3 1 basements and installation of services below dpc.
Ground conditions D4 1
Services and drainage D5 2
Walls below dpc D6-D7 2
Ground below fill D8 2
Hazardous fill D9-D10 3
Fill deeper than 600mm D11 3
Floor slab damp-proofing D12 3
Damp-proof course D13 3
Thermal insulation D14 3
Ground floor slab D15 4
Basements D16 4
Provision of information D17-D18 4

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 5
5.1

Masonry below dpc M2 5


Site mixed mortar M3 5
Proprietary mortar M4 5
Wall ties M5 5
Wall insulation M6 5
Fill M7 5
Damp-proof membrane M8 6
Concrete M9 6
Tanking materials M10 6
Floor insulation M11 6
Damp-proof course materials M12 6

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 6
Walls below dpc S2 6
Ground below fill S3 7
Fill supporting ground bearing slabs S4-S5 7
Trench backfill S6 7
Blinding S7 8
Damp-proofing floors S8 8
Damp-proof course S9 8
Laying thermal insulation S10 8
Laying the slab S11 8
Basements S12 8

APPENDIX 5.1-A
Materials for use as fill 9
APPENDIX 5.1-B
Basement constructions 10
APPENDIX 5.1-C
Typical details for basements 10

INDEX 12

Page  Chapter 5.1 2007


Substructure and ground bearing floors 5.1
In certain parts of the country, special T
DESIGN STANDARDS precautions may be necessary to reduce t1
where cavity
t2 fill is omitted
then:
the entry of radon gas. Areas in England T =t1 + t2
5.1 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical
and Wales where special precautions are
Requirements
necessary are detailed in BRE Report 211.
Design that follows the guidance below will
be acceptable for substructure and ground When precautions are necessary they
H
bearing floors. should be acceptable to NHBC.
(b) bearing capacity of the ground
STATUTORY Ground bearing floors may only be used
where:
REQUIREMENTS • trenches are backfilled with suitable
5.1 - D2 Design shall comply with all material and the fill is properly
relevant statutory requirements compacted
• infill is less than 600mm in depth and
Design should be in accordance with
properly compacted.
relevant Building Regulations and other
statutory requirements. Where the bearing capacity and nature of
the ground varies, a ground bearing floor
TRANSFER OF LOADS may not be suitable, even if the depth of T

fill is less than 600mm. Special measures


5.1 - D3 Design of substructure and may be needed to restrict settlement, such
ground bearing floors shall ensure that as the use of suspended floor construction.
loads are supported and transferred to
foundations, or to the ground, without (c) nature of the ground
undue movement Shrinkable soil, expansive materials
or other unstable soils may require H
Studies of the site, carried out in
suspended floor construction. Shrinkable
accordance with Chapter 4.1 ‘Land quality
soils are classified as those containing
- managing ground conditions’ should

5.1
more than 35% fine particles (silt and
be taken into account in the design of
clay) and have a modified Plasticity Index
substructure.
of 10% or greater (see Chapters 4.2
Where the depth of infill exceeds 600mm, ‘Building near trees’ (each section) and 5.2
the floor must be designed as a suspended ‘Suspended ground floors’ (each section)).
floor, as described in Chapter 5.2
A soil-testing laboratory should be
‘Suspended ground floors’ (Design).
consulted to verify the plasticity index of
Loadbearing partitions should not be the soil.
• difference between floor levels of
supported off ground bearing floors. They
(d) effect of sloping ground on depth of adjacent structures (H) is greater than 4
should have proper foundations (reference
infill times the total width of wall (T).
should be made to Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and
Sloping ground may require steps in the T
trench fill foundations’ (each section)).
substructure and possibly different floor t1 t2
In Scotland, sleeper walls should not be levels. Where more than 600mm of infill
built off ground bearing floors. is required at any point in a self-contained
area, the floor over the whole of that where cavity
Movement joints should be aligned area must be of suspended construction
fill is omitted
then:
with those in the foundations. Details as described in Chapter 5.2 ‘Suspended
T =t1 + t2

of movement joint design are given in ground floors’ (Design).


Chapter 6.1 ‘External masonry walls’ H greater
(Design). suspended floor
than 4xT

GROUND CONDITIONS more than


600mm

5.1 - D4 Substructure shall not be


adversely affected by the ground
conditions
Construction on steep slopes may involve
Items to be taken into account include: walls below dpc level acting as retaining
(a) ground hazards walls. These should be designed by an
The main hazards likely to affect Engineer where the:
substructure and ground bearing floors • height (H) of slab above ground level is
are chemicals, particularly sulfates, greater than 4 times the total width of
contaminated material above or in the wall (T)
ground and waterlogged ground.

2007 Chapter 5.1 Page 


5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

(e) site works and construction (c) provision of new services BLOCKWORK


Special precautions may be needed to It is important that the design drawings Concrete blocks for use below dpc should
prevent damage to the substructure from include all necessary details relating to comply with BS EN 771 and have:
site operations on adjoining ground, such the proposed underground services (see • a density exceeding 1500kg/m3, or
as ground treatment or surcharging due Clause D17). • a compressive strength not less than
to infill. 7.3N/mm2.
Drain pipes passing through or under the
Where necessary, to resist sulfate attack
building may require flexible connections
SERVICES AND DRAINAGE or other means of accommodating
and ensure adequate durability, special
blocks made with a higher than normal
5.1 - D5 Substructure shall not be differential movement. Further details
cement content and/or with sulfate-
adversely affected by services and are given in Sitework clause 5.1 - S2(e)
resisting cement should be used.
drainage and Chapter 5.3 ‘Drainage below ground’
(Design and Sitework). If there is any doubt about the suitability of
Items to be taken into account include: a type of block, particularly where acids or
(a) surface water and sub-soil drainage Services should be arranged so that
sulfates occur, written confirmation should
Surface and/or land drainage may be future access, if required, can be obtained
be obtained from the block manufacturer
needed on sites where there is a risk of without affecting structural stability.
concerning its suitability for the:
waterlogging. Ground or paths adjoining • geographical location
the dwelling should slope away at a slight WALLS BELOW DPC • location in the structure.
fall. Ground or path level should be at least
150mm below dpc. 5.1 - D6 Walls below dpc shall be capable
MORTAR
of supporting their intended loads and, The selection of mortar for use below dpc
Walls which act as retaining walls may where necessary, be resistant to frost should follow the recommendations given
require land drains, hardcore fill and action, sulfates and other harmful or in BS 5628 : Part 3. Alternatively, the mix
suitable outlets to dispose of any sub-soil toxic materials may be 1 : 1 : 5½, cement : lime : sand, with
water that collects behind the wall.
Generally, masonry walls below dpc plasticiser.
(b) existing underground services should be designed and constructed as
Sulfate-resisting cement should be
All existing services should be located and described in Chapter 6.1 ‘External masonry
used where recommended by the brick
identified before work commences. Where walls’ (each section) and sleeper walls as
manufacturer and where sulfates are
5.1

existing services would be obstructed by described in Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and trench
present in the ground or ground water.
the foundations and substructure, they fill foundations’ (each section).
should be: Proprietary mortars and admixtures
• disconnected and grubbed up, or Recommendations for the design strength
should only be used strictly in accordance
• diverted and any remaining voids filled of bricks, masonry blocks and mortars are
with the manufacturer’s recommendations,
with concrete or grout, or given in BS 5628.
taking into account the type of masonry
• protected where they are to remain Frost damage occurs on saturated unit and its location.
active. masonry exposed to freezing conditions.
For non-clay bricks or blocks, manufacturers’
To avoid flooding around, in or under Bricks, blocks and mortars which are
recommendations should be followed.
dwellings, existing active ground water located between 150mm above, and
drainage should be retained. Water from 150mm below ground level, are the most 5.1 - D7 Walls below dpc shall be of
these drains may require diversion. likely to be damaged by frost. adequate strength to resist overturning
forces when acting as temporary
It is very difficult during a dry period to BRICKWORK
retaining walls during construction
find out whether ground water drains Fletton or common bricks are usually of
are active, so where they are severed or durability designations F1,S2 or F1,S1. If in Walls which act as temporary retaining
disturbed, they should be re-connected to doubt as to their suitability, bricks of F2,S2 walls, due to the sequence of backfilling
a suitable outfall. or F2,S1. designation should be specified or trenches and filling the wall cavity, should
the manufacturer consulted. be designed:
• as retaining walls, or
Where bricks of grade F1,S2 or F1,S1. are • by an Engineer in accordance with
to be used in the outer leaf below dpc, Technical Requirement R5, or
land drains
or where they could be frozen when • so that the thickness of the leaf acting
diverted to
suitable
saturated, it is most important to ensure as the temporary retaining wall is as
outfall that they are durable. given in Sitework clause 5.1 - S2(b).
If there is any doubt about the suitability The drawings and/or specification should
of a particular brick, written confirmation be detailed accordingly.
diversion should be obtained from the brick
manufacturer concerning its suitability for GROUND BELOW FILL
the:
5.1 - D8 Ground below fill shall be
• geographical location
suitable to support ground bearing floors
• location in the structure.
without undue movement
Calcium silicate bricks for use below dpc
Before fill is placed, all topsoil containing
should be at least compressive strength
roots and vegetation should be removed
class 20.
and a suitable bearing surface prepared.
Bricks used in walls which act as retaining
walls should be of a type recommended
by the manufacturer for the conditions of
exposure.

Page  Chapter 5.1 2007


Substructure and ground bearing floors 5.1
HAZARDOUS FILL FLOOR SLAB DAMP- DAMP-PROOF COURSE
5.1 - D9 Harmful or toxic materials PROOFING 5.1 - D13 Moisture from the ground shall
present in fill, or made ground below fill, be prevented from reaching the inside of
5.1 - D12 Ground bearing floors shall
shall be identified to the satisfaction of the building
resist the passage of moisture to the
NHBC inside of the dwelling A damp-proof course should be positioned
Details of materials, test requirements at least 150mm above finished ground or
Items to be taken into account include:
and sources of fill material are given in paving level.
(a) ground moisture
Appendix 5.1-A. Ground bearing concrete floor slabs should Horizontal dpcs should be impermeable.
5.1 - D10 The performance of the be protected against ground moisture by They should be either lapped (at least
substructure shall not be affected by providing a continuous membrane, details 100mm) or welted, where appropriate, and,
harmful or toxic materials present in the of which are given in the Materials section. in all cases, linked to the dpm.
fill or in the ground Care should be taken not to trap moisture
when a combination of damp proofing and
Precautions should be taken to avoid vapour control layers are used.
dpc
adverse effects by either:
• ensuring that made ground and fill When the membrane is located below the
at least
materials are free from harmful or toxic slab, a blinding layer of sand should be 150mm

substances, or provided to fill voids in the hardcore and


• designing the construction to contain, so minimise the risk of puncturing the
ground
resist and prevent adverse effects of membrane.
such materials, by means acceptable to The continuity of the membrane should be
NHBC. maintained as follows:
Types of fill which require special • laps in polyethylene should be at
precautions to be taken are given in least 300mm and joints sealed, where Where dwellings are ‘stepped’ on a sloping
Appendix 5.1-A. necessary site, care should be taken to link dpcs and
• membranes beneath the slab should link dpms properly, so that all parts of each
Where sulfates or other harmful chemicals with wall dpcs to form an impervious

5.1
dwelling are protected.
are present in the ground at levels likely to barrier to prevent moisture reaching the
be harmful: interior of the dwelling
membrane linked
• concrete for the floor slab should be: • linking should take account of possible with stepped dpc
floor level
- of the appropriate mix to resist differential movement.
sulfate attack, and
- protected by an impervious layer of A clear cavity for at least 225mm dpc level
at least
1200 gauge (0.3mm) polyethylene below dpc should be maintained. When 150mm

sheet (or 1000 gauge (0.25mm) specialised foundations are used, including
if assessed in accordance with those for timber framed buildings, this
depth may be reduced to 150mm below
Technical Requirement R3) which
dpc if weep holes are provided and other
THERMAL INSULATION
may also serve as a dpm
• mortar should be in accordance with the necessary measures are taken to ensure 5.1 - D14 Thermal insulation of ground
recommendations of BS 5628 : Part 3 that the cavity can drain freely. bearing floors and walls below dpc shall
• concrete blocks should have a sulfate be designed to comply with statutory
resistance appropriate for the level of requirements
sulfate in the fill or ground. dpc
The BRE Report ‘Thermal insulation:
Where expansive materials are present, a avoiding risks’ discusses aspects of
suspended floor system should be used. at least insulation relevant to ground bearing
225mm
floors. In England and Wales account
should be taken of Accredited Details.
FILL DEEPER THAN
Items to be taken into account include:
600mm (a) floor insulation
concrete
5.1 - D11 Where fill is deeper than cavity fill Thermal insulation materials for use below
600mm, additional precautions shall be ground bearing slabs are given in the
taken to provide satisfactory support to Materials section.
the floor and any imposed loads (b) water pressure
Where ground water can exert pressure, For details of thermal insulation above
Ground bearing slabs are not acceptable land drainage may be necessary to prevent ground floor slabs, reference should
where fill exceeds 600mm in depth. water entering the dwelling. At changes be made to Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’
Where the depth of fill exceeds 600mm at in floor level, eg stepped separating walls, (Design).
any point within a self-contained area, the special attention is required to ensure the
(b) wall insulation
floor construction over the whole of that continuity of the dpm.
Where cavity insulation batts or slabs start
area is required to be independent of the Horizontal and vertical tanking should below dpc level, the vertical and horizontal
fill and capable of supporting: link with wall dpcs in a manner similar to spacing of wall ties should be compatible
• self weight a dpm. with the spacing to be used above dpc
• partitions level.
• other imposed loads.
For details of insulating masonry walls,
For details, reference should be made to reference should be made to Chapter 6.1
Chapter 5.2 ‘Suspended ground floors’ ‘External masonry walls’ (each section).
(Design).

2007 Chapter 5.1 Page 


5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

(c) cold bridging should be designed to withstand the full • Type C drained cavity. The water
The design should ensure that any risk hydrostatic head. resistance is achieved by collecting
of cold bridging is minimised, giving any water in the internal cavity system.
Any existing land drains which are
particular attention to junctions between An additional moisture barrier may be
disturbed by the basement excavation
floor and external walls. necessary.
should be diverted to a suitable outfall. See
This system is reliant on collecting and
Precautions include: Clause D5.
disposing of any water within the cavity
• extending cavity insulation below floor
Walls and floors below external ground system to a suitable outfall. Any sumps
slab level
level should resist moisture from reaching and/or pumps will need to be accessible
• linking floor and wall insulation
the internal surfaces of walls or the upper for maintenance.
• providing perimeter insulation to floors
surface of a floor.
• facing supporting substructure with
(c) services
insulation. The design should ensure that the  The number of services passing through
level of protection against water and basement waterproofing should be kept to
Where dwellings are stepped or staggered,
moisture reaching the internal surfaces a minimum.
the wall forming the step or stagger may
is appropriate for the proposed use.
require insulation.
Where there is any doubt about use, the The design should detail how any
level of protection required for habitable penetrations for services prevent water or
GROUND FLOOR SLAB accommodation should be provided. damp ingress.
5.1 - D15 Ground bearing floor slabs Basements to be used for habitable Further details of services and drainage
shall be of adequate strength and accommodation should be designed to are given in Clause D5 and Appendix 5.1-C.
durability allow no water penetration and provide a
Appropriate mixes for ground bearing dry environment if maintained by adequate PROVISION OF
concrete floor slabs are specified heating and ventilation. This is referred
in Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its to as “Grade 3” in the “Basements for
INFORMATION
reinforcement’ (Design). dwellings” Approved Document. 5.1 - D17 Designs and specifications
shall be produced in a clearly
Ground bearing concrete floor slabs should Walls and floors to basements to be used
understandable format and include all
be not less than 100mm thick, including for parking cars, for storage or as plant
5.1

relevant information
monolithic screed where appropriate. rooms should be designed to allow no
water penetration (unless a type C drained Clear and fully detailed drawings should
be available on site to enable work to be
BASEMENTS cavity) although moisture vapour is
carried out in accordance with the design.
tolerated. This is referred to as “Grade 2”
5.1 - D16 All elements (including in the “Basements for dwellings” Approved
walls, floors and foundations) forming Design drawings should include:
Document.
a basement shall be suitable for their • all necessary plan dimensions and levels
location The design should ensure that all materials related to identified benchmarks
and products used in the construction of a • information on all proposed
The design should take account of the basement are compatible and used strictly underground services
BCA Approved Document “Basements in accordance with the manufacturer’s • points of entry to the building for
for dwellings”. Its principles should be recommendations. services
followed in England, Wales, Scotland and • penetration of services through the
Northern Ireland. Proprietary waterproofing materials should substructure, including support of the
comply with Technical Requirement R3. structure above
In this clause the term “basement”
means construction which is wholly or Appendix 5.1-B shows generic basement • details of trench backfill, infill and void
partly below ground level and for which constructions that may be acceptable to formers
normal damp proofing arrangements are NHBC subject to appropriate detailing. • the required sequence of trench backfill
inappropriate. if this is relevant to the design of the
They are: walls below dpc
Items to be taken into account include: • Type A tanked protection. The water • work required to maintain the integrity
(a) structural stability resistance is achieved by waterproofing. of dpcs and dpms
All basements should be designed by an This system is not suitable where the • details of junctions between dpm, dpc
Engineer in accordance with Technical water table is either variable or high and and tanking
Requirement R5. the basement walls are masonry. See • details of underfloor and floor edge
“Basements for dwellings” Approved insulation and cavity insulation, where
Information from the site investigation, Document. relevant.
carried out in accordance with Chapter
4.1 ‘Land quality - managing ground Note 5.1 - D18 All relevant information shall
conditions’ should be taken into account in be distributed to appropriate personnel
Internal tanking is generally not
the design of basements.
acceptable. Ensure that design and specification
Reference should be made to Chapter • Type B structurally integral protection. information is issued to site supervisors
4.2 ‘Building near trees’ where trees, The water resistance is achieved by the and relevant specialist subcontractors
hedgerows or shrubs are present. design of the concrete construction. and/or suppliers.
An additional moisture barrier may be
(b) waterproofing necessary.
The design of the basement should take This system is not suitable where the
account of the current and future ground water table is either variable or high and
water conditions. Where it is uncertain the design is to BS 8110 unless there is
what the future ground water conditions additional waterproofing. Alternatively,
may be the waterproofing system the design should be to BS 8007.

Page  Chapter 5.1 2007


Substructure and ground bearing floors 5.1
MATERIALS STANDARDS SITE MIXED MORTAR BS 6676 Thermal insulation of cavity
walls using man-made
5.1 - M3 Mortar for use in masonry
5.1 - M1 All materials shall: mineral fibre batts (slabs).
below dpc level, and for bedding the dpc,
(a) meet the Technical Requirements shall be suitable for the location and
(b) take account of the design intended use UF foam when permitted to BS 5617,
Materials that comply with the design and and installed by a specialist company
Items to be taken into account include:
the guidance below will be acceptable for registered by BSI in accordance with BS
(a) strength and composition 5618, will be acceptable in England and
substructure and ground bearing floors.
Mortar should comply with the design and Wales only.
Materials for substructure and ground should take account of the strength, type
bearing floors should comply with all and location of the masonry. The thickness of materials should be as
relevant standards, including those listed required by the design.
below. Where no standard exists, Technical (b) sulfate resistance
Where the ground, ground water or the
Requirement R3 applies (see Chapter
masonry contains levels of sulfates likely
FILL
1.1 ‘Introduction to the Standards and
to be harmful, the mortar should be made 5.1 - M7 Fill, including made ground,
Technical Requirements’).
with sulfate-resisting cement to BS 4027. trench backfill and infill below ground
References to British Standards and Codes bearing floor slabs, shall:
of Practice include those made under the PROPRIETARY MORTAR (a) be free from hazardous materials
Construction Products Directive (89/106/ unless appropriate precautions are
EEC) and, in particular, appropriate 5.1 - M4 Proprietary mortars shall be taken, and
European Technical Specifications suitable for their intended use (b) provide consistent support to ground
approved by a European Committee for Proprietary mortars and admixtures bearing slabs
Standardisation (CEN). should comply with Clause M3 and should The appropriate precautions to be taken
only be used strictly in accordance with where hazardous materials are present in
MASONRY BELOW DPC the manufacturer’s recommendations, fill, are detailed in Appendix 5.1-A.
taking into account the type of masonry
5.1 - M2 Walls below dpc shall be The test requirements given in Appendix
unit and its location.
capable of supporting their intended

5.1
5.1-A should be followed where necessary.
loads and, where necessary, be resistant
to frost action, sulfates and other WALL TIES Fill containing expansive materials or
harmful or toxic materials 5.1 - M5 Wall ties shall be suitable for chemicals is not acceptable for the support
their intended use of ground bearing slabs.
Recommendations for the design strength
of bricks, masonry blocks and mortars are Wall ties should comply with BS EN 845 or Well graded, inert fill containing no
given in BS 5628. be assessed in accordance with Technical hazardous materials, which passes a
Requirement R3. 150mm x 150mm screen in all directions,
BRICKWORK normally will be suitable as support for
Clay bricks should comply with BS EN 771, ground bearing floors.
which classifies bricks by the durability WALL INSULATION
designations shown below: 5.1 - M6 Thermal insulation materials
F2,S2    (Freeze/thaw resistant, Low active for walls below dpc shall be suitable for
soluble salts) their intended use
F2,S1    (Freeze/thaw resistant, Normal Cavity insulation materials, super
active soluble salts) lightweight blocks, blocks with face
F1,S2    (Moderately freeze/thaw resistant, bonded insulation and blocks with integral
Low active soluble salts) insulation should be either:
F1,S1    (Moderately freeze/thaw resistant, • used in accordance with an assessment
Normal active soluble salts) which complies with Technical
F0,S2    (Not freeze/thaw resistant, Low Requirement R3 or
active soluble salts) • manufactured in accordance with a
F0,S1    (Not freeze/thaw resistant, Normal British Standard and used in accordance
active soluble salts) with a relevant Code of Practice.

Fletton or common bricks are usually of In Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man,
durability designations F1,S2 or F1,S1. If in it is not permitted to fill cavities with
doubt as to their suitability, bricks of F2,S2 pumped thermal insulants at the time of
or F2,S1 designation should be specified or construction.
the manufacturer consulted. In Scotland, it is not permitted to fill the
full width of the cavity with any thermal
BLOCKWORK
insulants at the time of construction.
Concrete blocks for use below dpc should
comply with BS EN 771 and have: Insulants specified and installed in
• a density exceeding 1500kg/m3, or accordance with the following British
• a compressive strength not less than Standards will be acceptable in England
7.3N/mm2, or and Wales only:
• an assessment in accordance with BS 6232 Thermal insulation of cavity
Technical Requirement R3. walls by filling with blown
man-made mineral fibre
Proprietary blocks should comply with
Technical Requirement R3.

2007 Chapter 5.1 Page 


5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

DAMP-PROOF MEMBRANE FLOOR INSULATION WALLS BELOW DPC


5.1 - M8 Selection of damp-proof 5.1 - M11 Thermal insulation for ground 5.1 - S2 Walls below dpc shall be
membrane materials shall take account bearing floors shall be suitable for its constructed in accordance with the
of the nature of the construction and intended use design
the possibility of damage
Thermal insulation materials for use below Items to be taken into account include:
For solid floors, requirements vary with the ground bearing slabs should have: (a) concrete cavity fill
location of the damp-proof membrane as • appropriate density for the location A clear cavity for at least 225mm
shown in the following table. • low water absorption. below dpc should be maintained. When
specialised foundations are used, including
Selection of damp-proof membrane Insulation to be positioned below both the
those for timber framed buildings, this
materials slab and dpm should be resistant to ground
depth may be reduced to 150mm below
contaminants.
Below the slab dpc provided that weep holes and other
The following materials are acceptable for necessary measures are taken to ensure
• Polyethylene sheet not less than
use as insulation: that the cavity can drain freely.
1200 gauge (0.3mm) (or 1000 gauge
• expanded polystyrene boards (grade
(0.25mm) if assessed in accordance
EPS 70) to BS EN 13163
with Technical Requirement R3 of
• a proprietary material assessed in
Chapter 1.1) dpc
accordance with Technical Requirement
• Bitumen sheet to BS 743 ‘Materials for
R3.
damp-proof courses’ at least
For details of floor insulation materials 225mm
In a sandwich construction above ground floor slabs, reference should
be made to Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’
• Any sheet of material given in the
(Materials).
previous column
• Hot applied asphalt to BS 6925, pitch concrete

or bitumen DAMP-PROOF COURSE cavity


fill

• Three full coats of cold applied MATERIALS


bituminous solutions, cold tar, pitch or
5.1

5.1 - M12 Materials for damp-proof (b) construction sequence


rubber emulsion
courses shall adequately resist the Where backfill is placed and compacted in
• Composite polyethylene and bitumen
passage of moisture one side of the foundation trench before
self-adhesive not less than 0.6mm
the other side is backfilled, the wall will be
thick Acceptable materials for dpcs are: acting as a temporary retaining wall.
On the surface of the slab • bitumen to BS 6398
• polyethylene to BS 6515 (except below T
• Hot applied asphalt to BS 6925 or copings and in parapets); polyethylene where cavity
t1 t2
pitch mastic dpcs should be black and not less than
fill is omitted
then:
• Cold applied pitch/epoxy resin 0.5mm thick
T = t1 + t2

• a proprietary material assessed in


CONCRETE accordance with Technical Requirement
D
R3.
5.1 - M9 Concrete shall be of a mix Dpcs and flexible cavity trays should be of
design and be reinforced, where the correct dimensions to suit the detailed
necessary, to safely support the floor design.
loads and to achieve sufficient durability backfill placed before
concrete cavity fill
to resist chemical and frost action Brick dpcs should consist of two courses of
engineering bricks, laid breaking joint and
For guidance on the specification and
bedded and jointed in a 1 : ¼ : 3, cement
use of concrete, concrete additives and
: lime : sand, or equivalent, mortar. Brick
reinforcement, reference should be T
dpcs are only suitable to resist the upward
made to Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its
movement of moisture.
reinforcement’ (each section).
For complicated junctions, preformed
TANKING MATERIALS cavity trays are recommended. Care may
be needed to ensure the correct type and
5.1 - M10 Walls and floors of basements shape is ordered.
shall incorporate tanking materials to
adequately resist the passage of water
and moisture
SITEWORK STANDARDS D
Tanking materials should be:
• asphalt to BS 6925 or BS 6577, or 5.1 - S1 All sitework shall:
• a proprietary system or product (a) meet the Technical Requirements
assessed in accordance with Technical (b) take account of the design
Requirement R3. (c) follow established good practice and
workmanship
Polyethylene sheet (such as ‘Polythene’ or
backfill placed after
‘Visqueen’) is not acceptable for tanking. Sitework that complies with the design and concrete cavity fill
the guidance below will be acceptable for
substructure and ground bearing floors.

Page  Chapter 5.1 2007


Substructure and ground bearing floors 5.1
In such cases, the wall should be either
PIPE BEDDED IN WALLS
designed by an Engineer in accordance
with Technical Requirement R5 or the 150mm 150mm
600mm max max 600mm
thickness (T) should be increased as max max
indicated in the following table: suspended floor
where infill is
more than 600mm
Depth (D) of Minimum thickness (T) of flexible flexible
joint joint
filled trench [m] wall leaf supporting fill [mm]
Up to 1.1 200
1.1 to 1.4 300
1.4 to 1.7 400
1.7 to 2.0 500 Services should be sleeved where they
pass through a structural element.
Note
This table is only applicable to the When unidentified services, ducts,
temporary condition and where problems cables or pipes are exposed, advice
such as hydrostatic pressure are not should be sought from local offices of
present. statutory undertakings and service supply FILL SUPPORTING
companies.
(c) workmanship
GROUND BEARING SLABS
Workmanship below dpc level should be GROUND BELOW FILL 5.1 - S4 Fill, including made ground,
of a high standard to avoid the necessity trench backfill and infill, shall provide
for costly repairs. Details of cavity wall 5.1 - S3 Ground shall be adequately
full and consistent support to any
construction are given in Chapter 6.1 prepared to provide consistent support
ground bearing slab
‘External masonry walls’ (Sitework). to the fill and the ground bearing slab
Well graded inert fill without hazardous
All vegetable soil and organic matter,
(d) wall ties materials, which passes a 150mm x 150mm
including tree roots, should be removed to
Where cavity insulation batts or slabs start screen in all directions, will normally be
provide an even bearing surface.

5.1
below dpc level, the vertical and horizontal suitable as support for a ground floor slab.
spacing of wall ties should be compatible Ground bearing floors may be used only
with the spacing to be used above dpc Fill should be placed and mechanically
where:
level. compacted in layers not exceeding 225mm
• trenches are backfilled with properly
deep, to form a stable mass.
compacted material
(e) services and service entries • infill is less than 600mm in depth and
Underground services should be installed 5.1 - S5 The performance of the
properly compacted substructure and ground bearing slab
as described in Chapters 8.1 ‘Internal • the ground is suitable to support floor
Services’ (Sitework) and 5.3 ‘Drainage shall not be affected by any hazardous
loads and any other loads. materials in the fill
below ground’ (Sitework), or provision
made for their later installation. Where Types of fill which require special
ground bearing
services penetrate walls, the following floor where precautions to be taken are given in
infill is less
alternatives are acceptable: than 600mm Appendix 5.1-A.
Where sulfates are present in the ground
properly compacted
fill and backfill at levels likely to be harmful:
• the floor slab should be of the
PIPES PASSING THROUGH 50mm space
LINTELLED OPENING around pipe appropriate mix to resist sulfate attack
and be protected by an impervious layer
Where more than 600mm of infill is of 1200 gauge (0.3mm) polyethylene
required at any point within a self- sheet (or 1000 gauge (0.25mm) if
contained area, or the bearing capacity assessed in accordance with Technical
opening masked
both sides and nature of the ground varies, the floor Requirement R3) which may also serve
over the self-contained area should be as a dpm
of suspended construction. Reference • mortar in substructure walls should
should be made to Chapter 5.2 ‘Suspended contain sulfate resisting cement
ground floors’ (Sitework). • concrete blocks in substructure walls
should have a sulfate resistance
appropriate for the level of sulfate in the
lintel over
multiple services fill or ground.
Expansive materials are not acceptable for
use as fill supporting ground bearing slabs.

TRENCH BACKFILL
5.1 - S6 Backfill to trenches shall be
adequately compacted
To avoid settlement at junctions between
the substructure wall and the ground
bearing floor, trenches should be backfilled
with solid material, graded and compacted
according to the guidance given in

2007 Chapter 5.1 Page 


5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

Clause S4. Alternatively, concrete may be LAYING THE SLAB


used (see Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its
dpc laps dpm
reinforcement’ (Sitework)). 5.1 - S11 Ground bearing floors shall
be reasonably level and effectively
impervious to moisture
fill compacted
in equal layers
All underfloor services and ducts should
on both sides be installed and, where appropriate, tested
before concreting is started.
Care should be taken to ensure that
all joints and junctions between damp-
Where dwellings are stepped down a proofing membranes, wall dpcs or tanking
sloping site, the dpcs and dpms should be in substructure walls are undamaged,
linked so that all parts of each dwelling are especially while the concrete for the
Fill should be placed in layers of equal protected. ground slab is being poured.
thickness to both sides of substructure
walls so that compaction on one side is not DAMP-PROOF COURSE
more than one layer ahead of the other.
Where this is not possible, the wall will be 5.1 - S9 Moisture from the ground shall
acting as a retaining wall and the advice be prevented from reaching the inside of
given in Clause S2(b) should be followed. the building
A damp-proof course should be positioned
BLINDING at least 150mm above finished ground
or paving level and should link with any
5.1 - S7 Blinding shall provide a suitable
ground floor dpm. dpm protected
surface for the materials above by board

Fill should be blinded sufficiently to receive The dpc should be of the correct width and
concrete (or dpm, if required) using the fully bedded.
5.1

minimum thickness necessary to give a For guidance concerning setting and


suitable surface. Concrete blinding may be bedding dpcs, reference should be made Details of screeds laid monolithically with
needed where voids in the fill could result to Chapter 6.1 ‘External masonry walls’ floor slabs are given in Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor
in loss of fines from the blinding. Where (Sitework). finishes’ (Sitework).
hardcore fill is used, smooth blinding, eg
sand or other suitable fine material, is Details of mixing, placing and curing
essential to avoid puncturing a sheet dpm.
LAYING THERMAL concrete are given in Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete
Where the ground floor is to be reinforced, INSULATION and its reinforcement’ (Sitework).
the blinding should be firm and even to 5.1 - S10 Installation of thermal
give good support for the reinforcement insulation shall ensure that the full BASEMENTS
and to maintain the design cover, using
thermal performance of the floor is 5.1 - S12 Basements shall be
reinforcement stools, where necessary.
achieved constructed in accordance with the
Insulation boards should be tightly butted design
DAMP-PROOFING FLOORS together to maintain insulation continuity. Appendix 5.1-B gives details of the different
5.1 - S8 Ground bearing floors shall be types of basement construction that
resistant to the passage of moisture Where the insulation is turned up vertically
may be acceptable to NHBC subject to
from the ground at the edge of the slab, the edge should be
appropriate detailing.
protected whilst concrete is being poured
A ground bearing concrete floor should and tamped. Items to be taken into account include:
be protected from ground moisture by a (a) detailing and application of tanking
continuous damp-proof membrane. Where edge insulation is within the cavity
materials
external wall, the insulation material
The continuity of the membrane should be Appendix 5.1-C gives typical details of the
should be supported on wall ties as
maintained as follows: critical areas in basement construction to
described in Clause S2(d) and Chapter 6.1
• laps in polyethylene should be at avoid water penetration.
‘External masonry walls’ (Sitework).
least 300mm and joints sealed, where The design will specify the method of
necessary tanking to be used. This should not be
• membranes beneath the slab should link changed without consulting the designer.
with wall dpcs to form an impervious
barrier to prevent moisture reaching the Where required by the design the
interior of the dwelling waterproofing system should be applied
• linking should take account of possible insulation protected
by a specialist contractor experienced
differential movement. by board in that system. Installers should be
made fully aware of the design and the
dpm trimmed
manufacturer’s recommendations for the
to avoid
bridging cavity
preparation and installation.
Tanking which is being installed or is
complete should be protected to prevent
damage.
A suitable protection board should be
provided against the waterproofing

Page  Chapter 5.1 2007


Substructure and ground bearing floors 5.1
material to avoid damage. Where the
waterproofing system is protected by Appendix 5.1-A
backfilled material this should be placed
carefully in layers to prevent damage.
(b) junctions, abutments and services Materials for use as fill
Details of how junctions and abutments
are formed should be provided to site Hazardous materials The following materials require testing to ensure their suitability for use as
personnel. fill to support ground bearing slabs or as backfill to associated trenches:
• acid wastes
Where services pass through the • reactive materials
waterproofing system they should be in
• materials that include sulfates (eg gypsum)
accordance with the design.
• organic materials
The basement waterproofing system • toxic materials
should be linked to the damp proofing • materials that cause noxious fumes, rot, undue settlement or damage to
arrangements for the superstructure. Any surrounding materials.
lap joints should be protected against
damage during construction.
Test requirements Tests should be carried out by a suitable qualified person with a detailed
See Appendix 5.1-C. knowledge of:
• the material to be tested, and
• the proposed conditions of use.
The samples tested must be representative of the true nature of the
material.
It may be necessary to take a number of samples to find out the material
characteristics of the fill.
Tests for sulfate content should be carried out in accordance with the
recommendations of BRE Digest 363 (current edition).

5.1
Sources of fill Where the material is of a stable and uniform type from one source, it may
material only be necessary to check its suitability once. If material is variable, or
from a number of sources, it should all be suitable. Regular inspections
and/or testing may be required.

Where industrial waste is permitted as fill material, it is essential that


sufficient testing is carried out to ensure suitability.
Where material is obtained from stockpiles, check the material is uniform.
Different forms of stockpiling can affect particle size/grading. The outside
of a stockpile may be weathered and may not be the same as unweathered
material.

Fill requiring NHBC The following types of fill should not be used unless written permission has
approval been obtained from NHBC:
• colliery shale and any other residue from mineral extraction
• slags
• furnace ashes and other products of combustion
• material obtained from demolition
• on wet sites, or sites with a high water table, crushed or broken bricks
which have S1 designation (as defined in BS EN 771).

Expansive materials Fill containing expansive materials is not acceptable for use as support to
ground bearing slabs or as backfill to associated trenches.

2007 Chapter 5.1 Page 


5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

Appendix 5.1-B Appendix 5.1-C


Basement constructions Typical details for
This Appendix shows the three types of basements
basement constructions.
This Appendix contains generic details
for basements. Because of the variations
between different waterproofing systems,
they should not be used as construction
details. The manufacturer of the tanking
system should be consulted.

external waterproofing
with protection water masonry walls
resistant
concrete

external waterproofing
Type B structure - structurally integral with protection

protection (water-resistant concrete)


(water resistance reliant specifically on
Type A structure - tanked protection the concrete construction but may be Type A structure
5.1

(water resistance reliant on waterproofing) combined with additional waterproofing) Strip foundation without starter bars

continuous
drained
cavity

waterproof
reinforced
concrete

drainage
sandwich sump discharging
waterproofing to suitable outlet

Type A structure - tanked protection Type C structure - drained cavity Type B structure
(water resistance reliant on waterproofing) (water resistance reliant on collecting and Integral protection - water-resisting
disposing of any water within the internal concrete
cavity system)

Page 10 Chapter 5.1 2007


Substructure and ground bearing floors 5.1

reinforced concrete wall recess in basement wall


masonry walls lintel to bridge recess

internal cavity
internal cavity drainage system
drainage
system

drain connection

(drainage sump not shown) (drainage sump not shown)

Drainage connection avoiding penetration


Type C structure of the waterproofing system by the soil

5.1
Type C structure
Strip foundation without starter bars Drained cavity construction stack

masonry walls reinforced


masonry walls reinforced

internal cavity
drainage
sysem
internal cavity
drainage
system
150mm 150mm 600mm
max max max

flexible joints

drainage
sump not
included pipe sealed to
waterproofing system
(drainage sump not shown)

Type C structure Type C structure Drainage connection penetrating


Strip or piled foundation with starter bars Reinforced masonry on concrete raft basement wall

masonry walls reinforced

dpc

cavity tray

external
waterproofing
external
waterproofing
with protection

Type A structure Example of linking waterproofing with


Reinforced masonry on concrete raft DPC/cavity tray

2007 Chapter 5.1 Page 11


5.1 Substructure and ground bearing floors

INDEX
B G S
Backfill 7 Ground conditions 1 Services 2, 7
Basement constructions 10 Ground hazards 1 Site-mixed mortar 5
Bearing capacity of ground 1 Ground moisture 3 Sloping ground 1
Blinding 8 H Statutory requirements 1
Blockwork 2, 5 Hazardous fill 3, 9 Sulfate resistance 5
Brickwork 2, 5 Surface water 2
I
C T
Insulation 3, 5, 6, 8
Cold bridging 4 Tanking materials 6
M
Concrete 6 Test requirements 9
Masonry below dpc 5
D Thermal insulation 3, 6, 8
Mortar 2, 5
Damp-proofing 3, 8 Transfer of loads 1
N
Damp proof course 3, 6, 8 Typical details 10
Nature of ground 1
Damp proof membrane 6 W
NHBC approval 9
Wall ties 5, 7
Depth of infill 1, 3
P
Walls below dpc 2, 3, 5, 6
Proprietary mortar 5
Drainage 2 Water pressure 3
Provision of information 4
E Waterproofing 4
Expansive materials 9
F
Fill 2, 3, 5, 7, 9
Floor slab 3
5.1

Page 12 Chapter 5.1 2007


Part 5 Substructure and ground floors

Chapter 5.2
Suspended ground floors
5.2 Suspended ground floors

CONTENTS SCOPE

DESIGN - General Clause Page This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical
Requirements and recommendations for suspended ground
Design standards D1 1
floors of in-situ and precast concrete and timber joists.
Statutory and other requirements D2 1
Resistance to ground contaminants D3-D4 1

DESIGN - In-situ concrete


Structural stability D5 1
Resistance to moisture D6 1
Thermal insulation D7 1
Floor finishes and decking D8 1

DESIGN - Precast concrete


Structural stability D9 1
Resistance to moisture D10 2
Thermal insulation D11 2
Floor finishes and decking D12 2

DESIGN - Timber
Structural stability D13 2
5.2

Structural timber D14 2


Trimmers D15 2
Strutting D16 2
Joist hangers D17-D18 2
Joist support at separating walls D19 2
Intermediate support D20 2
Floor decking D21 3
Damp-proofing D22 3
Thermal insulation D23 3

DESIGN - Information
Provision of information D24-D25 3

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 3
Concrete and reinforcement M2 4
Proprietary systems M3 4
Timber M4 4
Damp-proofing and thermal insulation M5 4
materials

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 4
Ventilation and damp-proofing S2-S3 4
Construction of floors S4 4
Thermal insulation S5 4
Floor finishes S6 4
Floor decking : general S7-S8 5
Softwood boarding S9 5
Chipboard flooring S10 5
Oriented strand board flooring S11 5
Other floor decking S12-S13 5

INDEX 5

Page  Chapter 5.2 2007


Suspended ground floors 5.2
DESIGN STANDARDS In-situ concrete • have low water absorption
• be resistant to ground contaminants
5.2 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical STRUCTURAL STABILITY • be strong enough to support wet
construction loads
Requirements 5.2 - D5 In-situ concrete suspended • be compatible with any dpm.
Design that follows the guidance below will ground floors shall be designed
be acceptable for suspended ground floors. to transmit all loads safely to the Suitable insulating materials are described
supporting structure without undue in the Materials section.

STATUTORY AND OTHER movement (b) insulation placed above the floor slab
Items to be taken into account include: For guidance on insulation above the floor
REQUIREMENTS slab, reference should be made to Chapter
(a) dead and imposed loads
5.2 - D2 Design of suspended ground Loads should be calculated in accordance 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’ (Design and Materials).
floors shall comply with all relevant with BS 6399. (c) cold bridging
statutory and other requirements
Suspended in-situ concrete ground floors The design should ensure that any risk
Design should be in accordance with of cold bridging is minimised, giving
should be designed either:
relevant Building Regulations and other particular attention to junctions between
• by an Engineer in accordance with
statutory requirements. floor and external walls.
Technical Requirement R5, or
NHBC requires ground floors to be • in accordance with BS 8103 Part 4. Precautions include:
constructed as suspended floors in the • extending cavity insulation below floor
following situations: (b) end bearings
slab level
• where the depth of fill exceeds 600mm, Bearings on supporting walls should be
• linking floor and wall insulation
as described in Chapter 5.1 ‘Substructure designed either:
• providing perimeter insulation to floors
and ground bearing floors’ (Design) • by an Engineer in accordance with
• facing the supporting substructure with
• where soil swelling may occur, as Technical Requirement R5, or
insulation.
described in Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near • in accordance with BS 8103 Part 4.
trees’
• on sites which have been subject to RESISTANCE TO MOISTURE FLOOR FINISHES AND

5.2
vibratory ground improvement, as 5.2 - D6 In-situ concrete suspended
DECKING
described in Chapter 4.6 ‘Vibratory ground floors shall be designed to resist 5.2 - D8 Finishes and decking to in-situ
ground improvement techniques’ the passage of moisture to the inside of concrete suspended ground floors shall
• where ground or fill is not suitable be suitable for their intended use
the building
to support ground bearing slabs. For
suitable fill providing temporary support Items to be taken into account include: Details of finishes and decking are given in
to suspended floors, refer to Chapter 5.1 (a) damp-proofing Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’ (each section)
‘Substructure and ground bearing floors’ Dampness from the ground and supporting and Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete
Appendix 5.1-A. structure should be prevented from upper floors’.
reaching the floor by use of dpms and
RESISTANCE TO GROUND dpcs. Precast concrete
CONTAMINANTS (b) linking dpm with dpc
Damp-proofing of suspended ground floors
STRUCTURAL STABILITY
5.2 - D3 Design shall ensure that
adequate measures are taken against should be linked with any damp-proofing 5.2 - D9 Precast concrete suspended
adverse effects of ground contaminants of the supporting structure in order to ground floors shall be designed
and radioactive materials provide continuous protection. to transmit all loads safely to the
supporting structure without undue
Any contaminants in or above the ground Where there is a risk of sulfate attack, a
movement
should be identified to the satisfaction of polyethylene sheet dpm, not less than
NHBC, following the guidance given in the 1200 gauge (0.3mm) (or 1000 gauge Items to be taken into account include:
appropriate British Standard. (0.25mm) if assessed in accordance with (a) dead and imposed loads
Technical Requirement R3) should be used, Loads should be calculated in accordance
Where necessary, precautions against properly lapped. with BS 6399 : Part 1.
danger to health caused by contaminants
should be taken, as described in the Precast concrete suspended ground floors
Appendix ‘Introduction to remedial THERMAL INSULATION should be:
measures’ to Approved Document C1/2/3 5.2 - D7 Thermal insulation of in-situ • designed by an Engineer in accordance
and other Building Regulation documents. concrete suspended ground floors shall with Technical Requirement R5, or
be designed to comply with statutory • proprietary systems which have been
5.2 - D4 Design shall provide adequate assessed in accordance with Technical
requirements
protection against radon gas Requirement R3, or
The BRE report ‘Thermal insulation: • chosen from manufacturers’ details
In certain parts of the country, special
avoiding risks’ discusses aspects of which are based on recognised
precautions may be necessary to reduce
insulation relevant to suspended ground Standards and Codes of Practice.
the entry of radon gas. Areas in England
floors. In England and Wales account
and Wales where special precautions are
should be taken of Accredited Details. (b) end bearings
necessary are detailed in BRE Report 211.
Bearings on supporting walls should be as
Items to be taken into account include:
When precautions are necessary, they recommended by the manufacturer, and in
(a) insulation placed below the floor slab
should be acceptable to NHBC. no case less than 90mm.
Insulation below the ground floor slab
should:
• be placed on a suitable compacted and
even substrate

2007 Chapter 5.2 Page 


5.2 Suspended ground floors

RESISTANCE TO MOISTURE with any damp-proofing of the supporting STRUCTURAL TIMBER


structure in order to provide continuous
5.2 - D10 Precast concrete suspended protection. 5.2 - D14 Structural timber grades and
ground floors shall be designed to resist sizes shall be adequate for the spans
the passage of moisture to the inside of and imposed loads
the building
THERMAL INSULATION
For guidance, reference should be made to
5.2 - D11 Thermal insulation of precast
Items to be taken into account include: Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
concrete suspended ground floors shall
(a) damp-proofing floors’ (Design and Materials).
be designed to comply with statutory
The supporting structure should, wherever
requirements
necessary, incorporate adequate damp- TRIMMERS
proofing measures to prevent dampness The BRE report ‘Thermal insulation:
from reaching the floor as described in the avoiding risks’ discusses aspects of 5.2 - D15 Where trimming is necessary,
following Chapters: insulation relevant to suspended ground adequately sized timbers shall be used
5.1 ‘Substructure and ground bearing floors. In England and Wales account For guidance, reference should be made to
floors’ (each section) should be taken of Accredited Details. Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
6.1 ‘External masonry walls’ (each section). floors’ (Design and Sitework).
Items to be taken into account include:
(b) ventilation of underfloor voids (a) insulation above floor slab
A minimum void of not less than 75mm For guidance on insulation above a floor STRUTTING
should be provided below the underside of slab, reference should be made to Chapter 5.2 - D16 Strutting shall be adequate to
floor slabs and beams. 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’ (each section). limit the twisting of joists
On shrinkable soil where heave could (b) cold bridging For guidance, reference should be made to
take place, allowance should be made for The design should ensure that any risk Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
the void to accommodate the following of cold bridging is minimised, giving floors’ (Design and Sitework).
movements according to the shrinkage particular attention to junctions between
potential of the soil:
• high potential - 150mm
floor and external walls. JOIST HANGERS
Precautions include:
5.2

• medium potential - 100mm 5.2 - D17 Joist hangers shall be suitable


• low potential - 50mm. • extending cavity insulation below floor for the joist width and depth, the
slab level strength of masonry and the required
Voids should be ventilated by openings • linking floor and wall insulation load
providing not less than 1500mm2 per • providing perimeter insulation to floors
metre run of external wall or 500mm2 • facing the supporting structure with For guidance, reference should be made to
per m2 of floor area, whichever gives the insulation. Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
greater opening area. floors’ (each section).

Ventilation openings should be provided FLOOR FINISHES AND 5.2 - D18 Adequate end bearings shall
on at least two opposite sides. Where this
is not possible, effective cross ventilation
DECKING be provided for joists and joist hangers

5.2 - D12 Finishes and decking to For guidance, reference should be made to
from opposite sides should be provided by
precast concrete suspended ground Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
a combination of openings and air ducts.
floors’ (Design and Sitework).
floors shall be suitable for their intended
Where the finished level below the floor is use
lower than the finished adjoining ground
Details of finishes and decking are given in
JOIST SUPPORT AT
level, appropriate drainage should be
provided. Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper SEPARATING WALLS
floors’ and Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’ 5.2 - D19 Joists shall be correctly
(c) damp-proofing of suspended floors (each section). supported at masonry separating walls
It may not be necessary to provide
additional damp-proofing where the: For guidance, reference should be made to
• underfloor void is ventilated and dpcs
Timber Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
are provided under bearings of precast floors’ (Design and Sitework).
floors in accordance with CP 102
STRUCTURAL STABILITY
• ground below the floor is effectively 5.2 - D13 Timber suspended ground INTERMEDIATE SUPPORT
drained (if excavated below the level of floors, including the decking material,
the surrounding ground). shall be designed to: 5.2 - D20 Sleeper walls shall
(a) support self weight, dead loads and adequately support the floor joists
Vapour control layers may be necessary
imposed loads For guidance, reference should be made
to protect floor finishes and should
(b) transmit loads safely to the to Chapter 4.4 ‘Strip and trench fill
be positioned in accordance with the
supporting structure foundations’ (Design and Sitework).
manufacturer’s recommendations
(c) not deflect unduly
(reference should be made to Chapter 8.3
(d) take account of the adverse effects
‘Floor finishes’ (each section)).
of shrinkage and movement
(d) linking dpm with dpc
For guidance, reference should be made to
Where provided, damp-proofing of
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
suspended ground floors should be linked
floors’ (Design).

Page  Chapter 5.2 2007


Suspended ground floors 5.2
FLOOR DECKING shrinkage potential of the soil as follows: Information
• high potential - 150mm
5.2 - D21 Appropriate materials for
floor decking shall be used
• medium potential - 100mm PROVISION OF
• low potential - 50mm.
Items to be taken into account include:
INFORMATION
Voids should be ventilated by openings
(a) decking and joist centres providing not less than 1500mm2 per 5.2 - D24 Designs and specifications
(b) resistance to moisture metre run of external wall or 500mm2 shall be produced in a clearly
per m2 of floor area, whichever gives the understandable format and include all
(c) fixing
greater opening area. relevant information
For guidance, reference should be made to
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper Clear and fully detailed drawings should
Ventilators should be spaced at not more
floors’ (each section). be available on site to enable work to be
than 2m centres and within 450mm of
carried out in accordance with the design.
each end of any wall. Air bricks should
DAMP-PROOFING be ducted through cavities and be Design drawings should include:
5.2 - D22 Design of timber suspended unobstructed. • all necessary plan dimensions and levels
ground floors shall ensure that the related to identified benchmarks
Every part of the void under a timber
floors are not adversely affected by • details of loadbearing walls
suspended ground floor should be
moisture • minimum bearing dimensions
thoroughly ventilated through openings
Items to be taken into account include: • information on all proposed underground
on at least two opposite sides. Where this
(a) damp-proofing of supporting services
is not possible, effective cross ventilation
structure • points of entry to the building for
from opposite sides should be provided by
The supporting structure should include services
a combination of openings and air ducts.
damp-proofing to prevent moisture • penetration of services through the
penetrating to the suspended floor, as Provision should be made for ventilation substructure, including support of the
described in Chapter 6.1 ‘External masonry through partitions and sleeper walls. structure above
walls’ (each section). If necessary, pipe ducts should be • details of trench backfill, infill and void
incorporated in adjoining solid floors, formers
Where the finished level below the floor is separating walls or other obstructions. • the required sequence of trench backfill

5.2
lower than the finished adjoining ground Ventilation should not be obtained through if this is relevant to the design of the
level: a garage. walls below dpc
• appropriate drainage should be provided, • work required to maintain the integrity
or THERMAL INSULATION of dpcs and dpms
• the structure should be tanked. • details of junctions between dpm, dpc
5.2 - D23 Thermal insulation of and tanking
(b) resistance to ground moisture timber suspended ground floors shall • details of underfloor and floor edge
Provision should be made to prevent be designed to comply with statutory insulation and cavity insulation, where
ground moisture affecting timber floor requirements relevant.
construction.
The BRE report ‘Thermal insulation:
This can be achieved by either: 5.2 - D25 All relevant information shall
avoiding risks’ discusses aspects of
• 50mm concrete or 50mm fine aggregate be distributed to appropriate personnel
insulation relevant to suspended ground
on a polyethylene membrane laid on floors. In England and Wales account Ensure that design and specification
50mm sand blinding, or should be taken of Accredited Details. information is issued to site supervisors
• 100mm concrete. and relevant specialist subcontractors
Items to be taken into account include: and/or suppliers.
In Scotland, the deemed-to-satisfy (a) positioning of insulation
specification of the statutory regulations Insulation may be:
should be followed. • insulation quilt, or
Where necessary, oversite concrete should • rigid insulation. MATERIALS STANDARDS
be protected against sulfate attack by Insulation quilt should be supported 5.2 - M1 All materials shall:
the use of a polyethylene sheet dpm, not between joists. (a) meet the Technical Requirements
less than 1200 gauge (0.3mm) (or 1000 (b) take account of the design
gauge (0.25mm) if assessed in accordance Rigid insulation boards should be Materials that comply with the design and
with Technical Requirement R3) properly adequately supported on battens fixed to the guidance below will be acceptable for
lapped. the sides of joists. suspended ground floors.
(c) ventilation of underfloor voids (b) cold bridging Materials for suspended ground floors
A minimum ventilation void of 150mm The design should ensure that any risk should comply with all relevant standards,
should be provided below floor joists or of cold bridging is minimised, giving including those listed below. Where no
75mm below any wall plate. particular attention to junctions between standard exists, Technical Requirement R3
floor and external walls. applies (see Chapter 1.1 ‘Introduction to the
On shrinkable soil where heave could take
Standards and Technical Requirements’).
place, an allowance for movement should Precautions include:
be added to the underfloor ventilation • extending cavity insulation below floor References to British Standards and Codes
requirement to determine the minimum level of Practice include those made under the
dimension of the underfloor void. The • linking floor and wall insulation Construction Products Directive (89/106/
allowance for movement relates to the • providing perimeter insulation to floors EEC) and, in particular, appropriate
• facing the supporting substructure with European Technical Specifications
insulation. approved by a European Committee for
Standardisation (CEN).

2007 Chapter 5.2 Page 


5.2 Suspended ground floors

CONCRETE AND For thermal insulation used above concrete • the design
floor slabs, materials should be selected • relevant parts of Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete
REINFORCEMENT in accordance with Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor and its reinforcement’ (each section)
5.2 - M2 Concrete shall have finishes’ (Design and Materials). • relevant parts of Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber
appropriate reinforcement and be of a and concrete upper floors’ (each
mix design that will: section).
(a) achieve sufficient strength to SITEWORK STANDARDS (b) precast concrete floors
support floor loads safely
All sitework for precast concrete floors
(b) be sufficiently durable to remain 5.2 - S1 All sitework shall: should be carried out in accordance with
unaffected by chemical or frost action (a) meet the Technical Requirements the manufacturer’s recommendations.
For guidance on the specification and (b) take account of the design
(c) follow established good practice and Care should be taken to ensure that dpcs
use of in-situ concrete, additives and
workmanship are not damaged or displaced.
reinforcement, reference should be
made to Chapter 2.1 ‘Concrete and its Sitework that complies with the design and (c) timber floors
reinforcement’ (each section). the guidance below will be acceptable for All sitework for timber floors should be
suspended ground floors. carried out in accordance with the relevant
PROPRIETARY SYSTEMS parts of Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete
5.2 - M3 Proprietary flooring systems VENTILATION AND DAMP- upper floors’ (Sitework).
shall have adequate strength and PROOFING
durability THERMAL INSULATION
5.2 - S2 Construction of suspended
Proprietary concrete flooring systems ground floors shall ensure adequate 5.2 - S5 Thermal insulation shall
should be designed in accordance with damp-proofing be installed to minimise thermal
BS 8110. Where a system incorporates transmission through the floor
Masonry supporting suspended ground
elements which cannot be designed to this The BRE report ‘Thermal insulation:
floors should have been damp-proofed
standard, eg polystyrene infill blocks, the avoiding risks’ discusses aspects of
using dpm, dpc or tanking in accordance
floor should be assessed in accordance insulation relevant to suspended ground
5.2

with the guidance given in the following


with Technical Requirement R3. floors. In England and Wales account
Chapters:
5.1 ‘Substructure and ground bearing should be taken of Accredited Details.
TIMBER floors’ (each section) Items to be taken into account include:
5.2 - M4 Structural timber, decking and 6.1 ‘External masonry walls’ (each section).
(a) floor insulation methods
related materials shall be suitable for Where proprietary floor systems are TIMBER FLOORS
their location and intended use used, moisture-resistant membranes, etc Insulation quilts should be supported,
Materials should be selected in accordance should be installed in accordance with the eg by draping plastic mesh across the
with the relevant parts of Chapter 6.4 manufacturer’s recommendations. joists and stapling it to joist sides so that
‘Timber and concrete upper floors’ (Design the quilt can be laid to the full thickness.
and Materials). 5.2 - S3 Construction of suspended Insulation draped over the joists is not
ground floors shall ensure adequate acceptable.
ventilation
DAMP-PROOFING AND
Ventilation should be provided in
THERMAL INSULATION accordance with the design. This is
MATERIALS normally provided by ventilators on at
mesh supporting
least two opposite external walls. insulation quilt
5.2 - M5 Materials shall be suitable for
their location and intended use Air bricks in cavity walls should be properly
ducted as detailed in Chapter 6.1 ‘External Rigid insulation boards should be
Items to be taken into account include: supported on battens or fillets nailed to
masonry walls’ (Design and Sitework).
(a) damp-proofing materials the sides of joists.
Damp-proofing materials should be Sleeper walls should be constructed with
selected in accordance with Chapter 5.1 sufficient openings to ensure adequate CONCRETE FLOORS
‘Substructure and ground bearing floors’ through ventilation. Where underfloor For guidance on insulating concrete floors,
(Design and Materials). voids adjoin ground bearing floors, reference should be made to Chapter 8.3
ventilation ducts should be installed. ‘Floor finishes’ (each section).
(b) thermal insulation materials
Thermal insulating materials used below Ventilation should not be obtained through (b) cold bridging
cast in-situ suspended floor slabs should a garage. The design should be followed to ensure
be selected in accordance with the relevant that any risk of cold bridging is minimised.
recommendations given in Chapter 5.1 CONSTRUCTION OF Pay particular attention to junctions
‘Substructure and ground bearing floors’ between floor and external walls.
(each section).
FLOORS
Thermal insulating materials for use with
5.2 - S4 Construction of suspended FLOOR FINISHES
floors shall ensure that they safely
timber floors should be: 5.2 - S6 Finishes to concrete suspended
support the intended loads and are
• expanded polystyrene boards (grade EPS ground floors shall be protected, where
reasonably level
70) to BS EN 13163 necessary, against damp, condensation
• mineral wool to BS 5803 : Part 1 Items to be taken into account include: or spillage
• other materials which have been (a) in-situ concrete floors
For guidance, reference should be made
assessed in accordance with Technical Concreting should be carried out in
to Chapter 8.3 ‘Floor finishes’ (Design and
Requirement R3. accordance with:
Sitework).

Page  Chapter 5.2 2007


Suspended ground floors 5.2
FLOOR DECKING :
GENERAL INDEX
5.2 - S7 Flooring shall be fixed only B   O  
when the dwelling is substantially Bearings 1, 2 Oriented strand board 5 
weathertight
Boarding 5  P  
For guidance, reference should be made to C   Plywood 5 
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
Chipboard flooring 5  Precast concrete 1, 4 
floors’ (Sitework).
Cold bridging 1, 2, 3, 4  Proprietary systems 4 
5.2 - S8 Completed floor decking shall Concrete 4  Protection 4 
not be overloaded and shall be protected Concrete floors 4  Provision of information 3 
against damage D   R  
For guidance, reference should be made to Damp-proofing 1, 2, 3, 4  Radon gas 1 
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper Decking 1, 2, 5  Reinforcement 4 
floors’ (Sitework). E   Resistance to moisture 1, 2 
Care should be taken to prevent trapping End bearings 1  S  
any water spillage below timber floors. F   Separating walls 2 
Floor decking 3, 5  Sleeper walls 2 
SOFTWOOD BOARDING Floor finishes 1, 2, 4  Softwood boarding 5 
5.2 - S9 Softwood boarding shall be Floor slab 1, 2  Structural stability 2 
securely fixed G   Strutting 2 
For guidance, reference should be made to Ground contaminants 1  T  
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper I   Thermal insulation 1, 2, 3, 4 
floors’ (Design and Sitework). Insitu concrete 1, 4 Timber 2, 4 

5.2
Insulation 1, 2, 3, 4 Timber floors 4 
CHIPBOARD FLOORING Intermediate support 2  Trimmers 2 
5.2 - S10 Chipboard flooring shall be J   U  
of the type and thickness specified and Joist hangers 2 Underfloor voids 2, 3 
shall be fixed securely L   V  
For guidance, reference should be made to Loads 1  Ventilation 2, 3, 4 
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper Voids 2, 3
floors’ (each section).

ORIENTED STRAND BOARD


FLOORING
5.2 - S11 Oriented strand board flooring
shall be of the type and thickness
specified and shall be fixed securely
For guidance, reference should be made to
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
floors’ (each section).

OTHER FLOOR DECKING


5.2 - S12 Plywood decking shall be fixed
securely
For guidance, reference should be made to
Chapter 6.4 ‘Timber and concrete upper
floors’ (Design and Sitework).

5.2 - S13 Proprietary materials shall be


fixed in accordance with manufacturers’
recommendations
Other floor decking should have been
assessed in accordance with Technical
Requirement R3 and should be installed
in accordance with manufacturers’
recommendations.

2007 Chapter 5.2 Page 


Part 5 Substructure and ground floors

Chapter 5.3
Drainage below ground
5.3 Drainage below ground

CONTENTS SCOPE

This Chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical


DESIGN Clause Page
Requirements and recommendations for the design and
Design standards D1 1 construction of foul, surface water and ground water
Statutory requirements D2 1 drainage systems.
Drainage system design D3-D6 1-2
Design to avoid damage D7 2
Foul and surface water disposal D8 3
Ground water drainage D9 4
Provision of information D10-D11 4

MATERIALS
Materials standards M1 4
Drainage materials M2 4

SITEWORK
Sitework standards S1 5
Preliminary work S2 5
Excavation S3 5
Laying pipework S4 5
Protection of pipework S5 6
Access points and gullies S6 6
5.3

Cesspools S7 7
Septic tanks S8 7
Surface water soakaways S9 7
Testing S10 8
Protection of work S11 8

APPENDIX 5.3-A
Minimum dimensions for access fittings and 9
chambers
APPENDIX 5.3-B
Percolation test procedures for septic tank 10
installations
APPENDIX 5.3-C
Septic tank field drain design 11
APPENDIX 5.3-D
Cross section of typical underdrain 12
APPENDIX 5.3-E
Percolation test procedures for surface water 12
soakaways

INDEX 14

Page  Chapter 5.3 2007


Drainage below ground 5.3
DESIGN STANDARDS DRAINAGE SYSTEM DESIGN Air admittance valves which have been
assessed in accordance with Technical
5.3 - D3 Drainage systems shall be Requirement R3 may be used in some
5.3 - D1 Design shall meet the Technical designed to convey foul effluents and dwellings to prevent trap seal siphonage.
Requirements surface water satisfactorily to an An open vent is generally required at the
Design that follows the guidance below will appropriate outfall head of common drainage systems and
be acceptable for drainage below ground. Items to be taken into account include: where the discharge pipe is the only vent
(a) compliance with codes and standards for a septic tank or cesspool.
STATUTORY Guidance on drainage design is given in BS (b) prevention of gases entering the
REQUIREMENTS EN 752. dwelling
(b) compatibility with the existing main RADON
5.3 - D2 Design shall comply with all
sewerage system In certain geographical locations special
relevant statutory requirements
The drainage system should be designed precautions may be necessary to reduce
Design should be in accordance with to be compatible with the main sewerage the entry of radon gas, for example where
relevant Building Regulations and other system: drains enter buildings. Areas in England
statutory requirements. • as a combined system, or where special precautions are necessary
All drainage schemes require the approval • with separate systems for foul water and are detailed in BRE Report 211.
of the Building Control Authority. Local surface water, or
LANDFILL AND OTHER GASES
sewerage undertakers may impose • with separate systems where foul water
Precautions to be taken when building
additional requirements and restrictions. is connected to the main sewer, while
where landfill or other gases may be
Both should be consulted early, especially surface water disposal is by soakaways
where the drainage system is to be present are given in BRE Report 212.
or other suitable means.
adopted under an agreement under Where necessary ensure that drains are
Section 104 of the Water Industry Act Where the sewerage undertaker permits
sealed where they enter the building.
1991 or Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968. surface water drains to be connected to a
The system may need to be inspected and foul water system an interceptor should (c) siting of septic tanks and cesspools
tested by the sewerage undertaker, as well be installed on the surface water side of Septic tanks and cesspools should be at

5.3
as by the Local Authority, Building Control the foul sewer junction, or trapped gullies least 7m from a dwelling and within 30m of
Authority and NHBC. should be used. a vehicular access to permit emptying. In
Scotland they should be at least 5m from a
Sewers which are to be adopted under an surface water manhole
dwelling and a boundary.
agreement under Section 104 of the Water
Industry Act 1991 or Sewerage (Scotland) interceptor public
combined (d) pumped systems
Act 1968 are outside the scope of this foul
sewer
Where a gravity system is not possible,
document. For information on standards pumps may have to be used. Pumped
required for adopted sewers, contact manhole systems should be designed in accordance
the local sewerage undertaker and other with BS EN 752 and BS 6297. The
relevant Authorities. installation should include:
Satisfactory outfall disposal is essential Where ground water drains are connected • holding tank of sufficient volume to
where a septic tank is installed. In England to surface water drains, there should be a contain 24 hours domestic effluent
and Wales the Environment Agency silt trap on the ground water side of the based on 120L/150L per head per day
consent may be needed to discharge junction. • suitable warning system giving visual
effluent from a septic tank. In Northern and/or audible signals to indicate system
(c) rights of connection to disposal
Ireland the Department of the Environment malfunction
should approve proposals, in Scotland the systems
• suitable equipment housing.
Local Authority and, where appropriate, Ensure that a legal right exists when
the River Purification Authority should connecting drains to an outfall. 5.3 - D5 Drainage systems shall
approve proposals. (d) capacity of private sewers be designed to minimise the risk of
Private drainage systems should be blockage
Ground conditions may preclude the use
of septic tanks in some locations. In all sufficient to cope with the intended Items to be taken into account include:
cases NHBC will require evidence of a capacity. The design should be in (a) pipe sizes
satisfactory percolation test where a septic accordance with BS EN 752 or similar Pipe sizes should be designed for the
tank drainage system is being installed. authoritative document. maximum peak load, using BS EN 752 as
See Appendix 5.3-B. the basis for calculations. Ground water
Where an existing private drainage system
drains and soakaways should be designed
For surface water discharge into a is to be extended, or where the capacity
with sufficient capacity for normal weather
watercourse the permission of the is to be increased, sufficient investigation,
Environment Agency is required in England conditions.
measurement and calculation should be
and Wales. A “consent to discharge” is undertaken to ensure that all parts of the (b) gradients
required from the DoE in Northern Ireland. private system are of adequate capacity. Design gradients should be as even as
In Scotland the Local Authority and, practicable, depending on the number
where appropriate, the River Purification 5.3 - D4 Drainage shall be designed to of WCs being served (minimum one for
Authorities should be consulted. prevent health hazards 100mm pipes, five for 150mm pipes, with
Items to be taken into account include: peak flows greater than 1 L/sec. at the
(a) ventilation of systems gradients shown below).
Ventilation of drains is normally achieved
Where flows are 1.0 L/second or less,
by ventilating discharge stacks. For details,
gradients for 100mm diameter pipes
reference should be made to Chapter 8.1
should not be flatter than 1:40.
‘Internal services’ (Design).

2007 Chapter 5.3 Page 


5.3 Drainage below ground

The following gradients may be used where (b) flooding


flows exceed 1.0L/second: Where there is a risk of flooding the advice
slow of the relevant Rivers Authority should be
Pipe diameter Minimum radius
bends followed.
[mm] gradient
100 1 : 80 (c) ground water
Foul and surface water drainage systems
150 1 : 150
should prevent the ingress of ground water.
(c) pipe runs
Pipe runs should be designed to maintain DESIGN TO AVOID DAMAGE
self-cleansing velocity (0.7 m/s). They 5.3 - D7 Drainage systems shall be
should be as straight as practicable with designed so that they are adequately
minimal changes of direction. Bends protected against damage
proprietary
should only occur in or next to inspection manhole
chambers or manholes. Curves should be Items to be taken into account include:
slight so that blocked pipes can be cleared. (a) loads from foundations
Drains should be located so that
(d) access foundation loads are not transmitted to
To ensure that every length of drain can pipes. Where drainage trenches are near
be rodded, the design should include all foundations, foundation depths should be
necessary access points, such as: increased or the drain re-routed further
• rodding eyes from the foundations.
• access chambers
• inspection chambers Where the bottom of a trench is below
• manholes. foundation level, the trench should be
filled with concrete to a suitable level.
Sizes of access fittings and chambers For construction details of access fittings
should be specified for the depth of invert and chambers, reference should be made
as detailed in Appendix 5.3-A. to clause S6.
5.3

5.3 - D6 Foul and surface water


drainage systems shall be adequately A
watertight under test and working
less than 1m
conditions
ACCESS CHAMBER Items to be taken into account include:
(a) ground movement
All pipes should have flexible joints.
Where ground movement may occur,
precautions against leakage are needed. In
mining areas, and in other locations where
INSPECTION CHAMBER movement could be significant, a flexible
pipe system should be specified. Flexible
systems should be flexible pipes with A
flexible joints. Refer to Sitework Clause S5. more than 1m

Proper allowance should be made for


settlement. Where there is a risk of soil
movement, for example in made-up
ground, design gradients should be steeper
than the minimum allowed for the flow rate B is within A-150mm from B
bottom of foundation
and pipe size.
MANHOLE In non-uniform or saturated soils where
Inspection chambers and manholes may be movements of the trench bottom can be
the following types: expected, soft spots should be removed Where drains pass through structural
• open, half-round section channel with and replaced with suitable material. elements, allowance should be made for
suitable benching, or Protective blinding should be specified differential movement, thermal movement
• closed access - at manholes, cover for the trench bottom, to be placed and maintenance.
panels have to be removed to gain immediately following excavation. Pipes passing through substructure walls
access to the pipe.
In ground conditions where movement should accommodate movement by:
Side branches to inspection chambers and is likely to adversely affect the drain a • 50mm clearance all round, or
manholes should discharge into the main support system for the drain should be • a sleeve with a 50mm clearance, or
channel not higher than half pipe level. designed by an Engineer in accordance • if built in, a connection on both sides
with Technical Requirement R5. of the wall to pipes with flexible joints
Connections should be made obliquely in located not more than 150mm from
the direction of flow. Shrinkage and heave of clay soils can the face of the wall. Refer to Sitework
affect pipelines. Design gradients should clause S5(a).
be greater than the permitted minimum
to allow for possible movement. Refer to See clause D4(b) for prevention of gas
Chapter 4.2 ‘Building near trees’ for details entering the building.
of zones of influence of trees.

Page  Chapter 5.3 2007


Drainage below ground 5.3
(b) loads from overlying fill and traffic (c) connection to surface water disposal OUTFALL
Pipes should be firmly supported systems The outfall from a septic tank may require
throughout their length and bedded to Surface water drainage is generally consent from the Environment Agency in
resist loads from overlying fill and traffic. required to be separated from foul water England and Wales. In Northern Ireland the
Small diameter rigid pipes may be laid: drainage. Surface water may be discharged Environment and Heritage Service should
• directly on trench bottoms, or into public surface water main drains or approve proposals. In Scotland the Scottish
• bedded on granular material. Refer to directly into natural watercourses, ponds Environment Protection Agency should
Sitework clause S4. or soakaways, as appropriate. Surface approve proposals. The designer should
water should not discharge to a septic tank ensure at an early stage that consent
For flexible pipes, and where a greater
or cesspool, or a separate foul sewer. will be given, or an alternative method of
factor of safety is needed, specify the
drainage selected.
bedding class and grading of backfill as For large or complicated dwellings the
described in BS EN 13242, BS 5955 and BS amount of surface water to be disposed of Copies of relevant consents are required
EN 752. Refer to Sitework clause S4(a). may be calculated by reference to BS 6367. by NHBC before work commences.
When using proprietary systems assessed Siting of soakaways should take account POROUS SUBSOILS
in accordance with Technical Requirement of topography to ensure that water is If the outfall from a septic tank is to
R3, pipes should be supported in drained away from the building. In soil of discharge to a porous subsoil, such as
accordance with the assessment. low permeability, soakaways should only gravel, sand or chalk, at a level above that
Special protection may be required where be provided where no alternative system is of the winter water table level, a soakaway
pipes are near the ground surface or available. Soakaways should be a minimum may be used.
where they could be damaged by the of 5m from any adjacent building.
This consists of an excavation filled with
weight of backfill or traffic load from A simple test for assessing the brick bats or other large pieces of inert
above. Guidance is given in Sitework clause permeability of the soil and how to convert material; or unfilled but lined, eg with
S5 and in BS 5955 and BS EN 752. the result into soakaway dimensions is dry laid brickwork or precast concrete
Manhole covers, gully gratings and other detailed in Appendix 5.3-E. A more refined (porous or perforated) rings, from which
fittings should be suitable for the traffic method to determine soakaway size is the effluent may percolate into the
conditions. given in BRE Digest 365. surrounding ground. Soakaways which

5.3
are not filled should be covered by a slab
(c) chemicals in ground and ground water (d) cesspools
incorporating an inspection cover.
If the ground or ground water contains A cesspool is a tank which stores effluent
sulfates, concrete and masonry work and has to be emptied periodically. The size of the soakaway should be
may require special precautions as determined as described in Appendix 5.3-
Cesspools should be sited within 30m of
detailed in Chapters 2.1 ‘Concrete and its C, the area of the bottom of the soakaway
a vehicle access to permit emptying. They
reinforcement’ (Design) and 6.1 ‘External should equal the area of trench bottom in
should be at least 7m from a dwelling.
masonry walls’ (Design). Chart 1.
Cesspools are required to be at least
Where the porous strata is overlaid by less
FOUL AND SURFACE 18m3 capacity. A 45 day holding capacity
permeable sub soil a bore hole may be
calculated at 150 litres/head/day should be
WATER DISPOSAL provided.
permitted by the appropriate authority.
5.3 - D8 Drainage systems shall be Proprietary septic tanks should be
(e) septic tanks
designed to connect to a suitable outfall assessed in accordance with Technical
A septic tank is a form of treatment plant
Items to be taken into account include: Requirement R3.
and requires a suitable outfall (agreed by
(a) connection to a main foul sewer the relevant authority) for treated effluent LESS POROUS SUBSOILS
All connections to a public sewer will discharge. Septic tank design is detailed in In less porous subsoils a sub surface
require the agreement of the responsible BS 6297. irrigation system may be a possible
authority. They should be consulted as to
Septic tanks should be sited within 30m of alternative.
the type and position of the connection to
be made. a vehicle access to permit emptying. They Such an alternative will have to be
should be at least 7m from a dwelling. In designed to determine the area of the sub
All connections to a private sewer will Scotland they should be at least 5m from a
require the agreement of the owners of surface drainage trench from which the
dwelling and a boundary. length of land drain can be found.
the sewer. This should be obtained as part
of the design process. If the main private CAPACITY First a percolation test has to be carried
sewer discharges into a public sewer the The capacity of the septic tank should out to determine the percolation value (s)
local sewerage undertaker should be be based on the number of people it will in seconds. Details of how to carry out the
notified of the proposal. serve. This is determined by the formula: test are given in Appendix 5.3-B.
(b) connection to a cesspool or a septic C = 180P + 2000 If the percolation value is less than 100s
tank
use Chart 1 to determine the field drain
The entry flow velocity should be where C = capacity of tank (in litres) min
trench area and Chart 2 the pipe length to
restricted to reduce disturbance in the 2700L
provide this area. For percolation values
tank. For drains not exceeding 150mm
and between 100s and 140s underdrains are
diameter a gradient not steeper than 1:50
for a distance of at least 12m upstream of necessary. For percolation values in excess
P = design population/potential occupancy
the entry is required. of 140s the soil is unsuitable for field
(min 4)
drains.
Rodding and cleaning facilities should be Appendix 5.3-C gives minimum capacities
provided at the connection with the tank. Design guidance for underdrains is given in
for septic tanks serving up to 10 persons.
Appendix 5.3-D.

2007 Chapter 5.3 Page 


5.3 Drainage below ground

FIELD DRAINS PROVISION OF DRAINAGE MATERIALS


These should be:
• sited taking account of topography to INFORMATION 5.3 - M2 All materials for drainage work
ensure that water is drained away from 5.3 - D10 Designs and specifications shall ensure satisfactory service for the
the building shall be produced in a clearly life of the system
• perforated pipes laid at least 500mm understandable format and include all Items to be taken into account include:
below the surface relevant information (a) manholes, chambers, pipes, fittings
• laid in trenches with a uniform gradient and covers
not steeper than 1:200 with undisturbed Drawings and specifications should
BS 65 Specification for vitrified clay pipes,
ground 2m wide between trenches and include: fittings, joints and ducts (Note: This
at least 8m from any building and 10m • proposed drain layout includes perforated pipes)
from any water course • invert levels and locations of existing BS 437 Specification for cast iron spigot
• laid on a 150mm bed of clinker, clean sewers and socket drainpipes and fittings
gravel or broken stone (20 - 50mm • junctions BS 1247 Specification for manhole step irons
grade) and the trenches filled to a level • ground floor levels of dwellings
BS EN 588 Fibre cement pipes for sewers and
50mm above the pipe and covered with • external finished levels drains.
strips of plastic material to prevent • inspection and access points
BS 4660 Specification for unplasticised
entry of silt • method of disposal of both foul and PVC underground drain pipes and
• backfilled with as dug material. surface water fittings
• position of any septic tank or cesspool in BS 4962 Specification for plastics pipes for
Note. If the level of the water table is relation to adjacent buildings use as light duty sub-soil drains
expected to rise in the winter months to • results of percolation tests where BS 5911 Precast concrete pipes, fittings and
within 1m of the invert of the field drains, treated effluent disposal is through field ancillary products
it is not acceptable to use sub-surface drains BS 5955 Plastics pipework (thermoplastic
irrigation. • length of field drains and their layout materials)
(including details of trench width, this
(f) small private sewage treatment BS 6087 Specification for flexible joints for
being critical to the functioning of the cast iron drainpipes and fittings (BS
works for more than one dwelling
system) 437) and for cast iron soil, waste
Small sewage treatment works for more
5.3

than one dwelling should be designed in • depth of field drains. and ventilating pipes and fittings
(BS 416)
accordance with BS 6297. The discharge Drains or sewers which are intended for
from the waste water treatment plant BS DD 76 Draft for Development, Precast
adoption should be clearly identified on concrete pipes of composite
should be sited at least 10m away from relevant drawings. construction
water courses and dwellings. The design
should be carried out by a suitably BS EN 124 Gully tops and manhole tops for
5.3 - D11 All relevant information shall vehicular and pedestrian areas
qualified engineer. be distributed to appropriate personnel
BS EN 295 Vitrified clay pipes and fittings and
Ensure that design and specification pipe joints for drains and sewers
GROUND WATER DRAINAGE information is distributed to site BS EN 1401-1 Plastics piping systems for non-
5.3 - D9 Ground water drainage shall be supervisors, relevant specialist pressure underground drainage and
designed to convey excess ground water subcontractors and/or suppliers. sewerage - Unplasticized poly (vinyl
chloride) (PVC-U)
to a suitable outfall
(a) layout of pipes INSPECTION/MANHOLE COVERS AND
Depending on site contours and ground MATERIALS STANDARDS FRAMES
conditions, ground water drainage, where • Group 1 - Areas which can only be used
required, may be designed as a: 5.3 - M1 All materials shall:
by pedestrians and pedal cyclists.
• natural system (a) meet the Technical Requirements
• Group 2 - Footways, pedestrian areas
• herringbone system (b) take account of the design and comparable areas, car parks or car
• grid system Materials that comply with the design and parking decks.
• fan-shaped system the guidance below will be acceptable for • Group 3 - For gully tops installed in the
• moat system. drainage below ground. area of kerbside channels of roads which
(b) pipe construction when measured from the kerb edge,
Materials for drainage below ground extend a maximum of 0.5m into the
Pipe perforations should be holes or slots should comply with relevant standards,
to suit the nature of the ground. carriageway and a maximum of 0.2m
including those listed below. Where no into the footway.
(c) outfall standard exits, materials should carry • Group 4 - Carriageways of roads
Ground water drain systems connected a certificate of assessment from an (including pedestrian streets), hard
to foul, surface water or combined drains independent authority, acceptable to shoulders and parking areas, for all
should discharge into the drain through NHBC. Materials of a higher standard are types of road vehicles.
a catchpit. Where available, ground water also acceptable.
drainage may discharge into a soakaway, Covers used for manholes within buildings
References to British Standards and Codes should be airtight and mechanically
preferably through a catchpit or into a
of Practice include those made under the secured.
watercourse.
Construction Products Directive (89/106/
In England and Wales the National Rivers EEC) and, in particular, appropriate Covers used for septic tanks, cesspits and
Authority consent may be needed for European Technical Specifications settlement tanks should be lockable.
discharge proposals. In Northern Ireland approved by a European Committee for
the Department of Environment should Standardisation (CEN).
approve proposals; in Scotland the River
Purification Authority should approve
proposals.

Page  Chapter 5.3 2007


Drainage below ground 5.3
GULLY GRIDS Percolation tests should be verified where LAYING PIPEWORK
• Grade B - for use in carriageways of treated effluent disposal is through field
roads with cars and slow moving normal drains. 5.3 - S4 Pipework shall be laid to the
commercial vehicles designed lines and gradients
The length of any field drains specified
• Grade A Class 2 - for use in carriageways Items to be taken into account include:
in the design should be accommodated
of roads (a) bedding
within the site boundaries.
• Grade A Class 1 - for use in carriageways Pipes should be firmly supported
of roads (gully grids of permanent non- throughout their length and bedded as
rock design). EXCAVATION specified in the design.
5.3 - S3 Excavation shall ensure that
(b) bricks and blocks Bricks, blocks or other hard material
the invert levels and gradients required
Clay bricks for manholes should comply should not be used as temporary supports
by the design are achieved
with BS EN 771 and: to achieve the correct gradients, as they
• be of low active soluble salt content Items to be taken into account include: may create hard spots which can distort
• have a compressive strength not less (a) setting out dimensions the completed pipe run.
than 48N/mm2. Drain runs and depths should be set out
from benchmarks previously checked and Pipes should be either:
Engineering bricks are suitable. verified. Any discrepancies in dimensions, • bedded on granular material, minimum
and any ground conditions requiring 100mm deep or
Concrete bricks to BS EN 771 should have • laid directly on the trench bottom, where
modification to the design, should be
a minimum crushing strength of 48N/mm2 reported immediately. Any resulting the trench bottom can be accurately
with a minimum cement content of 350kg/ variations should be recorded and hand trimmed with a shovel but is not so
m3 for foul drainage. distributed to all concerned. soft that it puddles when walked on.
Calcium silicate bricks should comprise (b) depth of trenches Depressions should be formed where
strength class 20 or above for foul Excavate to the depths shown on the necessary in the trench bottom to
drainage situations. drawings. If any trench is excavated lower accommodate pipe joints.
(c) backfill and bedding than the designed bottom level, it should
Granular backfill and bedding material be re-filled to the designed level to allow

5.3
should comply with the requirements of for the bedding to be continuous. Fill
BS EN 13242, BS 5955 and BS EN 752, as material should be:
specified. • granular material, or
• concrete mix GEN 1 or ST 1/2 (not for
Rigid pipes of nominal size 100mm and field drains).
110mm nominal flexible pipes should have pipe supported pipe supported on bed
granular material bedding to BS EN 13242 Hard spots should be undercut and on trench bottom of granular material

of 4/10mm pipe bedding gravel. Rigid removed, so that local stress points under
pipes are avoided. Nominal pipe Granular material
pipes of nominal size 150mm and 160mm size [mm] for bedding
nominal flexible pipes should have granular Soft spots should be filled with suitable
material bedding to BS EN 13242 of well-compacted material.
rigid flexible Material (complying
2/14mm pipe bedding gravel. See Sitework
(c) width of trenches pipes pipes with BS EN 13242)
clause S4 (a).
Trenches should be as narrow as possible 100 110 4/10mm pipe bedding
Proprietary pipe systems should be within working limits, allowing at least 150mm gravel
supported and bedded in accordance with working space on each side of the pipe. 150 160 2/14mm pipe bedding
the manufacturer’s recommendations. gravel
(d) proximity of foundations
or
Foundation bottoms should be lower than 4/10mm pipe bedding
adjacent drainage trenches. gravel
SITEWORK STANDARDS Where the bottom of a trench is below
foundation level, the trench should be Proprietary pipes should be supported
5.3 - S1 All sitework shall:
filled with concrete to a suitable level. in accordance with manufacturers’
(a) meet the Technical Requirements recommendations. Some proprietary
(b) take account of the design systems permit a minimum of 50mm depth
(c) follow established good practice and of bedding in certain circumstances.
workmanship Generally, for 150mm diameter and 100mm
A
Sitework that complies with the design and less than 1m diameter drains, a bed and surround of
the guidance below will be acceptable for 10mm pea gravel (to a thickness of 100mm
drainage below ground. all round the drain) will be acceptable for
drains under gardens, paths and drives.
PRELIMINARY WORK (b) jointing
5.3 - S2 Checks shall be made on site to Pipes should have flexible joints, installed
A
ensure that the design can be achieved in accordance with manufacturers’
more than 1m
recommendations.
Check that the following are as specified in
the design: (c) sidefill and backfill
B is within A-150mm
• invert levels and locations of existing from bottom of Sidefill and backfill should be placed as
B
sewers foundation soon as the pipes have been bedded,
• ground floor levels of dwellings jointed and inspected.
• external finished levels.
For proprietary systems, sidefilling
and backfilling should be carried out

2007 Chapter 5.3 Page 


5.3 Drainage below ground

in accordance with manufacturers’ PROTECTION OF PIPEWORK GARDEN AREAS


recommendations. Sidefill should be either: Where flexible pipes are not under a
• granular material (see table to Clause 5.3 - S5 Pipework shall be adequately road and have less than 0.6m cover they
S4(a)), or protected against damage should, where necessary, have concrete
• selected backfill material from the Items to be taken into account include: paving slabs laid as bridging above the
trench excavation, ie free from: (a) pipes passing through substructure pipes, with at least 75mm of granular
- stones larger than 40mm walls material between the top of the pipe
- clay lumps larger than 100mm Pipes passing through substructure walls and underside of the slabs.
- timber should accommodate movement. This may
- frozen material be achieved by:
- vegetable matter. • a 50mm clearance all round, or
• a sleeve, with 50mm clearance all round
GENERAL BACKFILL less than
and suitably sealed 600mm
Normally the excavated material from the cover
• if built in, connecting on both sides of
trench will be suitable for backfilling above
the wall to pipes with flexible joints 75mm
the selected material. General backfill
located not more than 150mm from the
material should be free from:
face of the wall. Flexible joints should
• boulders
be made in accordance with the pipe
• building rubble 100mm
manufacturer’s recommendations.
• timber
• vegetable matter. 50mm space
around pipe

PLACING BACKFILL (c) movement joints


Backfill should be placed in layers not Where rigid pipes have to be encased in
opening masked
deeper than 300mm, and should be well both sides concrete, movement joints of 13mm thick
compacted. Mechanical compacting should compressible board should be provided
only be used when compacted backfill is at around the spigot next to the socket,
least 450mm above the crown of the pipe. either at each joint or at not more than 5m
PIPES PASSING THROUGH LINTELLED OPENING
intervals.
5.3

movement joint of 13mm


compressible board
150mm 150mm
max max
600mm 600mm
max max

flexible flexible
joint joint
pipe encased
in concrete at
least 100mm
thick all round
150mm
above
pipe PIPES BEDDED IN WALLS
ACCESS POINTS AND
(b) pipework under roads GULLIES
Where drains pass under roads and drives,
the final compaction should be sufficient 5.3 - S6 Access points shall be
to prevent later settlement. constructed and installed as required by
the design
RIGID PIPES
Items to be taken into account include:
Rigid pipes less than 1.2m below the
(a) size and location of access points
road surface should, where necessary,
All access points should be located where
be protected from damage by concrete
shown on the drawings. They should:
encasement not less than 100mm thick,
• be accessible for rodding and cleaning
and having movement joints formed with
• not cross boundaries or kerb lines.
compressible board at each socket or
sleeve joint face. Ensure that inspection chambers and
manholes are of sufficient size for the depth
Flexible joints should remain flexible.
of invert. Do not exceed the invert depth for
FLEXIBLE PIPES the particular fitting or chamber. Reference
Flexible pipes less than 0.9m below the should be made to Appendix 5.3-A.
road surface should be protected by (b) covers of the drainage system
concrete bridging slabs or should be Manholes should be constructed or installed
2 layers hand compacted
surrounded with concrete reinforced as at the correct level, so that the covers will
before mechanical compaction appropriate. align with the adjacent ground. Gullies
should be adequately bedded, set level and
protected if protected if square and kerbed, where necessary.
cover less cover less
than 900mm than 1.2m
(c) traditional construction
FLEXIBLE RIGID The minimum specification for traditional
PIPES PIPES
manholes and inspection chambers is as
follows:

Page  Chapter 5.3 2007


Drainage below ground 5.3
BASE shoulders and parking areas, for all percolation test where a septic tank
Concrete not less than 100mm thick. types of road vehicles. drainage system is to be installed. See
Appendix 5.3-B.
WALLS Covers used for manholes within buildings
Brick, blockwork or concrete should should be airtight and mechanically Septic tanks should be sited taking account
be appropriate for ground conditions. secured. of topography to ensure that water is
Generally 100mm minimum thickness is drained away from the building.
Covers used for septic tanks, cesspits and
suitable for depths up to 0.9m where no
settlement tanks should be lockable. (b) impermeability to liquids
vehicular traffic loads are encountered
Septic tanks should be impermeable to
and there is no ground water pressure.
Elsewhere, 200mm minimum thickness CESSPOOLS their contents and to sub-soil water. They
may be constructed of brickwork, concrete,
should be provided. 5.3 - S7 Cesspools shall be sited and glass reinforced concrete, glass reinforced
constructed to prevent contamination of plastics or steel.
RENDERING
water and health hazards
Rendering, if required, should be applied to Brickwork should be of engineering bricks,
the external faces of the wall. Items to be taken into account include: laid in cement mortar and at least 220mm
(a) resistance to the passage of water thick.
BENCHING Cesspools should be impermeable to their
Benching should be steel trowelled to contents and to subsoil water. They may In-situ concrete should be at least 150mm
provide: be constructed of brickwork, concrete, thick.
• a smooth finish glass reinforced concrete, glass reinforced
• rounded corners (c) cover and ventilation
plastics or steel.
• a fall of not less than 1:12 Septic tanks should be covered and
• a good foothold. Brickwork should be of engineering bricks, ventilated.
laid in cement mortar and at least 220mm
(d) siting, inspection and access
nominal thickness.
Septic tanks should be sited at least 7m
In-situ concrete should be at least 150mm from a dwelling, but within 30m of a vehicle
thick. access to facilitate emptying. In Scotland,

5.3
they should be at least 5m from a dwelling
(b) cover and ventilation and a boundary. Septic tanks should be
Cesspools should be covered and provided with access for emptying or
ventilated. de-sludging and cleaning. All such access
(c) siting, access and inspection points where entry is required should have
Cesspools should be sited at least 7m from no dimension less than 600mm and be
a dwelling, but within 30m of a vehicle provided with lockable covers.
access to facilitate emptying. The inlet and outlet of a septic tank should
Cesspools should be provided with access be provided with access for inspection.
(d) proprietary systems for emptying or de-sludging and cleaning. (e) velocity of flow
Proprietary systems should be installed All such access points should have no Provision should be made to limit the
strictly in accordance with manufacturers’ dimension less than 600mm and be velocity of the flow to a septic tank. For
instructions. Adaptors, couplers and provided with lockable covers. drains up to 150mm diameter, the velocity
sealing rings should be installed correctly may be limited by laying the last 12m of the
and only the lubricants and solvents The inlet of a cesspool should be provided
with access for inspection. incoming drain at a gradient not steeper
specified by the manufacturer used. than 1:50. A dip pipe should be provided,
Proprietary manholes should not be used Cesspools should have no openings except with the top limb rising above scum level
at a depth greater than that for which they the inlet, the vent and the inspection and the bottom limb extending about
have been assessed as suitable. access. 450mm below top water level.

(e) type of cover/grid SEPTIC TANKS SURFACE WATER


Manhole covers and gully grids should
be of the correct type for the proposed 5.3 - S8 Septic tanks shall be sited and SOAKAWAYS
location. Proprietary items (eg covers to constructed to prevent contamination of
5.3 - S9 Soakaways shall be sited
plastic manholes) should be in accordance water and health hazards
and constructed to provide adequate
with manufacturers’ recommendations. Items to be taken into account include: short term storage for surface water
(a) outfall disposal and adequate percolation into the
INSPECTION/MANHOLE COVERS AND
Satisfactory outfall disposal is essential surrounding ground
FRAMES
where septic tank sewage disposal is
• Group 1 - Areas which can only be used Items to be taken into account include:
installed. Environment Agency consent
by pedestrians and pedal cyclists (a) location
may be needed in England and Wales.
• Group 2 - Footways, pedestrian areas Where possible soakaways should be built
In Northern Ireland the Environment
and comparable areas, car parks or car on land lower than, or sloping away from,
and Heritage Service should approve
parking decks buildings. Soakaways should generally be
proposals, in Scotland the Scottish
• Group 3 - For gully tops installed in the sited at least 5m from the foundations of
Environment Protection Agency should
area of kerbside channels of roads which a building.
approve proposals. Check that this
when measured from the kerb edge,
approval has been obtained before starting NHBC may require a percolation test for
extend a maximum of 0.5m into the
drainage work. a soakaway. If the ground is free draining
carriageway and a maximum of 0.2m
into the footway Ground conditions may preclude the use and granular, a test may not be necessary.
• Group 4 - Carriageways of roads of septic tanks in some locations. NHBC However, if there is any doubt about the
(including pedestrian streets), hard will require evidence of a satisfactory ground, or if there is a large quantity

2007 Chapter 5.3 Page 


5.3 Drainage below ground

of run-off into the soakaway which may PROTECTION OF WORK


swamp the ground, a percolation test may
be required. 5.3 - S11 All completed work shall be
suitably protected from damage by
Information on percolation tests is given in construction work
Appendix 5.3-E.
Damaged drainage will not be accepted.
(b) small soakaways It is recommended that no heavy loading
Small soakaways are holes filled with or underground work is permitted above
granular material, eg broken brick, crushed or near unprotected drainage, and that
rock or gravel, with particle size 10mm to dumpers, trucks, fork lifts or other heavy
150mm. PVC sheet or concrete blinding vehicles are not driven along or near pipe
should be laid over the fill to prevent runs.
topsoil being washed down into the
soakaway.
PVC sheet or
concrete blinding

effective depth D

diameter D

(c) large soakaways
5.3

For large soakaways, a pit is lined with dry


jointed or honeycomb brickwork.
Alternatively, perforated precast concrete
rings or segments may be laid dry and
surrounded with granular material.
The volume of large soakaways should be
calculated to ensure they are of suitable
capacity. Refer to Appendix 5.3-E or BRE
Digest 365.

TESTING
5.3 - S10 All foul and, where
appropriate, surface water drainage
systems shall be tested prior to
handover
Inspection and testing should be arranged
when required by the Local Authority, the
sewerage undertaker and NHBC.
Before backfilling, visual inspections are
required and the Builder is advised to test.
When the dwelling is handed over, the
system must be in full working order and
free from obstruction.

Page  Chapter 5.3 2007


Drainage below ground 5.3
Appendix 5.3-A

Minimum dimensions for access fittings and chambers


Type Depth to invert Internal sizes Cover sizes
from cover level
Length x Circular Length x Circular
(m)
Width (mm) Width (mm)
(mm x mm) (mm x mm)
Rodding eye As drain but Same size as
min 100 pipework1
Access fitting
small 150 diam 0.6 or less,
150 x 100 except where 150 x 100 150 150 x 1001 Same size as
situated in a access fitting
large 225 x 100 chamber 225 x 100 225 225 x 1001

Inspection chamber
shallow 0.6 or less 225 x 100 1902 - 1901
1.2 or less 450 x 450 450 Min 430 x 430 430
deep greater than 1.2 450 x 450 450 max 300 x 3003 Access restricted
to max 3503

Notes
1 The clear opening may be reduced by 20mm in order to provide proper support for the cover
and frame.
2 Drains up to 150mm.

5.3
3 A larger clear opening cover may be used in conjunction with a restricted access. The size is
restricted for health and safety reasons to deter entry.

Minimum dimensions for manholes


Type Size of largest pipe Min internal dimensions1 Min clear opening size1
(DN) (mm)
Rectangular Circular Rectangular Circular
length and diameter (mm) length and diameter
width (mm) width (mm) (mm)
Manhole
less than equal to or less than 150 750 x 6757 10007 750 x 6752 na3
1.5m deep 225 1200 x 675 1200 1200 x 6752
to soffit 300 1200 x 750 1200
greater than 300 1800 x (DN+450) The larger of 1800
or (DN+450)
greater equal to or less than 225 1200 x 1000 1200 600 x 600 600
than 1.5m 300 1200 x 1075 1200
deep to 375 - 450 1350 x 1225 1200
soffit greater than 450 1800 x (DN+775) The larger of 1800
or (DN+775)
Manhole shaft4
greater Steps5 1050 x 800 1050 600 x 600 600
than 3.0m
deep to Laddder5 1200 x 800 1200
soffit pipe Winch6 900 x 800 900 600 x 600 600

Notes
1 Larger sizes may be required for manholes on bends or where there are junctions.
2 May be reduced to 600 by 600 where required by highway loading considerations, subject to a
safe system of work being specified.
3 Not applicable due to working space needed.
4 Minimum height of chamber in shafted manhole 2m from benching to underside of reducing
slab.
5 Min clear space between ladder or steps and the opposite face of the shaft should be
approximately 900mm.
6 Winch only - no steps or ladders, permanent or removable.
7 The minimum size of any manhole serving a sewer (i.e any drain serving more than one
property) should be 1200mm x 675 mm rectangular or 1200mm diameter.
Reproduced from Tables 11 and 12 of Approved Document H to the Building Regulations by
permission of HMSO.

2007 Chapter 5.3 Page 


5.3 Drainage below ground

Appendix 5.3-B
Percolation test procedure for septic tank installations
1 Excavate a hole 300mm square x 250mm deep below the proposed invert level of the land
drain.
2 Fill the hole with water to a depth of 250mm and allow to drain away over night.
3 Refill to a depth of at least 250mm and note the time taken (in seconds) to drain away
completely.
4 Repeat the exercise two more times and calculate the average of the three results, as
follows:

time to drain away (seconds)


percolation value (s) =
depth of water (mm)

Results
percolation value suitability
up to 100 use Appendix 5.3-C Chart 1 to determine field drain
area
100 to 140 use Appendix 5.3-C Chart 1 but with underdrains*
over 140 field drains unsuitable

* Where underdrains are necessary, drainage trenches should be constructed not less than
600mm deeper than the pipe level specified in the design, and the lower part filled with pea
gravel (see Appendix 5.3-D)
A second system of drainage pipes should be laid on the bottom of the trenches to convey
5.3

surplus drainage to an outfall in a surface ditch or watercourse.


Underdrains are costly, and a secondary treatment system able to produce an effluent
suitable for surface discharge may be preferable.

Page 10 Chapter 5.3 2007


Drainage below ground 5.3
Appendix 5.3-C
Septic tank field drain design
Capacity based on Potential Occupancy
Minimum capacity (litres) Number of persons/bed spaces
2700 <4
2720 4
2900 5
3080 6
3260 7
3440 8
3620 9
3800 10

Chart 1 Field Drains Trench Area

240
230 9 persons
220
210
200 8 persons
190
180 7 persons
170
Field Drain Trench Area (m )
2

160
150 6 persons
140
130
120 5 persons
110
100 4 persons
90
80

5.3
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Percolation Value

Chart 2 Field Pipe Length

800 300 wide


750
Linear Pipe Length (m)

700
650
600
550 450 wide
500
450
600 wide
400
350
300 750 wide
250 900 wide
200
150
100
50
0
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
2
Drain Trench Floor (m )

2007 Chapter 5.3 Page 11


5.3 Drainage below ground

Appendix 5.3-D
Cross section of typical underdrain

Soil, gravel or

600mm
other topping

300 to
Tar paper

300mm
Invert of inlet pipe

Sand and gravel

600mm
Broken piece of tile
as cover to joint

Drain
5.3

600mm

Cross section of typical underdrain

Appendix 5.3-E
Percolation tests and design method for surface water
soakaways
PERCOLATION TEST
The rate at which water will disperse into the ground depends on the permeability of the
ground, which varies with the soil type.
The test will give a fairly accurate assessment of how the ground drains. As the test hole
can be used as part of a soakaway, it should be dug in a place that would be suitable for a
soakaway, at least 5m from the foundations of a building.
A summary of the test procedure is given below:

TEST PROCEDURE
A trial hole in a similar location and to the same depth as the proposed soakaway or septic
tank land drain will give a measured rate of percolation.
The procedure is as follows: 
1 Bore a hole 150mm in diameter with an auger to a depth of one metre.
2 Fill with water to depth of 300mm above the bottom. As an aid, mark a stick 300mm from
one end, place in the hole and fill up to the mark on the stick (it takes approximately 5.5
litres to fill a 150mm diameter hole to a depth of 300mm).
3 Observe the time taken in minutes for the water to soak away (this may take several
hours, in some cases need to be left overnight).
4 If possible the