In new construction, a basement represents an additional volume for the same amount of land. Basements have advantages, but they come with their own set of risks that we’ll go through in this blog post.
What is basement construction?
Building a basement increases thermal inertia because it serves as an added buffer: its volume serves as an insulator.
The basement, with a more constant temperature, is a source of cooling in the summer and reduces heat loss from the ground in the winter without being heated.
By utilizing the difference in level on a sloped piece of property, you can build a basement without having to dig as deep, saving time and money.
Types of basements in new construction
A basement can be built for various purposes, such as:
– easier access to utility lines (typically in the ceiling);
– housing mechanical rooms;
– creating a garage, storage area, or cellar.
By installing a source of natural light, such as a window well or an English courtyard with an opening to the outside, you can also use your basement to create additional living space, like a playroom, bedroom, or office.
The ventilation system in basement construction
Lastly, you’ll want to consider installing a ventilation or airing system. Proper hygrometry and prevention of condensation are essential for comfort.
Furthermore, don’t forget that walls need to breathe. If you make your walls airtight on the inside, you risk trapping water and causing problems later on. The best advice is to leave airspace and then insulate accordingly.
When rebuilding or constructing a basement from an existing structure, the process is different, even if waterproofing remains a concern.
Basement construction process
The following are the stages to take when developing your basement:
We will be performing full excavations over the entire basement right-of-way. Full excavations are large and deep, and we need to make sure that we do them carefully so that there is no damage to the property or surrounding area.
A raft is often used when building a basement. It is a thicker slab than the conventional ground slab (15-16 cm thick) and also serves as the foundation’s footing.
By having a rigid insulation layer and flexible polyethylene film, your item will be better waterproofed.
The vertical walls’ elevation
Reinforcing the vertical walls is necessary to stiffen and stabilize them.
The most popular water-resistant wall construction material is reinforced concrete, which has the advantage of resisting water pressure and settlement risk. By eliminating penetrations and the presence of joints, they may be as continuous as possible.
The ground’s weight on the footing creates a counterweight effect that extends just below the surface.
The drainage system
At the bottom of the excavation, we must create a network outdoors around the perimeter walls of the basement to allow for runoff water evacuation: this is called drainage.
The runoff must be drained on the side it arrives.
Waterproofing of exterior walls
Applying a waterproofing layer or coating to the exterior walls, up to 15 cm above the finished floor can help protect your home. You may also want to use a protective film or membrane on top for extra protection.