Project partners: DTI, DTLR, Kingston University, Basement Development Group, NHBC, Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Products Association, Brick Development Association Ltd., British Cement Association.
Basements enable the better utilisation of land by increasing the useable living space per plot, thereby optimising the use of scarce building land and helping to reduce the environmental impact of new housing. The increasing need to use brownfield and other "difficult" sites often results in the need for deep excavation and contributes to the cost-effectiveness of providing a basement. Basements offer high standards of thermal performance, hence addressing the key environmental need to reduce the consumption of carbon based energy. The proposed amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations will increase the relevance of their inherently good energy efficiency and low carbon dioxide emissions performance.
Basements and semi basements are an
important means of providing improved amenity in new dwellings. Using
unreinforced brick or block masonry would assist in this major improvement to
the provision of living amenity in the
Unreinforced masonry is much more attractive in this situation than reinforced masonry because it has better client value and is simpler, easier, cheaper and quicker to build. An earlier Project - Plain Masonry Basement Walls has developed a more economical basis for the design of unreinforced basement walls.
The outcome of the project will be an
updated "Basements for Dwellings" Approved Document to the Building
Regulations (first published in 1997) incorporating information dealing with
plain masonry walls for basements.
This will facilitate more widespread user take-up of domestic basements and semi-basements as improved amenity through: