The development of simple 'deemed to satisfy' in situ concrete basements for dwellings

Project Partner: Readymixed Concrete Bureau

The current focus on sustainable construction has placed additional emphasis on the optimisation of the space provided within the 'footprint' of each dwelling. The incorporation of a basement can provide a very efficient way of increasing dwelling space, especially in locations where land for development is expensive and in short supply.

The use of basements has been supported by the work of the Basement Development Group and the publication of an Approved Document for basements by the BCA. Although reinforced concrete basements are covered by the Approved Document, the design is in accordance with BS 8110 which requires comparatively high percentages of reinforcing steel. The purpose of this project is to develop simple 'deemed to satisfy' in situ concrete basement designs which can be readily built by house builders.

This study will consider international best practice before developing design recommendations for UK housing. Key parameters for this project are:

  • The need to evolve simple design solutions
  • Site construction must be simple
  • Wall thicknesses likely to be in the range 150-350mm for efficient compaction of the concrete and to enable masonry walls to be built above
  • Concrete specifications likely to be C25, C30 or C35
  • Minimum levels of reinforcement.
  • Design for movement
  • Compatibility with a range of suspended ground floor and walling options


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