Construction of basements beneath houses in central London remains a buoyant market, which is good news for the sector. Not so great, is the sad fact that building collapses still happen during basement works. The AGS Client Guide to Domestic Basement Construction has therefore been updated (to version 3) in order to emphasise more prominently the fundamental importance of adequate temporary works.
The temporary works play a crucial role in minimising potential damage to adjoining and adjacent properties, as well as the host building. Forward movement of the basement’s perimeter retaining walls must be resisted with high stiffness temporary and permanent props in order to minimise ground movements alongside the basement. The revised Guide notes that as the contractor is responsible for the design as well as the implementation of temporary works, clients must ensure that the appointed contractor has adequate in-house design expertise or that they employ a professionally qualified temporary works engineer. In both cases the temporary works designer should be able to demonstrate successful completion of other basement projects similar to the one being planned.
The revised guide can be downloaded from: https://www.ags.org.uk/item/client-guide-to-domestic-basement-construction/