A Leicester based company which specialises in waterproofing and the construction of high specification basements, as well as the upgrade of existing sub-structures, has made extensive use of products from the range of Triton Systems in creating a complex new extension to an old farmhouse in Northamptonshire for a private client.

Beautiful Basements Ltd. works right across the country on commercial projects as well as large residential developments, in this case helping create a number of luxurious spaces for the owners of the characterful country home where Eastco Homes was the main contractor. The additions include a cinema room, bar, games room, storeroom and plant facilities. There are also two stylish staircases linking to the ground floor and garden, while the T-shaped basement more than doubles the original footprint of the 150 year-old home with a new excavation cut into the rear garden.

Careful consideration of the water-proofing and damp-proofing detailing is always essential when constructing a basement, but in the case of the Northamptonshire project the situation was made even more challenging due to a very high water table and persistent bad weather during the work.

As an approved installer of the Triton Systems, Beautiful Basements employed half a dozen of the well-proven products to create a large-scale, fully waterproof sub-structure that offers a ten year guarantee along with insurance backed guarantee. The products include TT admix incorporated into all of the waterproof concrete mix at the batching plant, Tri- Cream for the injected DPCs, three variants of the Platon drainage membranes, a pair of sump pumps and one of Triton’s high level alarms.

The Operations Manager for Beautiful Basements, Mike Connelly, comments:

“This was a technically difficult project due to the very high water table and the complexity of the sequencing for the work, which went on for close to eight months, though it has all been successfully completed now and handed over. As a specialist in basement construction we have been using Triton Systems for 12 years now and have a very good relationship with the company, where they will recommend us to interested parties as well as carrying out regular site visits to check on the installations for warranty purposes.

Importantly for us, the products are very reliable and feature innovative technologies as well as being easy to use, while Triton Services provide very good customer service.“

“For the Northampton project we began by sinking a contiguous secant piled wall around the perimeter of the new basement behind the house, topped by a concrete ring beam and the ground floor slab, within which was a space for the light-well that now takes the main staircase. We then excavated the area of the light-well and lowered in a mini-digger to mine out the entire space down to a depth of over three metres – more than two metres into the water table, under continuous pumping. The walls received a sprayed concrete lining applied over steel mesh reinforcement, before we cast the basement floor slab which had to be 500 mm thick to resist the very high hydrostatic pressure.”

In order to excavate a basement beneath the exiting farmhouse, the contractor first constructed one metre deep ground beams beneath the main walls and then underpinned them to a depth of three metres. This allowed the excavation work to continue from the garden area through to the front elevation.

In addition the Triton Tri Cream was employed to inject the old brickwork to prevent moisture ingress where a new sub-deck had to be built into the masonry. The very robust and versatile Platon P8 and Platon P20 membranes, which feature a pronounced stud profile on the reverse, were fixed across the face of all the walls – as well as being laid on top the basement floor slab – to create a free draining void. Any water captured through the Platon system is then directed to the two sump pumps: located in the main stairwell and the plant room.







Triton Systems: Unit 3-5 Crayford Commercial Centre, Greyhound Way, Crayford, Kent DA1 4HF




Originally built in 1941 as a special decoy target for German bombers, The Decoy Bunker is tucked away in the rolling hillsides of Monmouthshire and has been fully restored as a unique holiday home.

As the bunker had to blend directly into the hillside, a highly durable waterproofing system was needed to provide full protection against water travelling down from the surrounding landscape: a green roof waterproofing solution that would provide the desired ‘camouflage’ effect by using the existing soil and grass from the surrounding landscape.

Alumasc’s Registered Contractors Span Roofing installed Blackdown Greenroof Drainage Layers, Intensive Substrate and Washed Pebble Ballast to finish the green roof. A Derbigum Black Anti-Root Built-Up System sits below the green roof and provides a highly reliable waterproofing solution and maximum peace of mind for the future, as the Derbigum system holds 40-year durability certification with the BBA (British Board of Agrément).

Further details about Alumasc’s full range of waterproofing systems can be found at or call the Alumasc technical team on 03335 771 500.

Visqueen, the market leader in the manufacture and supply of structural waterproofing and gas protection systems has announced a number of new roles for its team as part of its 2018 strategy that will further enhance the company’s range of services to the construction and building sectors. Under its new ‘The Difference is Visqueen’ campaign, the appointments underline and support Visqueen’s strong relationships with customers, contractors and builders’ merchants.

Phil Bull is now General Manager for the Visqueen construction business and will lead the business in its drive to increase sales across both structural waterproofing and gas protection systems.

Laura Guy takes on the role of National Sales Manager, responsible for all Builders Merchants sales. Laura will work with both the Technical and Commercial teams in order to best facilitate strong relationships as Visqueen moves forward.

Additionally, James Walsh becomes Regional Manager for the North including Scotland and Tony Goode is Regional Manager for the South, with both reporting to Nik Ullfors, Visqueen’s National Technical Manager. Lucinda Holmes is also promoted to Marketing Communications Manager and will provide marketing support across Visqueen’s construction business.

‘The Difference is Visqueen’ campaign will highlight Visqueen’s developing range of solutions for the construction industry, providing not just market leading products but also delivering a comprehensive variety of services including the new Visqueen Training Academy, fostering strong relationships with builder’s merchants as part of Specialist Centres and supporting design in construction projects through the Special Projects service.

“With our new business structure, we are ideally positioned to build on our strengths both as a market leader in waterproofing and gas protection and as a company that is focused on delivering for all its stakeholders” said Phil Bull.

“Our new team is ideally positioned to show that when it comes to providing solutions for the construction trade – ‘The Difference Is Visqueen”.

For more information please visit

Stuart Hicks, from cold liquid-applied waterproofing specialist, Kemper System, discusses how a change of membrane addressed failing waterproofing at a luxury residential development in Saltdean, near Brighton.

The Grand Ocean Hotel in Saltdean, near Brighton, epitomises a bygone era of glamourous seaside elegance. First opened in 1938, the Grade II listed building’s crescent-shaped white façade makes it a classic of Art Deco architectural design.

Once a popular honeymoon destination owned by Billy Butlin it is now the central building from which a development of luxury apartments takes its name. The scheme has seen the refurbishment of the original structure and construction of four new build blocks designed in keeping with the former hotel.

Problems with the integrity of the waterproofing system that was originally specified for the project became apparent even before the scheme was completed, leading to a change of both roofing contractor and, eventually, roofing system.

Integrity Issues

Both the existing hotel building and the new builds have flat roofs and architect, Rolfe Judd, had specified a liquid waterproofing membrane. Unfortunately, the system selected was not robust enough to adhere seamlessly to the roof substrate and the assumption was made that the issue lay with the quality of installation rather than the suitability of the membrane.

A new roofing contractor, Cawston Roofing, was brought in to carry out repairs to the membrane but, as the existing roof build up was still under warranty, Cawston Roofing was required to carry out repairs using the same product.

The majority of the problems with the roofing material were around the upstands. While repairs using the same membrane seemed to address the issue briefly, the same issues recurred following the repairs.

Inverted Refurbishment

Having used Kemper Systems’ Kemperol membranes on a wide variety of construction projects in the past, Cawston Roofing was confident in recommending Kemperol V210, a cold liquid-applied waterproofing membrane.

The originally-specified membrane had been installed beneath the insulation as an inverted roof build up for the new apartment blocks. Cawston Roofing removed the paving slabs and green roof medium along with the insulation and, where possible, this was stored for re-use.

The company then prepared and cleaned the roof surface and, in the areas around the upstands where the failed membrane had not bonded, the team pulled off the damaged membrane.
The existing insulation, slabs and green roof medium were then reinstated to complete the roof.

Hotel Roof

The damage caused by the failed waterproofing membrane on the roof and balconies of the former hotel building was even more significant because the original roof build-up was not inverted.
The balconies were tackled first, with strip out of the entire roof build-up. Here, not only had the originally-specified membrane failed, but the insulation below it had begun to rot too.

Having completed the strip out, Cawston Roofing allowed the concrete substrate to dry on each balcony and the decision was taken to reinstate the build-up for each balcony as an inverted warm roof.

New insulation had to be cut to size and shape and this was done while the Kemperol V210 membrane was being installed so that the balconies could be completed as quickly as possible.

The team then moved onto the 8,500m2 former hotel roof, which comprises five ‘fingers’ with a central core. Water ingress around the roof outlets meant that the recently installed warm roof insulation was already sodden and the roof had to be stripped back to the vapour barrier.

To aid water run-off in the future, Kemper System designed a tapered Kempertherm insulation scheme, introducing a slight pitch to each section of roof. Cawston Roofing pre-primed each piece of board in an on-site workshop during the winter months to aid faster installation once the weather improved.

When weather conditions did improve, the Kempertherm sections were fixed to the substrate and joint sealed before application of the Kemperol V210 membrane began.

Holiday Heritage

Thanks to the replacement of the originally-specified waterproofing system with Kemperol V210, the building not only provides a stylish address on the coast that is warm and dry for residents but also protects a slice of the UK’s holiday making heritage and an iconic listed building.

Are your structural waterproofing designs based on a waterproofing risk assessment that has been produced by a suitably qualified specialist? Have you appointed a waterproofing specialist at an early stage of the system design to ensure it is suitably integrated with the overall design of the building? Is your waterproofing expert qualified to CSSW structural waterproofing surveyor standard? If the answer is no to any of these questions then a building insurance company is unlikely to issue you with a warranty.

The increase in the provision of residential basements, the development of new types of waterproofing system and the growing number of claims being made following the failure of structural waterproofing systems were all key drivers for recent changes in industry and insurance company standards – and the reluctance of insurance companies to issue warranties if these new recommendations are not followed.

BS 8102: 2009 (Code of practice for protection of below ground structures against water from the ground) and NHBC waterproofing standards both now include recommendations that any waterproofing system designs are based upon a risk assessment that is appropriate for the property and its intended use, and that the risk assessment is produced by someone who is suitably qualified.

INK Technical Services was established to help housebuilders, architects and other specifiers meet the standards’ requirements so insurance companies are satisfied that a robust waterproofing system is in place. The INK team represents nearly 100 years of structural waterproofing experience and includes CSSW qualified structural waterproofing surveyors. In addition to the production of waterproofing risk assessments, INK Technical Services offers a waterproofing design service; site inspections; reports on failed systems and proposals for remedial measures and approved contractor referrals.

For further information visit

A new trade organisation has been established to represent all that’s best in the basement waterproofing industry, with benefits for homeowners, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, architects and more.

The Basement Waterproofing Association is an independently managed organisation, set up by leading innovators in the field, with numerous industry-related goals at its core.

Collette O’Connor, Chairman of the Basement Waterproofing Association comments: “We know a great deal about effectively protecting underground spaces from water in the ground but that doesn’t mean we should stop learning. This organisation is all about research, shared knowledge, best practice and mutually beneficial relationships for all involved – particularly our customers.

“By choosing to work with one of our accredited member companies, homeowners are assured that they are dealing with one of the industry’s best-informed installers – one that will only start work once all applicable legalities have been met; only use approved materials and practices; and strictly comply to Building Regulations.

“Professionalism and ethics are at the top of our Code of Conduct. Where unscrupulous contractors put profit above all else, our ongoing concern is customer satisfaction – for years after the job is completed. To that end, we encourage and facilitate members to sign up to the Construction Guarantee Solutions Ltd. scheme, offering customers ten-year insurance-backed guarantees that will be honoured, even in the unlikely event that the original contractor should cease trading.”

Businesses can also access professionally designed promotional materials – incorporating their logo and company details – via an online marketing portal on the organisation’s website. “The Basement Waterproofing Association logo should be seen as a signpost for high standards and quality”, Collette continues; “and by helping our members to achieve a consistent, professional style in their promotions, we’re building both our brand and theirs at the same time.

“Our training offering has been designed for specialists from all areas of the trade – from architects to contractors – providing them with the knowledge to comprehensively survey underground spaces and identify appropriate waterproofing solutions. It’s a proactive way of promoting career development within member companies, offering employees an affordable means of furthering their expertise, with three-day courses run across the country, throughout the year.”

Besides detailing the benefits of working with a Basement Waterproofing Association-accredited installer, the organisation’s new website boasts a wealth of information for homeowners, including numerous considerations that might not be obvious to someone planning such work for the first time.

“Radon gas, party wall responsibilities and planning permission”, Collette explains; “they’re all things that can have a significant bearing on a basement waterproofing installation. Our website guides homeowners through matters like these, provides a useful search facility that pinpoints where their nearest accredited installers are based, and invites people to get in touch with their questions.

“It’s great to see our hard work coming to fruition with this organisation. The Basement Waterproofing Association is the authority base that our industry needs and we look forward to it growing and developing as more and more members get involved.”

With PropertECO and 12 branches of the Peter Cox chain having already signed up, other companies interested in learning more about the Basement Waterproofing Association, its various membership options and the latest news from around the industry should visit: