The Outline: works undertaken was to repurpose an old theatre ticket office, providing a modern, habitable workspace and a new lease of life; this commercial development was in the heart of Covent Garden, London. The location required good logistics and planning by our office staff to facilitate the offloading of materials, tools and subsequent removal of waste materials for the appropriate disposal method at our premises.
Whilst the daily journey, parking permits and access proved demanding, we did benefit from some prime, top location advertising with our van outside one of the busiest tube stations in London.
The approach to waterproofing, in this instance, was based on membrane tanking, compliant with BS8102:2009 Type C. This permits the continued ingress of water through walls and floors with the resulting discharge of water from the building via channelling and pumps. Such Type C membrane solutions prevent any additional stress to weak environments that are subject to high hydrostatic pressures.
Setting Up: covered protection of access path from dust, materials and builder boots, clearance of obstructions within the work area and safe storage of materials and tools. Installation of lighting for works and safety barriers for protection where needed
Preparation to works: to ensure the substrate of walls and floor were readied to provide a clean, stable and suitable platform to apply membrane and other waterproofing treatment;
With all the pre-requisites handled and approval of our Work Manager, the task of sealing the structure from dampness could begin.
Waterproofing the Walls and Vaults: encompassed the fitting of 8mm polypropelene membrane using task-specific waterproof plugs. The plugs include built-in screw cavities to permit perfect screwing of timber battens to the dry side of the installation.
Once positioned, any deliberate overlaps of the membrane are then taped and sealed using specific materials provided by the membrane manufacturer; existing/remaining services were worked around as is common practice.
The contours of this basement with its vaulted ceilings and arched doorway required a dedicated and diligent approach to cutting and sealing in order to ensure a thorough watertight lining.
Waterproofing the Floors: this basement did not require a full membrane system in this instance. The floors were cleaned dust free and a two-part, two coat epoxy resin was applied to the prepared substrate as specified and signed off by the main contractor. The flooring resin can be seen in later images where the finished (ready for handover to main contractor) walls/floors are shown.
Battening Out: was conducted in order to take the internal finish. The battens were screw fitted into the membrane wall plugs along the vertical wall and horizontally fitted at height to the vaulted ceilings. An exacting process to prevent damage to the membrane envelope.
Boarding Out: can be performed using plasterboard for sites being plaster finished or using plywood, as requested in this instance.
The vertical walls were clad using 9mm ply offering greater strength for the client to mount fittings too. The arched doorways and vault ceilings were dealt with using 6mm plywood offering flexibility in areas where heavy fittings were not required.
Clearing Site: of any waste materials, unused goods and tools conducted performed the environment had it’s final cleanse. The site was walked off and handed back to the main contractor, to everyone’s satisfaction.
A great delivery from Garratt’s Damp and Timber Ltd, requiring multiple skills from a team that always rise to challenges.
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