When groundwater is in question, test holes are the best method to determine average groundwater elevation. Recent historical data can then be applied to establish the 'highest anticipated' water levels.
Project specific data is recorded on a monthly basis and after every major rain event (Hurricanes, Nor'easter's and Tropical Storms).
Once groundwater elevations become predictable, the next phase of waterproofing design can begin.
Waterproofing selection is the most important element to building construction today.
An air tight building envelope reduces energy loss and extends the life of the structure. Water (vapor) migration through the below grade walls can compromise the interior framing and lead to poor air quality.
Liquid applied membranes vs. sheet applied membranes will be reviewed once water and soil conditions at the site have been evaluated.
Single source manafacturer, compatibility between below grade and above grade as well as warranties can be broken down for each product.
At this point, the team has a firm understanding of the soil types, water risks and the type of waterproofing system that is going to be used. The next step is to assemble the players involved in getting the project up and out of the ground. The site contractor, concrete mason, waterproofer and general contractor assemble to define scope and schedule.
*If groundwater is a key factor, a sheet piling contractor and well driller will be added to the team.
Depending on the time of year, the project timeline will vary to adjust to workable daylight hours and temperature. Coordination between trades is critical to ensure the project stays on track and everyone is working as safely as possible. Concrete and waterproofing inspections will also need to be factored into the schedule as well as third party review.
In some cases, The Division 7 - Thermal & Moisture Protection Specifications will require manufacturer review of the intended scope of work. If required, this will need to be added into the timeline for correspondence, review and approval. Manufacturers representatives are available to visit the design team early on to help expedite this process, so early planning is essential.
Third Party Inspections
Third party participation in a project can help ensure that all precautionary measures are being observed and provide additional documentation review of everything that has been observed on site (soils, water & protection) as well as the planned scope of work and timeline will aid in delivery of a high quality project.