Trade body webinar sets out best practice in structural waterproofing for podium decks

A national trade body has produced a webinar to support architects and building professionals with the challenges of waterproofing podium decks.

While the construction of podium decks has been around for some time, the use of a basement roof structure to extend beyond the building line and under gardens has increased recently.

In line with this trend, the PCA’s specialist structural waterproofing members are reporting an increase in the number of calls requesting their advice and expertise to resolve a number of issues.

With this in mind, the PCA is bringing in one of the UK’s eminent experts in the subject area, Ben Hickman, to give insight into some of the key issues.

Ben, of CSSW.LONDON, a PCA Board Member and leading waterproofing design specialist, has recently completed a research Masters at the University of Cambridge focussing on podium deck waterproofing and is contributing to NHBC Chapter 7.1 task group.

He has also contributed to LABC technical manual development.

Ben will be sharing his expertise, including that gained as an expert witness on numerous failed podium deck waterproofing projects, in the webinar.

Content will include research on fundamental features of podium deck waterproofing, questions over whether podium decks need falls, top tips on podium deck waterproofing and case studies on failures.

More details about the live webinar – which is being held between 8am and 9am on  13 February – as well as booking details, can be found at

James Berry, PCA Technical Manager, said: “Ben brings together a wealth of expertise in an area of significant importance.

“Increasingly, our expert structural waterproofing members are being called upon to advise on failed systems for this type of structure after the construction phase in a bid to remedy problems.

“However, if advice can be given at an early stage, then costly mistakes can be rectified.

“Hopefully this webinar will go some way to share best practice.”

The webinar is the latest development from the PCA to raise awareness of and put forward solutions to tackle issues with podium decks.

In 2017, it produced the ‘Guidance Document – Podium Decks & Buried Roofs’ (PCA) to help the construction sector make informed decisions on the growing trend being seen in the UK to extend basement roof structures.

The document explains how their advice should be sought at the design stage to iron out problems and avoid costly repairs.

Available for free download from the PCA website it sets out the importance of gaining expert input at the design stage.

James added: “In line with this rise in popularity of podium decks, we produced this guidance document to help architects and construction professionals make informed choices in the waterproofing of such structures.

“Like all other waterproofing related failures, these problems can become costly to remedy when they are buried underneath complex fitments, expensive finishes and working or leisure surfaces.

“Often, members of the PCA are called in to put forward solutions to remedy the works, but we produced the guide to explain the importance of considering all waterproofing elements in the first place – at the design stage – and not as an afterthought when a problem arises.”

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