9 Design Considerations for Below-Grade Waterproofing

The rise in building material costs is putting significant pressure on meeting project budgets. Building owners/developers are asking project teams to look for opportunities to value engineer portions of each project in order to meet budgets more effectively. The below-grade waterproofing budget is often one of the areas that receive a lot of scrutiny as it is out of sight and out of mind.

Below-grade waterproofing isn’t flashy, it doesn’t provide an aesthetic value and it is often forgotten about after the building is complete unless you have leaks. Leaks can cause delays to occupancy, disrupt existing tenants, and cause significant damage to a structure and its contents. Water infiltration accounts for more litigation than any other construction defect.

Repair costs can sometimes exceed the initial project waterproofing budget if the correct system is not chosen and designed appropriately. Consider other areas to stretch costs and protect your waterproofing system budget because you only have one opportunity to “do it right.”

Choosing the Correct Waterproofing System for Below-Grade Structures

So, what is the process for selecting the right system for your project? There are several design considerations to review that are specific to each site/project prior to selecting the proper waterproofing system. Some of the considerations are listed below:

  1. Groundwater elevation (water table)
  2. Intended use of the structure, e.g., museum, hospital, occupied space, parking garage
  3. Drainage/water management system
  4. The design of the structural foundation
  5. Soil and or groundwater contamination
  6. Construction methods, e.g., cast-in-place concrete, CMU, shotcrete, pre-cast panels, etc.
  7. Construction sequencing
  8. Substrate conditions and required preparation
  9. Climate and potential weather during construction

Once these design considerations are vetted and you are ready to select the proper type of waterproofing for your project, let the team at Polyglass help. Every project will look different and comes with its own unique challenges and variables to consider. Ensuring that the system is tailored to the project site specifics, the overall level of risk, and performance expectations is the only formula for success. At Polyglass, we have a team of industry experts here to assist you in the selection of the right system to meet your project design, schedule, and budget needs.

Not all waterproofing systems are created equal. Polyglass has a full portfolio of products for below-grade applications and can guide you through the selection process for a successful project.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you seal your below-grade structures within budget.