Despite the challenges, it's been busy for waterproofing!

As we head into the final weeks of what has to be the most bonkers year, it feels right to take a moment to reflect. Despite the unpredictability throughout 2020, it has still been a big year for the waterproofing world.

Having spoken to lots of our members it would seem that many of you are telling me that this year has been a busy year for waterproofing. With the nation adjusting to the ‘new normal‘ it has meant that more and more of us are working from home. This in turn means that the dark and damp basement suddenly seems like an attractive proposition for a home office and that basement conversion that was once a far off aspiration, has suddenly become much higher up the list of priorities.

With that sudden increase in demand, it is as important as ever to ensure experienced and reputable professionals, such as members of the PCA, undertake this specialist work.

Waterproofing Webinars – Dipping our toes into Online Learning

Another opportunity that the PCA was able to grasp as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic was the thirst for online learning. We had tentatively dipped our toe into the waters of online learning but were quickly able to increase our output. This included a number of webinars on the topic of waterproofing including podium decks, waterproof concrete and warranty provider standards.

Virtual meetings meant we kept the momentum going!

Unfortunately, we had to cancel this years structural waterproofing conference. The event had been growing year on year and if it wasn’t for Covid-19 I’m sure that growing trend would have continued. We also had to cancel our usual face-to-face structural waterproofing group (SWG) meeting in the summer. However, our scheduled  later on in the year we held our first ever virtual SWG meeting. This year has meant that even those that are long in the tooth and set in their ways have had to embrace technology.

Hosting the meeting on this platform also meant that we were able to accommodate people to the group that normally could not attend the meetings here in Huntingdon. The meeting meant we were able to keep momentum in our waterproofing sector and we will look to potentially hold some meeting using this format in the future.

BS 8102 – The review is finally happening!

Perhaps one of the biggest stories of the year is the review to BS 8102 Code of Practice for Protection of Below Ground Structures Against Water from the Ground has finally official begun. The current version of the document has moved the industry on massively since its release in 2009 and we look forward to seeing how the revisions to the current version raise the standards even further.

Leading the way with our Technical Guidance Documents

The PCA has also continued to lead the way when it comes to guidance document for structural waterproofing and back in March we released our guidance note on Building Regulations and Basement Conversions in Residential Dwellings.

Download Guidance Note

The document is in no way intended to be a comprehensive guide to the building regulations, but purely to help provide a brief overview of some of the key building Approved Documents that are applicable during basement conversions in residential dwellings. The release of this document could perhaps not have been better timed given what we have previously said about the increase in demand for basement conversions.

Other technical documents are in the pipeline too. A revision to the PCA Guidance Note on the Party Wall Act 1996 is being refreshed to ensure more inclusion of basement structures, and our Podium Decks and Buried Roofs Best Practice Guidance is also currently under review.

Whilst on the subject of podium decks, two new standards have been released by major warranty providers one of which is from LABC.

Support the Structural Waterproofing Apprenticeship

At the end of 2019 we very proudly welcomed our first cohort onto our Structural Waterproofing Apprenticeship Programme. Once again the events of 2020 have meant that the scheme has not run as originally planned, however in March the second cohort began their apprenticeship journey which was great. We are now looking for more candidates to join our third cohort and if you’re interested, please get in touch with Jade Stocker on 01480 400000 / jade@property-care.org.

No one at the start of the year could have predicted the way 2020 would pan out. It has without doubt been a year of challenges, one where we have all had to adapt and adjust to new situations. But with that comes opportunities too. The world of structural waterproofing has been as busy as ever and the PCA is committed to continuing to drive standards upwards.

2021 almost certainly looks set to be another big year for waterproofing.

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