Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Part C is about ensuring that the site for new buildings is prepared in a manner that will promote resistance to contaminants and moisture for the structure that is to be built on the site.

As of the date of writing, Part C was last revised in 2010 as a result of the Building Regulations 2010.

There are a number of subjects that fall within this part of the regulations. These include weather and water tightness, drainage and measures to deal with contamination and hazardous substances such as radon and methane.

Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture contain the following high-level requirements:

  • C1 Preparation of site and resistance to contaminants
  • C2 Resistance to moisture

There are three key aspects in the preparation of the site – that the site to be covered by the building & associated land is free from materials that might damage the building such as pre-existing foundations or vegetable matter, be free of contaminants and provide adequate drainage.

The regulations provide helpful information related to undertaking a risk assessment of contaminants and a high-level overview of some of the remedial measures that are available.

One potential contaminant that we all need to consider when building is radon. It’s not a major issue in most of the UK; the south-west is the area most at risk, but one we all need to consider. Start on the British Geological Survey website.

The second part of the regulation, that dedicated to discussion of resistance to moisture contains useful information related to site surveying, subsoil drainage and the construction of resistant floors, walls & roofs. A useful map confirms what we knew all along, that most of Wales is exposed to very severe driving rain. What would we in Wales do without the blessed rain…?

Gabions

There’s something about gabions…

There’s something about gabions…!

Heavy stone and twisted metal, what’s not to love about them. These aren’t mine regretably, they’re at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales.

I include them here as reference and inspiration, both for my guardening aspirations and yours…

From MyBarnConversion Garden

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Borrowing from the New Economics Foundation (in July 2008 the NEF published a report A Green New Deal), the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and to help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

With a reference to US President Roosevelt, whose New Deal is seen as instrumental in reviving the US economy after the 1930s depression, Wood said:

Like Roosevelt in the United States of the 30s, Wales needs a new New Deal.
A Green New Deal aiming to provide skills, work, hope and opportunity to a new generation who have a right to believe that life can be better.

Amongst other proposals, Leanne Wood outlined plans for new Wales based financial institutions and tax breaks for pension funds investing in Wales that should give the economy a boost:

“Investing two or three percent of our workers assets in Wales would help transform the Welsh economy while representing no risk at all to the future returns to scheme members”.

Renewable energy production and a national home energy efficiency programme will be cornerstones of Plaid’s proposals for a greener future. Details of all these proposals these will be central to Plaid’s manifesto for the 2016 Welsh assembly elections.

…one to watch, I’m not sure that we can afford any more sprinkler laws

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

There’s an interesting article on Remodelista about an American company that uses the reassembled frames of barns as the basis of modern dwellings. A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s (the museum of Welsh life just outside Cardiff where historic buildings are reassembled from their original site).

I’m not sure what the heritage sector would make of this, but when applied to buildings that would otherwise be lost, I can’t see any drawbacks.

Cradle to cradle design

I only stumbled across the concept of cradle to cradle design recently and was surprised that I’d not come across it sooner.

I only stumbled across the concept of cradle to cradle design recently and was surprised that I’d not come across it sooner. Given that I spend quite a lot of time reading around the subjects of design and systems I’d have expected to have run into the concept before now.

Cradle to cradle design (or C2C) is centred around creating efficient waste-free systems. Similar to natural systems, C2C systems exist within their own ecosystem that they enrich rather than harm. C2C design grew out of work of Walter Stahel in the 1970’s who first used the phrase “cradle to cradle” in relation to holistic waste free systems, an alternative to “cradle to grave” destructive systems.

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) consultants run a proprietary program of C2C certification that is mainly aimed at big business / manufacturing. There’s plenty of further information the MBDC website – I think the two diagrams at the top of this page sum C2C up quite nicely. The MBDC certification model is based on work undertaken by Michael Braungart and his colleagues in the 1990’s at the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA).

The Cradle to Cradle® design framework moves beyond the goal of only reducing an organization’s negative impacts (eco-efficiency), to provide an engaging vision for executives and comprehensive strategies for managers to create a wholly positive footprint on the planet—environmental, social and economic (eco-effectiveness).

From: http://www.mbdc.com/images/Design_For_C2C_Future.pdf

Michael Braungart has spoken at the do lectures in West Wales the video of which is available on the do lectures website. A really interesting speech giving a fascinating insight into the mind of a chemist and the holistic view, down at an elemental level, that he takes to good, product design. Such holistic thinking provides a powerful perspective toward sustainability for all designers – recommended viewing.

If you’re looking for further reading then take a look at the book Cradle to Cradle:Remaking the Way We Make Things written by William McDonough & Michael Braungart and published in 2002.