Construction projects in the UK must meet building codes. This isn’t going to change markedly with Brexit because the UK has its own relevant building codes to ensure standards were maintained years before the European Union was formed.
Let’s look at the importance of robust building materials like steel in creating new buildings in the UK.
Improving Building Structures
When designing any new building, the foundation must be appropriately laid to provide sufficient support for the overall structure. As architects know, the total weight bearing down on the foundation from above with an office building is vast. Deploying reliable steel pile reinforcement is necessary to design and create a foundation that will stand the test of time.
For building columns, modern designs incorporate prefab steel reinforcement cages or columns to lend these parts of a building greater rigidity. Using concrete reinforcement is essential too because otherwise, it won’t hold up to the frictional forces involved. Particularly bad weather conditions like strong winds cause forces on the side of a building which it must handle effortlessly.
Why Improving Building Structures is Needed Now
With steel providing extra reinforcement to the overall building structure, it can withstand adverse weather conditions. There’s been a spike recently in extreme weather in the UK, which is just beginning.
This worsening in weather patterns and an increase in weather severity due to global warming has changed the expected weather patterns previously observed. Accordingly, it’s necessary to put in a corresponding greater effort on the part of architects to design safer structures for the future.
Adding Waterproofing Elements
Adding waterproofing elements to a new building structure isn’t as sexy as steel but it serves a very useful purpose. Each layer adds a reinforcing element of its own that’s not to be discounted.
For instance, using heavy-duty polythene sheeting delivers damp proofing which is used to stop moisture getting access to a concrete slab. Using something like a DPM 1200-gauge membrane is likely to be sufficient in most cases. When sealed in position by tape ahead of getting the concrete laid down, the building is set up well from the start. While using reinforcing steel within the slab makes complete sense, not protecting the slab from the invasion of moisture defeats the objective of creating safer structures.
Similarly, using a material like the Fosroc Proofex 3000 which is both self-adhesive and quick to lay down provides waterproofing in secondary structures, for floor and outside walls, and at basement levels. This easy protection against water intrusion is affordable to include in construction budgets too.
Particularly at the basement level, the moisture build-up is of particular concern, especially when the basement is below the water table and could be vulnerable to flooding nearby. Fitting a sump pump suitable for basement use along with a backup battery-powered sump pump isn’t a bad idea for secondary protection beyond the use of layered waterproofing materials.
To further shore up support for walls, the use of Propmate wall supports is sometimes called for. When lintel support is required, then a heavy-duty solution is needed. Not every building design will call for it, but it’s never a bad idea when extra support is considered optimal over going with just the standard requirement.
Also, for buildings that need some additional structural support, a lintel support solution is an excellent short-term option until a more permanent one can be organised and implemented.
It’s not only a completely new development that can use reinforcement steel. Driveways come under excess strain, particularly in a commercial setting when either overly heavy vehicles or trucks are driven over it or more vehicles are parked in the driveway temporarily creating an excess load. Under such strain, sometimes driveways leading up to commercial buildings crack under the pressure.
At this point, it’s sensible to recommend the use of reinforcement steel when designing and creating a new driveway for the business. Along with an attractive design that might include landscaping in the surrounding areas, using concrete reinforcement via a steel reinforcing mesh grid from heatonproducts.co.uk gives laid concrete greater strength. Heaton Products are a steel reinforcement supplier of choice to the building industry, so you can have confidence in their products.
The likelihood of a concrete driveway moving and cracking under force is reduced which avoids the business having the same problem with a new driveway.
Looking ahead to the future beyond the current obsession with Brexit, architects who design buildings and the construction industry that erect them must focus on structural integrity. Extreme weather is a growing problem globally and the UK is no exception. Record weather and on-land events that are usually only seen on American shores have come to the UK too. New building designs and the materials used to bring them into reality must stand up to a stiffer test than ever before.