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New basement guidelines aim to improve standards

Improving standards and harmonising the approach to basement construction is the aim of new guidelines that are to be launched in October by the Association of Specialist Underpinning Contractors (ASUC).

The Guidelines on safe and efficient basement construction directly below or near to existing structures will be officially launched at GE’s Basements and Underground Structures conference in London on 3 October.

“There are no current guidelines in the industry that cover the issue and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) approached ASUC 18 months ago to look at developing a document to address some of the issues regarding unsafe excavation,” said ASUC executive director Robert Withers.

ASUC secured a £9,000 grant for the work from Construction Industry Training Board and the launch of the new guidelines is the culmination of the 12 month project. The ASUC team that worked on the guidelines includes Basement Force’s Simon Haslam, Abbey Pynford’s Phil Jones and Stress UK’s Dave Kitchen.

“The guidelines are not designed to be prescriptive but aim to be thought provoking to ensure the issues relating to basement construction are fully considered before work starts,” said Withers.

“Topics covered include sequencing and the factors affecting the choice of construction method.”

Copies of the guideline will be given to all attendees at the GE Basements and Underground Structures conference and will be available for purchase from ASUC.

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