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Underpinning spotlight: Getting on down

This autumn ASUCplus is holding a major conference on the construction of basements below existing buildings. Report by Jessica Rowson.

Underpinning trade body ASUCplus is to host a conference called “Basement Development and Construction” at the Haberdashers Hall in Central London on Thursday 29 October. The day will concentrate on the challenges of deep basement construction below existing, domestic and commercial buildings.

Homeowners, estate agents, architects, surveyors, structural engineers and representatives from all sectors of the basement construction industry are expected to be represented.

Contractors, suppliers and professionals

The event will bring together the contractors and suppliers and professionals involved in guiding their clients through the many benefits and possibilities of such projects as well as their design considerations, legalities, negotiations with adjacent property owners and the requirements of local authorities.

The day will be chaired by ASUCplus Executive member Roger Boddy, who is also one of the organsation’s past chairmen. Boddy has 38 years hands-on experience at all levels of the underpinning industry, having worked in the industry as a contractor.

Speakers will cover all the aspects of basement development, including:

  • Estate Agents who will consider the market and valuable benefits to be derived from extending downwards rather than moving on.
  • Architects who will give an overview of the concept of creating basements, their design and the myriad possibilities they can offer in changing living spaces.
  • Local authority representatives who will give advice and guidance on local planning laws, restrictions and building control issues.
  • A specialist party wall surveyor who will also advise on the implications of obtaining party wall awards.
  • An in-house structural engineering organisation which will explain the technical aspects of basement structural design/development.
  • Members of ASUCplus will be on hand to explain and demonstrate the practicalities of specialist underpinning works associated with basement development including working in difficult subsoil conditions.
  • Specialists will also explain the use of various waterproofing systems and their benefits.
  • A fitting out contractor will also illustrate the finishes that can be achieved and the many exciting and unusual uses to which newly created basements can be put.

At the end of the conference there will be a chairman’s review followed by an open discussion in which all delegates will be invited to pose questions to the speakers involved on the day.

Ongoing awareness initiative

This conference is part of an ongoing awareness initiative that the underpinning industry, through its trade body, is bringing to the construction and professional marketplace.

ASUCplus, has for many years been working on to raise standards within this very specialised sector. To date it has successfully highlighted the implications of suitable investigation, design and planning, as well as promoting health and safety, quality of workmanship, training and general expertise within the underpinning industry as well as providing a meaningful insurance backed guarantee.

  • For more information on the Basement Conference go to the ASUCplus website at or call 01420 471613.

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