Basements provide valuable additional floor area to provide a range of accommodation: office space, conference facilities, cinemas, recording studios, gyms, guest bedrooms, utility rooms, swimming pools etc. Basements can optimise floor areas creating larger more flexible accommodation. Businesses and individuals can gain valuable space to transform buildings prevented from extending above ground due to restrictions such as Conservation Areas, Green Belt and other sensitive contexts.
Basements can complement existing and new buildings using a number of techniques to maximise the potential of the new space: –
1. Light wells
Light wells can provide access to natural ventilation, daylight and sunlight, allowing new basement rooms to function without the need for artificial ventilation or lighting and also providing external amenity space. This allows habitable rooms such as bedrooms or living space for residential use.
2. Basement reuse and extensions
Basements are historically plentiful. Often in areas of naturally occurring clay the valuable resource was excavated and bricks made on site to use in the construction. Original basements can be ideal to extend and modernise to allow reuse and reconfiguration of existing space improving building and decluttering of historic layouts.
New basements can provided extensive recreational areas for music, home cinemas and swimming pool. Subterranean accommodation is ideal to insulate against the transfer of sound and can accommodate additional facilities often omitted from original design proposals due to floor area constraints.
4. Basement Courtyard Schemes
Courtyard arrangements at basement and ground level maximise the amount of natural daylight and sunlight into basement rooms and create tranquil private landscaped spaces. Used sensitively this technique can help increase density of accommodation on difficult to develop sites.
5. Restricted Sites
Where issues such as overlooking and heritage assets restrict the ability to build upwards basement construction allows the unlocking of sites protecting the amenity of existing occupants and obstructing protected views of heritage assets.
The construction of new basements can create understandable anxiety with concerns about noise, disruption and safety. It is important basement designs are carefully justified by Architects and Structural Engineers. Drainage, Flood Risk Assessments, Site Investigations, Basement Impact Assessments, Construction Statements and Construction Management Plans can all help successfully guide new basement projects through the planning system and construction process.
You can view more images of basements we’ve design at https://pin.it/3puGD8s.