The British Structural Waterproofing Association (BSWA) aim to improve standards in the structural waterproofing industry.
The company manages this through the promotion of qualifications and training for members involved in specifying and applying waterproofing systems, as well as increasing awareness in the industry through a number of publications such as Waterproofing Existing Basements and Waterproofing Design and Site Guides.
Structural waterproofing techniques can be used to resolve a range of problems from waterproofing damp basements, underground vaults, cellars and tunnels to protecting car park decks, water treatment plants and swimming pools. Structural waterproofing is a vitally important profession as significant parts of the UK’s infrastructure are reliant on it. Three major categories of use include waterproofing to create a dry environment, waterproofing for protection against deterioration and waterproofing for functionality. BSWA’s members include international product manufacturers, independent consultants and trained, assessed specialist contractors.
Three main waterproofing services are utilised in many of the following spaces, underground transport systems, sub-terrain commercial premises, tunnels, decks, roof terraces, reservoirs, water and sewage treatment works, wet rooms and swimming pools. There are five different types of structural waterproofing; Cementitious Tanking, Cavity Drainage, Sprayed Membranes, Bonded Sheet Membranes and Sprayed Concrete or Gunite.
BS 8102 is the British Standards Institute Code of Practice for Protection of Below Ground Structures Against Water from the Ground. BS8102 gives recommendations and provides guidance on methods of dealing with and preventing the entry of water from surrounding ground into a structure below ground level. This standard covers the use of waterproofing barrier metals applied to a structure, structurally integral watertight construction and drained cavity construction.
Members of the BSWA have access to training and assessment to ensure that their staff attains a level of competence in design and application consistent with relevant codes and good practice. Various courses and formats are also available to meet individual requirements including the NVQ in Structural Waterproofing Level 2. Those sitting for the NVQ will be assessed through the OSAT method and are expected to be trade competent with two years experience on the job before they take the exam. Assessment usually involves two visits to site by the Assessor, requiring 60-90 minutes of the candidate’s time on each occasion. Any training needs identified can normally be carried out in-house.
The Association educates individuals about the CGS Insurance Backed Guarantee scheme which protects clients against their contractor falling bankrupt and therefore not carrying out the duties they were hired to do. The CGS scheme is independent of any individual contractor, manufacturer or trade association, including the BSWA itself.
There are many manufacturers, consultants and contractors with expertise in the structural waterproofing industry. These firms include De Neef UK Ltd, Vandex, Ronacrete Ltd, TW Read, Aquarend, Biocraft, Stewart Gledhill Associates, Alpine Preservation and Cannon Clarke Ltd. All of these firms are certified members of the British Structural Waterproofing Association and so will all display the BSWA logo on their letterheads, literature, advertising, vans and websites.