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Client guide for managing ground gases in modular buildings (P3254)

In recent years modular buildings have become more popular, mainly because the quality can be better controlled, they are unaffected by bad weather conditions and are able to meet health and safety requirements for COVID. 

To help meet the chronic housing shortage, the government has been promoting residential developments on brownfield sites for years and research indicates that the market for modular buildings is likely to grow by 14% by 2024. This is partly because of the increased use of volumetric and other types of offsite construction methods. However many of the brownfield sites have hazardous ground gas problems. 

In the past, many modular builders/manufacturers depend on their specialist advisors/engineers who are supposed to design protection systems specific to the project. With ground gas problems become more common, they need to be more informed. 

The two major guidance documents that are applicable to modular building are BS8485 and NHBC ‘s ground risk management traffic light system (which is being revised). However modular buildings are ‘special’ in a lot of ways, particularly in regard to the interactions between the building components made in the factory and ground gas protection measures, foundations and other underground structures. Although the designer is responsible for mitigating gas protection, clients will have liability if problems the future.

Project objectives
This project will explain:

  • how ground gas will affect the design and construction of foundation, drainage and other underground structures in modular buildings. 
  • how to ensure that the designer is doing the job properly
  • the ‘do's’ and ‘don’ts’ when commissioning development on sites with ground gas problems
  • give target audience the confidence when making decisions
  • case studies/examples how different people have dealt with the problem 

The project will also encourage different stakeholders involved in modular buildings to address ground gas problems in a more co -ordinated way.

Project status
This project is currently in the scoping phase and seeking industry support.

Further information
For further information or to get involved with this project please contact Joanne Kwan.

Project proposal
(Adobe PDF File)