Building Blox: Week 23 – Surface water drainage and bin stores

What we did:

  • Surface water drainage
  • Bin stores

This week we focussed on sorting out the surface water drainage – connecting the guttering from the roof to downpipes and carrying it away from the building into a ‘soakaway’.

Rain rain go away...

After the roof tiling was completed in week 17, guttering was fixed to the sides of the building, collecting rainwater running off the tiles. Then, as you’re familiar with, these halfpipes lead into a ‘hopper’ which connects to a vertical ‘downpipe’, taking the water to ground level. The hoppers we used were standard black PVC, but there are some very ornate ones available as well.

Note in the pictures below there is no guttering as the water instead runs into a channel where two different slopes of the roof meet, and then straight into a hopper. Figuring out how to do this best took a bit of head-scratching. The only guttering on this build is on the rear side of the roof where the roof edge runs parallel to the ground.

...into a soakaway

Once at ground level, the rain water then goes into a network of pipes that lead away from the building into a ‘soakaway’ – these are basically underground pits filled with loose rubble and stones which water can disperse within. Building Regulations part H, all about drainage and waste, state these should be a minimum of 5m away from the building.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of mine as by the time the contractor dug it out, he filled it in and covered it up… But in keeping with the rest of the build, it was much larger than necessary and over engineered.

Bombproof bin store

Continuing with the theme of over-engineering, the bin store was constructed with 40-50cm deep foundations, high-density blockwork and concrete reinforced with steel bars. Solid.

Similar to the proposed cycle store, this is a requirement from the council planning department, to have a designated place to store residents’ bins. Hopefully we can design something less imposing and bunker-like for the cycle store.

With the rainwater drainage now dug and installed, next up was the even messier foulwater drainage.

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