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Rainwater Drainage

lient: Architect/PI insurer
Situation: Following flooding, a homeowner claimed that the design of his house was fundamentally flawed, due to errors by the architect, and that the house would have to be rebuilt. Probyn Miers was required to analyse the testing and research work carried out by the architect in the course of the design.
Action: Probyn Miers provided advice on the architect’s performance of his duties in relation to site investigations and testing.
Result: The claim was settled at pre-action stage.


Client: Solicitors for owners
Situation: The houses are situated on a sloping site, with the swimming pools at basement level, with their roofs providing garden terraces at the rear of the existing houses.   After the first winter in service, rainwater penetration and condensation from the cold roof construction caused damp patches to appear on the swimming pool ceiling, which worsened and lead to partial ceiling collapse.The primary defects were an inadequate waterproof membrane to the terrace, inadequate drainage of the waterproof membrane and the lack of an adequate vapour barrier below the structural deck.
Action: Probyn Miers was appointed as architect to identify and analyse the defects and to consider alternative strategies for remedial works, including inverted roofs and pressurised roofs, and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Result: The case was settled by negotiation with the architect.


Client: Property owner through his solicitor.
Situation: The project was a large extension to a detached house on a secluded, heavily wooded site. The additional accommodation included a living room, a guest bedroom suite, a double garage, a gym and a swimming pool with changing and shower facilities. The design was geometrically complex and incorporated several levels to take account of the natural slope of the site.Water ingress was apparent in several locations from the time the building was handed over and occupied. When roof coverings were removed to give access to rectify the leaks it was discovered that further significant deterioration was occurring within the roof construction because of the effects of condensation.In addition damp penetration became apparent in several areas and the property owner discovered that significant voids that had been formed beneath the floors of the store room, the garage and part of the gym, had no provision for natural ventilation.
Action: Probyn Miers carried out a site inspection and prepared a preliminary report. The purpose of the report at this stage is to assist the property owner in settlement discussions and negotiations with the Architect. It concluded that: i), the type of roof construction specified was not suitable for use as part of a swimming pool enclosure, ii), the detailed design of the roof would not prevent condensation or water penetration and would make effective maintenance impracticable, iii), the voids beneath the floors of the store room, the garage and part of the gym had been designed in such a way as to prevent the provision of natural ventilation, iv), the system of land drainage appears to be inadequate, and v), the design did not include an effective means of preventing the ingress of water from the ground.
Result: Awaiting further instructions as of 08 April 2013.

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