One of the biggest forces that can compromise the service life of a building is water. Architects will, therefore, use several techniques to ensure that water will not cause adverse effects to the structural integrity of a building. Regardless of the strategy selected, it should be stated in the planning permits. Below are some of the approaches used to ensure proper site drainage.
Minimising impervious surfaces
Most sites have a balance between the rate at which water collects on the surface and the rate at which that water penetrates into the ground. This balance is usually disturbed when a building is put up on the site. This is because the built environment introduces impervious structures that prevent water from penetrating the ground at the same rate as before. Consequently, the site may flood, or the building may sustain water damage. Building designers pay special attention to keeping impervious surfaces minimal. For example, they may decide to use porous pavers in the yard instead of using poured concrete. The porous materials allow for water infiltration.
Harnessing the grade
The topography of a site often influences the rate and direction in which runoff water flows. Steep locations increase the rate at which water runs off within or from a site. Building designers try to ensure that the rate at which water collects is similar to the rate at which it gets into the ground by adjusting the slope of a site on which a building will be constructed. For example, a steep slope may be re-graded so that the velocity of the water runoff is reduced.
Positive site drainage refers to making sure that water drains away from the building to be constructed at a given site. Positive site drainage protects the building from the risks that it would have faced if some water was allowed to move towards it. Positive drainage techniques include raising the floor of the building so that no accidental back-up of water is possible.
Careful design of landscape irrigation systems
Most properties require an irrigation system to maintain the lawn and other plants that cannot survive long periods of drought. However, those irrigation systems may pose a danger to the building if they are not selected and designed carefully. For example, the system may flood the soil around the foundation of a building. This extra water can increase the weight exerted on the foundation walls. Cracks can then develop. Building designers limit this problem by ensuring that the irrigation system doesn't splash water onto the walls of a building.