No matter how excited you are to move into your new abode, your first few weeks will probably feel foreign and, well, a little weird. Celebrating a birthday, planting a garden or decorating for the holidays will help that "new-house feeling" fade. But of course it depends as well on where your new home is located and on the character of the place. Does it really suit your personality? Will you feel comfortable once the construction site signs come down? Here is one example where the residents happily settled in — even while living among boxes.


Underfloor heating, LED lighting and a green roof

We meet the proud owner in his modern, futuristic self-constructed home in County Durham. Built into the hillside, close to a river, it was recently completed using the Sika® Watertight Concrete system. Environmental considerations were high on the owner’s list of design specifications, with underfloor heating, LED lighting throughout and a Sika Sarnafil® green roof, which together have resulted in the house having a U-value of below 0.15 W/m2.


What is a cost-effective watertight solution?

A cost-effective watertight solution was required for the lower floors that are built into the hillside. It had to adhere to BS 8102 Grade 3 (Habitable Space) - the British Standards Institute Code of Practice for protection of below ground structures against water from the ground.


Difficult location into a hill on the side of a river

One of the reasons that the owner chose watertight concrete was that the 350m2 house was to be built in a difficult location set into a hill on the side of a river. He was particularly looking for ease of construction in the wet, dirty conditions, and so chose the Sika® Watertight Concrete system.


Admixtures produce extremely effective watertight concrete

The Sika admixtures within the concrete mix work firstly by reducing the water
cement ratio, producing a highly workable concrete that aids placement and compaction, and secondly, by blocking the remaining capillary pores. This produces an extremely effective watertight concrete solution which meets the requirements of BS 8102 Grade 3 (Habitable Space).


A Guarantee to back it up

Another reason was that the overdig requirement was less compared to other solutions, together with time saving on site and a guarantee of watertightness that comes with the system. In the owner’s words: ‘We chose the Sika waterproof concreting system for this project because the Sika name is synonymous with providing quality waterproof concreting systems with a guarantee to back it up. Having looked at a number of other waterproofing solutions, we felt that Sika was by far the most practical and cost effective choice for our project.’


Waterproofing the flat roof

Around 200m3 of Sika® Watertight Concrete was supplied to the project. A proven 30-year performance in green roof construction convinced the owners to use a Sika Sarnafil membrane system to waterproof the flat roof. The system is resistant against biological and micro-organisms and root penetration. Fast and efficient application in most weather conditions were other key benefits of the Sika system.


What makes us feel comfortable in a house?

So finally, the only question that remains is what makes a house really comfortable and its inhabitants feel at home? It can’t be just the furniture, though interior design is essential for personal well-being. Besides a nice neighborhood, it’s a well-balanced heating system serving all the rooms, a well-insulated building envelope, the possibility to grow plants in and outside the house, and the security of knowing that the house will remain protected against water leakage and humidity.


Get more information about Sika UK and its watertight concrete.