Category Archives: Gas Venting Systems

Update to Visqueen Gas Venting Specification Tool

The hazards of ground gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) must be taken into account when designing and constructing developments on gas contaminated land. The Visqueen Gas Venting Guide has been updated to include information on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Hydrocarbons, including the protective measures required as determined by CIRIA 716.

gas venting guide

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are commonly found on land affected by contamination in the UK, at concentrations that result in the need for remediation and risk mitigation measures to be carried out to manage the potential risks to people.

Whist there has been a broadening in the range and complexity of remediation and risk mitigation techniques over the past few years, there is a lack of guidance specifically aimed at remediation and mitigation of risks arising from VOCs and Hydrocarbons.

Visqueen’s updated guidance is designed to provide architects, specifiers and other building professionals with a comprehensive information tool for understanding gas venting categorization and the protective measures required in relation to VOCs and Hydrocarbons. The aim is to remove the complexity of design and specification by providing a user friendly tool that presents detailed technical information in a clear, logical manner. Continue reading

Visqueen Gas Protection Systems supplied for prestigious Library of Birmingham project

Client:             Carillion
Location:       Library of Birmingham
Date:               June 2013
Sector:            Education

About the project:

One of the most prestigious projects that Visqueen Building Products supplied products to in 2013 was the Library of Birmingham in the city’s Centenary Square.

The library is situated in one of the city’s most important public open spaces in the heart of Birmingham city centre’s Westside.

The new library features many innovative design and construction techniques. It has two elevated outdoor garden terraces which offer an environment for visitors to unwind, socialize and learn, as well as bringing environmental benefits through offsetting carbon emissions and attracting wildlife and local ecology.

Key facts

  • Opened in September 2013
  • Overall building cost – £188.8 million
  • Main contractor – Carillion
  • Designer – internationally acclaimed Dutch architects, Mecanoo
  • Expected to attract around 3.5 million visitors annually

Project challenges:

The build site was contaminated with CO2 gas, which posed a key challenge for Carillion as a specialist gas protection system would be required to make the development safe for construction. As a leading technical authority in the provision of gas protection systems, Visqueen was called in to provide knowledge and expertise in specifying the correct gas and damp protection solutions for the site conditions.

Visqueen worked closely with site managers and personnel, providing consultative support throughout the project. This involved advising on the correct products and system accessories, supplying accurate CAD details and overseeing installation.

Chris Hayes, Technical Support Manager at Visqueen who worked with Carillion on site explains further:

“We supported the team from start to finish, ensuring that all gas and waterproofing products were installed in accordance with the latest building regulations, and we were able to provide technical sign off of the finished installation.”

Michael Heir, Masonry Advisor at Carillion Technical Services commented:

“The decision to use Visqueen Zedex High Bond DPC to waterproof the base of the cavity at Birmingham Library proved correct. Visqueen technical support at Birmingham Library was excellent.”


Gas Venting Systems

There were a number of Visqueen products used throughout the construction of the new library. Products that were supplied by Visqueen Building Products were:

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Welcome to the Visqueen Building Products Blog!

The Wing development

Visqueen Building Products is the market leader in the manufacture and supply of structural waterproofing and gas protection systems. Our range of solutions includes proven high performance damp proof membranes, damp proof courses, gas barriers, tanking membranes and vapour control layers. Continue reading

Complete Gas Ventilation Solutions

The hazards of ground gases must be taken into account when designing and constructing new developments. Ground gas has can be drawn into a building by the pressure of difference that exists between the inside and outside of the building (warm indoor air is less dense than cold outdoor air).

Common ground gases and contaminates

Hydrocarbons – these can be highly toxic and are a derivative of the petrochemical industry. Hydrocarbons are prevalent in areas such as disused petrol stations and post-industrial sites. Most hydrocarbons are carcinogenic and potentially flammable.

Methane – An odourless flammable gas that is explosive when released to the atmosphere at levels as low as 5% and exposed to a source of ignition. Methane is formed wherever there is below ground degradation of organic substances e.g landfill sites, sewage treatment areas, mining localities and peat bogs.

Carbon Dioxide – a colourless, odourless gas that in high concentrations can result in asphyxiation. The gas is formed by the oxidation of carbon compounds such as landfill sites. When carbon dioxide levels reach concentrations of 3% symptoms of headaches and shortness of breath can occur, becoming severe at 5%, with loss of consciousness at 10%. It’s potentially fatal at concentrations of 22% and above.

Radon – a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odourless and colourless. It is formed where uranium and radium are present. It migrates into any building that is built over the source. If it accumulates in a building at unacceptably high concentrations, it will increase the potential risk of the occupants developing lung cancer.

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