What Is an Upstand in Construction?

What Is an Upstand in Construction?

In construction, an upstand refers to a raised portion or barrier that extends above the surface level of a flat roof or other building element. It serves a critical purpose in waterproofing and protecting the building from water ingress, safeguarding interior elements, and preventing damage to adjoining structures. In this article, I will delve into the meaning, definition, and details of upstand construction.

Key Takeaways:

  • An upstand in construction is a raised portion or barrier that prevents water ingress and protects the building and adjoining structures.
  • Upstands are necessary to meet building standards and ensure proper functioning and protection.
  • The minimum height requirement for upstands in the UK is 150mm above the finished roof surface.
  • Designing upstands can present challenges, but alternative solutions can be implemented to meet regulations and prevent issues.
  • Proper upstand design and construction techniques are essential to maintain the integrity of the building envelope.

Why Are Upstands Necessary in Construction?

Upstands are an essential component in building construction, serving multiple purposes and providing significant benefits. They play a critical role in preventing water ingress, particularly at abutments, roof windows, and parapets. By extending above the surface level, upstands act as a physical barrier, creating a waterproof seal and safeguarding the integrity of the building envelope.

One of the primary uses of upstands in construction is in flat roofs. These roofs are vulnerable to rainwater pooling and seeping into the property, potentially causing damage to internal structures. Upstands act as a protective measure, preventing rainwater from entering and redirecting it away from the building. They also offer defense against rainwater splashing against exposed brickwork, which can lead to erosion and deterioration over time.

Upstands are particularly essential in specific building types, such as green roofs. In these cases, deeper upstands are necessary to support the additional weight of the roofing layers and ensure effective drainage. These upstands help prevent water damage and provide stability to the overall structure.

Upstands in construction are crucial for meeting building standards and regulations, ensuring proper functionality, and protecting the building from water ingress and damage.

Overall, upstands are indispensable in construction due to their ability to prevent water ingress, protect against damage, and meet building standards. Whether it is for flat roofs, abutments, or specialized construction projects, upstands provide a vital layer of defense and contribute significantly to the overall longevity and performance of the building.

Minimum Requirements for Upstands in Construction

In construction, upstands are an essential element that serves as a protective barrier against water ingress and ensures the integrity of the building envelope. Building regulations in the UK outline the minimum requirements for upstands, specifying the necessary height and locations where they should be implemented.

Types of Upstands in Construction

Upstands can take various forms depending on the specific project requirements. Some common types include:

  • Abutment upstands: These are vertical barriers constructed at the junction between different building components, such as walls and roofs. Abutment upstands prevent water from seeping into the building and causing damage.
  • Roof window upstands: These upstands are designed to surround roof windows and provide a weatherproof seal, preventing water ingress and maintaining the integrity of the window installation.
  • Parapet upstands: Parapet walls are often found on flat roofs, and upstands are constructed to prevent water from flowing over the edge of the roof and causing damage to the building or adjacent structures.

These are just a few examples of the different types of upstands that can be used in construction projects. The specific design and dimensions of upstands will vary depending on factors such as building regulations, climate conditions, and the materials used.

Upstand Construction Techniques

There are a variety of construction techniques that can be employed when creating upstands. Some commonly used techniques include:

  • Concrete upstands: Concrete is a durable and robust material that is commonly used for upstand construction. It can be cast in situ or prefabricated off-site and then installed.
  • Masonry upstands: Brick or block masonry can also be used to construct upstands. This technique provides a visually appealing finish and can be customized to match the aesthetic of the building.
  • Steel upstands: Steel offers excellent strength and can be used to create upstands that require a lighter construction. Steel upstands are often used in commercial and industrial buildings.

These construction techniques provide flexibility in creating upstands that meet the specific requirements of each construction project, ensuring proper waterproofing and protection against water ingress.

Advantages Disadvantages
Concrete Durable and robust Requires skilled labor for installation
Masonry Visually appealing May require additional waterproofing measures
Steel Lightweight and strong Greater cost compared to other materials

Table: Comparison of Upstand Construction Techniques

Dealing with Exceptions and Challenges in Upstand Design

Designing upstands in construction can sometimes present a few challenges, especially when faced with restrictions in height or specific project requirements. But fear not, I’m here to share some solutions and considerations to help you navigate through these hurdles.

When the standard 150mm upstand height cannot be achieved, alternative solutions need to be explored. One option is to introduce localized drop gutters, which can help mitigate any potential water ingress issues. By redirecting water away from critical areas, this solution allows for a lower upstand height while still maintaining proper functionality.

Another approach involves modifying the insulation arrangement or converting the upstand into a raincheck. This can help meet the required regulations and address low upstand height challenges. However, it’s crucial to carefully analyze the design, perform U-value calculations, and assess the risk of interstitial condensation to ensure compliance and minimize any potential issues.

Ultimately, upstand design considerations should prioritize both functionality and compliance. It’s important to work closely with architects, engineers, and building control authorities to ensure that the proposed solutions align with regulations and provide long-term protection for the building. By carefully evaluating the project requirements and exploring alternative design options, you’ll be well-equipped to overcome any upstand construction challenges that come your way.

FAQ

What is an upstand in construction?

An upstand in construction refers to the raised portion or barrier that extends above the surface level of a flat roof or other building element. It is primarily used for waterproofing purposes, preventing water ingress into the building and protecting adjoining structures.

Why are upstands necessary in construction?

Upstands are necessary in construction to meet building standards and ensure the proper functioning and protection of the building. They play a crucial role in preventing water ingress, especially at abutments, roof windows, and parapets. Additionally, upstands provide protection against rainwater splashing against exposed brickwork and erosion.

What are the minimum requirements for upstands in construction?

In the UK, current regulations state that upstands should have a minimum height of 150mm above the finished roof surface at abutments, roof windows, and parapets. Skylights also require weatherproofed upstands at a height of 150mm. Doors and thresholds have a minimum upstand requirement of 75mm at the opening.

How do you deal with exceptions and challenges in upstand design?

Designing upstands in construction can present challenges, especially when faced with restrictions in height or specific project requirements. In cases where the standard 150mm upstand cannot be achieved, designers may need to consider alternative solutions such as localized drop gutters or modifying the insulation arrangement. It is crucial to carefully analyze the design, perform U-value calculations, and assess the risk of interstitial condensation to ensure compliance and prevent potential issues with building control or third-party insurers.

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