Imperial College, London - Repairs to historic vaults

4 June 2018


Basement type: Refurbishment Building type: Education
Type of waterproofing: Type A & C Member: Newton Waterproofing Systems 
Other: Heritage  

The Project

As part of their ongoing relationship with the Imperial College London, Newton Specialist Contractor A.P. Gooch was tasked with assessing and waterproofing 11 historic Victorian brick vaults beneath London’s streets, after the existing competitor ‘waterproof render’ had failed.

Imperial College London is a world top ten university, and it’s topclass educational facilities in Central London are in constant use by students on a wide range of courses, including trainee doctors and nurses, for their studies. It was therefore crucial for A.P. Gooch to perform the work whilst also creating minimum disruption to the college students.

The Methodology

Following a full assessment of the vaults, A.P. Gooch decided that the best option was to install the tried and tested ‘failsafe’ Newton System 500 cavity drainage membrane solution in order to depressurise, capture and safely manage ingressing water. A.P. Gooch also committed to carrying out the entire installation at night in order to cause as little disruption as possible to the College’s students. By installing Newton 508 membrane with strategically placed Newton MultiPlug fixings, the system remained sympathetic to the historic structure beneath.

Newton Basedrain was also installed in order to channel captured water to one of four Newton Titan-2 sump chambers, the compact size of which made them ideal for use in a structure with such tight size restrictions. Each chamber also contained primary and backup Newton CP400 pumps to ensure that there will always be a safe means of removing captured water from the building.


Now fully protected by a maintainable system, compliant with waterproofing code of practice BS 8102:2009, all 11 vaults are now completely dry, providing safe and healthy individual study rooms for the medical students at Imperial College.

The Products

  • 508 - A high quality Newton System 500 cavity drain waterproofing membrane, manufactured from high density polyethylene and suitable for use internally to the retaining walls of below ground structures.
  • MULTIPLUG - Specially designed fixing plug for securing System 500 membranes to the wall and providing a fixing point for screws and/or wall ties.
  • BASEDRAIN - A core set of components used within the Newton 500 system that receives ingressing water and directs it to a safe discharge point.
  • TITAN-2 - Compact and fully built pumping system, ideally suited for locations that are too tight for larger pumping systems, and compatible with Newton NP and CP clean water pumps.
  • CP400 PUMPS - High quality clean water pump ideally suited for removing groundwater from basements and cellars.
  • HIGH WATER ALARM - Designed to detect high water levels within Newton sump chambers, giving both visual and audible indication of the alarm condition.

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