BCAB #1345 - Location of Foundation Perimeter Drain Pipe, Sentences 9.14.2.1.(1) & 9.14.3.3.(1)

April 18, 1994

BCAB #1345

Re: Location of Foundation Perimeter Drain Pipe, Sentences 9.14.2.1.(1) & 9.14.3.3.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a single family dwelling with a conventional concrete foundation extending bellow ground level and enclosing a basement.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.14.2.1.(1) requires drainage at the bottom of every foundation wall by "...drainage tile or pipe laid around the exterior of the foundation in conformance with Subsection 9.14.3. ..." unless it can be shown to be unnecessary. Sentence 9.14.3.3.(1) requires the drain tile or pipe to be installed such that "...the top of the tile or pipe is below the bottom of the floor slab...".

Appellant's Position

The appellant has a situation where a section of foundation wall, about 20 feet long, extends further below the level of the basement floor slab than the rest of the foundation wall. The drain pipe is laid beside the footing with the top of the pipe below the bottom of the slab. At the 20 foot section of deeper foundation wall the drain pipe is above the footing but still below the slab. The appellant contends this is in compliance with the Code because the drain pipe is always below the level of the floor slab.

Building Official's Position

The building official will only accept drain pipe above the bottom of the footing in special cases when warranted or where no other options exist.

Appeal Board Decision #1345

The Board considers that foundation drainage is intended to intercept subsurface water and direct it away from the building to assist in keeping the interior of the building or a crawl space free of moisture. Although Sentence 9.14.2.1.(1) requires the bottom of foundation walls to be drained there appears to be a contradiction in that it accepts that this can be accomplished by drain pipe located in conformance with Subsection 9.14.3. which only requires the top of the drain pipe be below the level of the floor slab. The Board considers it is not necessary for the drain pipe to be at the bottom of the wall or at the level of the footing in this case, provided it is below the level of the floor slab.

George R. Humphrey, Chair