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Residential Sub-Basements?

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  • #16
    That’s interesting. At one point I thought I read that a basement could only be one level, and also couldn’t occupy space where nothing was built over it (so you couldn’t have your entire backyard as a basement extension). Of course the worry is getting trapped in that sub-basement if a fire broke out.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by KC View Post
      I recently heard of a house in Edmonton with a double basement. An “iceberg” house.

      Is anyone familiar with the possible uses allowed by the building code? Besides bomb shelters.
      Originally posted by Gord Lacey View Post
      That’s interesting. At one point I thought I read that a basement could only be one level, and also couldn’t occupy space where nothing was built over it (so you couldn’t have your entire backyard as a basement extension). Of course the worry is getting trapped in that sub-basement if a fire broke out.
      Maybe you would have to have multiple exits, like for an underground parkade? I imagine hitting utilities would be potential issue, too.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Ustauk View Post
        Originally posted by KC View Post
        I recently heard of a house in Edmonton with a double basement. An “iceberg” house.

        Is anyone familiar with the possible uses allowed by the building code? Besides bomb shelters.
        Originally posted by Gord Lacey View Post
        That’s interesting. At one point I thought I read that a basement could only be one level, and also couldn’t occupy space where nothing was built over it (so you couldn’t have your entire backyard as a basement extension). Of course the worry is getting trapped in that sub-basement if a fire broke out.
        Maybe you would have to have multiple exits, like for an underground parkade? I imagine hitting utilities would be potential issue, too.
        There are no utilities under your house that don't terminate in your house.

        Fire escape would be the concern, but it's not like the codes don't already exist to explain what's required for fire rated doors, stairwells, etc. Might require sprinklers.

        The sub basement would be below your sewer line - there's nothing that can be done about that. You'd need a lift station for any drains/toilets in the sub basement. And you'd probably want some pretty crazy sump pumps, with battery backups. Maybe a plug in generator as well just to be safe. Sewer back ups and overland flooding would not be a good thing.

        With no natural light and 2 stories below the living space, what would it be used for? A sweet home theatre maybe. Sports court.

        I've always thought it'd be pretty slick to have an underground parkade under your backyard. Drive in from the alley through an unassuming double garage, down in to the parkade which connected directly to your house basement.

        One of our neighbours in blue quill had an inground pool in their basement. It was pretty mind-blowing to find this out (and use it) at the age of 14.

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        • #19
          If a house was big enough could maybe isolate the sub basement to eliminate flood risk. A pot within a pot of like a double sink with one deep bowl. (Run the sub basement’s concrete right up to grade.)

          Don’t have any plumbing in it. Maybe waterproof doors to the rest of the basement. (Standard commercial steel door with good seals would likely eliminate any sewer backup risk to the sub-basement. Or just isolate and seal off any sources of flooding. Windows that won’t leak if overland flooding occurs, drains in bathroom floors...
          Last edited by KC; 21-05-2019, 02:17 PM.

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