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How to bring in natural light while the basement walls are buried? The solution is to install an English court or a wolf jump.

The English courtyard to light a room in the basement

The English courtyard to light a room in the basement

An English court or a wolf jump to light a basement

Originally, the English court is a small very narrow courtyard at the foot of the facade of a building and located below the finished ground (street or land). She permits to ventilate and bring in natural light in the basement where part of the walls are then in the open air. It is a common development in Anglo-Saxon cities.

The wolf jump takes up the same principle but is much narrower. It is located only in front of the window pierced in the wall of the basement. It is closed by a grid to prevent a person from falling into this reduced space.

Today, we speak rather of English class than wolf jumping. Yet architecturally speaking, the wolf jump is more what is proposed in the trade under the name of prefabricated English yard!

The prefabricated English yard

She presents herself as a plastic shell which is attached to the outside wall of the house in front of a basement window. Made of composite materials (polypropylene or polyester) reinforced with fiberglass, it is completely waterproof and elastic enough to withstand the constraints of the ground. Its white color returns to the window the natural brightness.

It exists different in dimensions from 100 X 60 cm to 200 X 150 cm. The basic module can accommodate up to 3 30 cm high extensions for large opening heights.
It is surmounted by a safety grid made of galvanized steel or covered with a glass plate. Depending on the model, this grille can support a pedestrian crossing or a light vehicle.

Install a prefabricated English yard

To install a prefabricated English yard, simply dig the ground to clear part of the buried wall of the basement.
The upper level of the hull must arrive at the finished ground level. The bottom should be at least 15 cm from the bottom of the opening.

When the English yard is protected from the rain, there is no need to provide for evacuation of water. Otherwise, it is advisable to install a siphon with a strainer at the bottom of the hull. Connected to a PVC pipe, it will allow the evacuation of water to the rainwater network.

The English court masonry

It is a small U-shaped masonry structure that rises around a window in the basement. Instead of a white plastic shell, it is rubble that holds the earth. The masonry yard is often wider than the prefabricated one and therefore less discreet.

Its construction is relatively simple. Nevertheless, some precautions must be taken to ensure that the book fulfills its role properly. The weight of the earth that the walls retain can be significant. It is recommended to provide reinforced concrete posts at the outside corners.
The lower level of the yard should be at least 15 cm from the bottom of the window. It can be covered with a bed of gravel to absorb rainwater or concrete. In this case, it is imperative to install a PVC pipe at one of the corners to evacuate the water.

The junction between the wall of the house and the yard must be sealed with a sealant sealant.
The perimeter of the English court must be protected either by a railing either by a grid.
In order to improve the luminosity, the walls of the English court must be covered with a white or light-colored paint. It is also possible to install a light reflector.

Also read: How to create a light source under a roof?


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