Planter Box Remedial Work

One of the most popular design features in multi-dwelling residential construction is the use of planter boxes around liveable spaces. Unfortunately, the majority of installations in Melbourne are not constructed to comply with AS4654.2; section 2.13 Planter Boxes and, as a result, they fail. All AIW members will have received technical drawing which clarify Australian Standards. One excellent reference is diagram number 023B – PLANTER BOX CONSTRUCTION.

We see so many numerous failures, that planter boxes in good working order are the

exception, not the rule. The photos attached are a recent example in the seaside suburb

of Elwood. This example typifies common errors:

  • Construction substrate choice of using block work masonry with very low water tightness
  • Poor internal drainage system
  • Lack of ventilation to take water out of drains
  • No provision for overflow
  • Poor choice of plants for root damage to membrane
  • Soil fill level too high, with consideration for mulch
  • External exposed walls of the planter box not waterproofed to prevent internal wall membrane damage
  • Flashings inadequate.

As your material supplier for products to cover a comprehensive multi-defence strategy.

David Hepworth

AIW Secretary


  1. Planter boxes bordering the balcony over car park ceiling. Photo shows blistered render from water exiting from wall / slab joint. Entrance to building.

  1. Planter box at opposite end to photo 1 showing same failure at wall / slab joing.