November 27, 2017
Keeping a Tiger Content with PENETRON
The new tiger mascot at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge moved into his new, upgraded habitat with the start of school in August 2017. Construction of the habitat specified PENETRON ADMIX SB (in soluble bags) for the shotcrete application that ensured a durable and robust solution.
“Mike the Tiger” is the official school mascot of Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Traditionally a live Bengal tiger, the school first adopted the “Tiger” nickname in 1896. The school’s original enclosure was only 2,000 square feet in size with minimal amenities for the tigers. The habitat features an Italianate tower – a campanile – that creates a visual link to the general architectural vernacular of the LSU campus. Prior to the arrival of a new tiger in the summer of 2017, over $950,000 in contributions was collected to finance an upgrade of the 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) tiger habitat.
Already among the largest and finest tiger habitats in the country, the new enclosure features numerous upgrades. These include: an expanded water area (with a large pond and waterfall) to help the tiger stay active during cooler weather; a roughly 100-square-foot synthetic rock; and new landscaping. The habitat facility also features research, conservation, and husbandry programs, as well as educational and recreational activities.
“The upgrade that will most likely please Mike the Tiger is the big lookout rock that is cooled in the summer and heated in the winter,” says Christopher Chen, Director of The PENETRON Group. “By the time classes started this fall, Mike was relaxing on his new – PENETRON-treated – rock, enjoying the view!”
The Weber Group construction team used PENETRON ADMIX as an integrated crystalline waterproofing solution for the water areas and synthetic rock. PENETRON worked with Sorrento Lumber of Baton Rouge, the ready-mix supplier, to ensure the success of the wet process shotcrete application. PENETRON ADMIX SB was added to the PENERON ADMIX-Enhanced Shotcrete (PAES) to create a durable and naturalistic surface for the lookout rock and provide a new waterproof surface for the pond and waterfall area.
Impermeability in concrete is the most important aspect when looking to increase durability of concrete, especially when used for rounded, naturalistic shapes that are applied as shotcrete. PENETRON ADMIX reduces shrinkage cracking and seals micro-cracks, and has the capability to self-heal new cracks. The admixture provides a 70% (or more) reduction in permeability as defined by the ACI guidelines for “permeability-reducing admixtures for hydrostatic conditions” (PRAH).
The contractor completed hydraulic tests of the treated surfaces that resulted in no leaks in the PENETRON ADMIX-treated structures. In addition, adding the crystalline admixture into the concrete in pre-measured soluble bags helped save time during the batching phase and ensured accurate mixing.
“Overall, PENETRON ADMIX turned out to be a cost-effective solution for the construction team,” adds Mr. Chen.