The official start of construction of the multi-use Golden Square City beachfront development in Benghazi, Libya, kicked off September 2022. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, was specified to ensure durable – and waterproof – foundation slabs for the project’s numerous buildings.
Located on the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean Sea, the history of Benghazi reaches back to ancient times, even before the Greek colonization of the region of Cyrenaica (today: eastern Libya) was mentioned by Herodotus (ca. 450 BC), an ancient Greek historian. Eventually, the city grew into an important trading center within the Roman Empire and beyond. Today, the city remains a major seaport and, with a population of over 800,000, is the second-largest city in Libya.
“The violent history of Benghazi saw many important landmarks repeatedly destroyed over the centuries – and up to the present day,” adds Kadem A. Elbarghathi, Managing Director of Penetron North Africa. “This makes the construction of Golden Square City a key development project and a clear vote of confidence in the future of modern Benghazi.”
Located along the Mediterranean coast of Benghazi, the Golden Square City development is being constructed in four phases. The first phase of construction, to be completed by February 2024, will occupy a footprint of 210,000 m2 and comprises the Podium, a six-floor office building (4,000 m2) with retail shops on the ground floor, and an adjacent two-floor hypermarket (8,000 m2) with additional areas for smaller shops.
However, before construction could begin this year, the sandy soil of the site needed to be stabilized. The project engineers, Mohamed Idrees and Mohamed Ali, specified the installation of Geopier Impact Piers, a displacement system using a steel pipe mandrel outfitted with a compaction chamber to penetrate through caving soils and construct piers from the bottom up. This method resulted in a dense column of aggregate surrounded by stiffened matrix soils to enable higher bearing capacities needed for the Golden Square City buildings.
“Due to proximity of the construction site to the Mediterranean Sea and the resulting high groundwater levels, the project’s ready-mix concrete suppliers, Al Rehab and El Mutaheda, collaborated with Penetron North Africa on a concrete mix treated with PENETRON ADMIX that was specified for the slab-on-grade foundations needed for Golden Square City,” adds Kadem A. Elbarghathi.
Alfadel Construction, the general contractor, accepted this concrete waterproofing solution and the ready-mix concrete supplier added PENETRON ADMIX to the concrete mix for all 210,000 m2 of the slab-on-grade foundation slabs.
Easily mixed in during batching, PENETRON ADMIX becomes an integral part of the concrete matrix and performs consistently during the service life of the concrete. The need for maintenance is reduced dramatically and the service life of the concrete is increased due to the continuous crack self-healing abilities of PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete to seal hairline cracks.
“The project contractor appreciated the visual quality control feature of the green tracer found in the bleed water that confirms PENETRON ADMIX is mixed into the concrete, and the ready-mix concrete supplier liked the easy way of adding the admixture to the concrete mix,” says Kadem A. Elbarghathi. “In addition, PENETRON ADMIX was the most cost-effective concrete waterproofing solution available.”
The 2nd phase of construction of Golden Square City will add 11 apartment towers with 350 units within the next 18 months. Amenities include a mosque, swimming pool, gym, children’s playground, and a landscaped park. The 3rd and 4th phases of construction will add restaurants, a hotel, cinema (all in cooperation with international brands), and a mosque.
“Construction work on the Benghazi project continues,” states Abdelhamid Latrash, General Manager of Golden Square, client and developer representative of the Golden Square City project. “Penetron will be part of the concrete waterproofing solution throughout.”