Officially opened at the start of 2019, the Optima Kierland Commons residential development in North Scottsdale, Arizona, faced a challenge when the original concrete mix did not meet key performance parameters. However, Penetron crystalline technology provided the consistency and durability the Optima Kierland project managers were looking for; the Penetron concrete mix design will be used in the project’s next phase, currently under construction.
The completion of the Optima Kierland Commons project on East Kierland Boulevard in North Scottsdale is the first stage of a large, upscale residential community that will ultimately feature 220 condominiums and 162 apartments (with 1-4-bedroom residential units ranging from 720-4,550 square feet/67-414 m2 in size).
Designed by award-winning architects David C. Hovey and David Hovey Jr., the Optima Kierland Commons project features two landmark 12-story residential buildings characterized by vertical gardens that soften the design of strict geometric lines, glass walls and the open floor design with extensive greenery and rooftop and balcony gardens. The buildings are surrounded by verdant landscaping, with views of a nearby golf course and the distinctively stark and craggy desert mountain horizons of the nearby Tonto National Forest and the Sonora Desert National Monument.
Optima Kierland Commons is a pilot project for the City of Phoenix’s International Green Construction Code, a “holistic project” approach to promoting safe and sustainable construction methods. Optima project managers integrated numerous “green living” aspects into the project design, including passive solar and sustainable living elements.
Difficulty with the Initial Concrete Mix
Hanson Concrete, the ready-mix supplier, initially prepared the specified concrete mix for the rooftop pool deck and accompanying gardens using a non-Penetron waterproofing product. However, once the pour began, difficulties arose with the flash setting of the mix, which quickly led to the search for an alternative solution.
“At that point, Hanson Concrete got in touch with Penetron for assistance,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “After looking at the set time issue, our local Penetron technical expert suggested substituting the previous admixture with PENETRON ADMIX SB, which has superior performance parameters for this application. The new mix achieved the consistent performance the ready-mix supplier was looking for, including a more neutral set time.”
Easy-to-Use Solution Keeps Project on Track
In addition to improved performance of the concrete mix, PENETRON ADMIX SB was delivered in pre-measured soluble bags that dissolve quickly and completely during mixing. This made dosage during the batching phase quick and foolproof.
“Adding PENETRON ADMIX SB at the batching plant adds substantial durability and waterproofing to the concrete without extra labor costs,” says Christopher Chen. “But easy integration is not all. Recent tests have also shown that the admixture can extend the service life of concrete structures, even in extreme environments, by 60 years or more.”
Phase Two – the Work Continues
The second phase of construction began in late 2018 at an immediately adjacent site. Similar to the previous work, the next phase includes two 12-story residential buildings with the vertical gardens, glass walls and open layouts with rooftop and balcony gardens that replicate the “green living” experience of the previous development.
“Providing concrete expertise to the client – on the drawing board or, as in this case, on-site – is part of the Penetron benefit,” adds Christopher Chen. “Fortunately, with the Optima Kierland Commons project, we were able to provide an immediate solution that avoided any serious delays in construction.”