The Aquatic Center upgrade (new cistern and support building) to the Cate School in Carpinteria (CA) was completed in January 2020. Penetron provided the key waterproofing technology to ensure durable concrete structures.
Founded in 1910, the Cate School is a four-year, coed high school in Carpinteria, Southern California. Highly selective, the school offers 280 boarding/day students a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum. 60% of the school’s most recent graduating class attend the 25 top-ranked colleges and universities in the country (18% at Ivy League schools and/or Stanford). Business Insider ranked Cate School as the 16th best private school in the nation.
Seeking More Environmental Compatibility
In 2010, the Cate School’s Emmett Horowitz Aquatic Center – including a 25 m pool and a warm-up pool – was inaugurated. Recent upgrades to the LEED-certified Center included a support building housing a microturbine and water treatment cistern. The 60kW microturbine provides heat and power to the pool, saving the school over $46,000 annually in energy costs. The concrete cistern is used to clean the backwash from both swimming pools every day.
“Swimming pools use a strong chlorine solution to sanitize the water. However, if the water is released into the environment, even very low levels of chlorine can kill fish and other aquatic organisms in lakes and streams, and also upset the balance of beneficial bacteria in a septic system or wastewater treatment plant. This means the wastewater must be neutralized before it can be discharged,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “The operators at the Cate School use a vitamin C dechlorination process that is completely non-toxic. In addition, once placed in water, vitamin C degrades completely in a day or two.”
Looking for Chemical Protection and Waterproofing
During the design phase of the project, the engineer at Hartigal/Foley, the project contractor, contacted Penetron for a possible concrete waterproofing and protection solution for the support building and cistern project. PENETRON ADMIX treated concrete was suggested as the ideal solution to provide the concrete with the required chemical protection and waterproofing needed – without the use of traditional membrane or coating systems.
PENETRON ADMIX SB (Soluble Bags) was used. The convenience and ease of use of the unique, pre-measured soluble bags for PENETRON ADMIX help ensure the correct dosage for any mix design. CEMEX in Santa Barbara easily and quickly added the admixture; the soluble bags dissolve quickly and completely during mixing.
“The contractor also saved time and money with PENETRON ADMIX by avoiding the labor-intensive application of any type of coating on the cistern that was initially considered,” adds Christopher Chen.
Extending Concrete Lifetime
PENETRON ADMIX is a hydrophilic concrete admixture that reacts with moisture and concrete minerals to form crystals in the micro-cracks and voids of the concrete. Because new crystals form whenever new moisture enters, the concrete acquires a permanent self-healing capability that seals any newly-formed micro-cracks.
“Recent tests have shown that PENETRON ADMIX can add up to 60+ years to the lifespan of concrete, thanks to low permeability, low shrinkage, self-healing capabilities and the resistance to chemical attack in exposed environments, such as the Cate School application, before the onset of corrosion,” concludes Christopher Chen.