In November 2022, the first residents moved into the Life Tower, the newest tall building in the skyline of Iquique, Chile, in Northern Chile. PENETRON ADMIX, a concrete waterproofing admixture, was used for all below-grade concrete structures, including the retaining walls of the five-floor underground parking garage and foundation slab.
A city of 170,000 inhabitants in Northern Chile, Iquique is located on a rocky peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The city has modern port facilities, fish-meal plants and canneries, and fruit and olive farms on the perimeter of the metropolitan area. An emerging tourism industry – with sport-fishing and beaches – is also evident through a growing number of high-rise hotels.
“The new Life Tower adds a further highlight to the city’s list of tall structures,” explains Domingo Lema, Managing Director of Penetron Chile. “Thanks to the region’s stable geology and soil, the Iquique metropolitan area features Chile’s tallest buildings – outside of Santiago, the country’s capital.”
Situated in the heart of Iquique, the new, 28-floor residential tower features a stark modernist style with sharp vertical lines defining the shape of the metallized glass façades. The 156 units are available as one, two, or three-bedroom apartments. The Life Tower also offers a list of amenities: a gym, spa, outdoor pool with lounge area, a 5-floor underground parking garage, and a ground-floor restaurant & bar.
Excavation Reveals High Groundwater
Waterproofing for the below-grade concrete structures of the Life Tower was not originally specified by EBCO, the general contractor. However, due to the presence of copious groundwater at the excavated construction site, René Lagos Engineers, the project consultants, reached out to Penetron Chile for a reliable concrete waterproofing solution. After reviewing the project parameters, the Penetron Chile team recommended PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, for the concrete mix.
Melon Concretes supplied 2,900 m3 of PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete for the Life Tower’s foundation slab, retaining walls, and below-grade concrete garage structures.
Protects Concrete from Deterioration
PENETRON ADMIX provides comprehensive protection against concrete deterioration caused by water penetration and corrosion. The active ingredients in PENETRON ADMIX react with water and concrete minerals to form an insoluble crystalline network deep within the concrete matrix. This crystalline growth takes place throughout the concrete structure to fill in the microcracks, pores and capillaries normally found in concrete, resulting in impermeable, waterproof, and durable concrete.
“The Penetron solution offered not only an economic solution, but also a more comprehensive guarantee of permeability reduction compared to alternative waterproofing solutions,” adds Domingo Lema. “Penetron-treated concrete also has the capability to self-heal hairline cracks, which lasts for the entire service life of the concrete.”