Media Release

Penetron Ensures Robust Foundation for Curicó Hospital in Chile


Officially inaugurated in April 2021, the new Curicó Hospital in Curicó, Chile, provides a permanent and modern hub for healthcare in the Maule Province of Chile. PENETRON ADMIX was specified as the concrete waterproofing solution over an asphalt membrane system.

Curicó, a city of about 140,000 inhabitants, is located 183 km (114 miles) south of Santiago in the fertile Chilean Central Valley. The capital of the Curicó Province on the Guaiquillo River, the city was severely damaged by the February 2010 earthquake. The new Curicó Hospital replaces the temporary mobile field hospital that was installed by the Argentine Air Force to provide medical care to the local population after the devastating earthquake.

The US$300 million facility is the largest hospital in the region, with 109,152 m2 (1.2 million ft2) space on 7 floors. The Curicó Hospital now has 400 beds, 12 surgical pavilions, 5 delivery rooms, 52 medical consultation rooms, 8 emergency rooms and a parking garage for 800 cars on two underground levels.

The Obrascon, Huarte & Lain (OHL) construction company initially specified an asphalt membrane to waterproof the below-grade concrete structures. However, Penetron Chile presented an alternative and more durable waterproofing solution.

Superior to a Membrane System

“We were able to show how Penetron crystalline technology would provide a number of advantages over a conventional membrane system, including lowering overall costs, ease of installation and virtually no maintenance,” explains Domingo Lema, Managing Director of Penetron Chile. “By showing how many other domestic healthcare projects benefited from the Penetron System, our team easily convinced the contractor.”

PENETRON ADMIX was specified to treat 22,100 m3 (28,900 yds3) of concrete that was used for the hospital’s foundation structures, including the slab foundation and the underground parking areas.

An Integral Part of the Concrete

Easily mixed in when added to the concrete during batching, PENETRON ADMIX becomes an integral part of the concrete. Once the proprietary chemicals in the admixture react with moisture and the byproducts of the hydration process, insoluble crystals form throughout the entire concrete matrix – decreasing the permeability of the concrete. Unlike a membrane system, no further maintenance or treatment is required due to the continuous crack self-healing abilities of PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete.

“Bottom line: for the new Curicó Hospital, PENETRON ADMIX is a more economic and durable solution that was easy to implement, saved time on the construction schedule, and helps the owners avoid future maintenance costs,” summarizes Domingo Lema.

PENETRON ADMIX was used for waterproofing foundation slabs, perimeter retaining walls and underground parking.

PENETRON ADMIX was used for waterproofing foundation slabs, perimeter retaining walls and underground parking.

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