Media Release

Penetron Protects New Residential Tower in La Florida, Chile from High Groundwater Pressure


The Edificio Central Apartments in La Florida (Santiago), Chile was officially inaugurated in December 2022. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified over a competitive product to protect below-grade concrete structures from deterioration caused by the area’s groundwater pressure.

A middle-class suburban community in the southeastern sector of Santiago’s metropolitan area, La Florida currently has over 380,000 inhabitants, making it the fourth-largest city in Chile. The Edificio Central is situated on Avenida Vicuña Mackenna – a main thoroughfare leading directly to downtown Santiago – and walking distance from the Mirador and Mall Florida Center Metro stations.

Built by Centauro Construction, the 20-floor Edificio Central residential tower houses 240 upscale apartments available in 1, 2, and 3-bedroom layouts, as well as a 3-level underground parking garage. Building amenities include a large ground floor lobby, a common room for residents, a gourmet lounge with kitchen, laundry room, children's playroom, outdoor swimming pool, and bicycle garage.

“The Edificio Central project continues the strong trend of affordable residential construction in the La Florida district of Santiago, which has become an increasingly more expensive place to live,” adds Domingo Lema, Managing Director of Penetron Chile.

Protection from Groundwater Pressure

The main challenge for the Edificio Central’s project engineers was neutralizing the high groundwater pressure encountered at the excavation site. Because of the depth of the excavation – almost 10 m (33 feet) deep for the three below-grade floors of underground parking – a robust waterproofing solution was required. Originally, a competitive waterproofing admixture was specified but Transex-Concretes, the project’s ready-mix concrete supplier, collaborated with Penetron Chile on a concrete mix treated with PENETRON ADMIX, which the builder accepted. Ultimately, Transex Concretes provided 1,100 m3 (1,440 yds3) of concrete, treated with PENETRON ADMIX, for the below-grade retaining walls and foundation slab.

PENETRON ADMIX is a permanent concrete waterproofing solution. Once added to the concrete mix, the active ingredients in PENETRON ADMIX react in a catalytic reaction to the moisture in concrete. This reaction generates a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. The entire concrete matrix is now impermeable, stopping the penetration of groundwater and liquids from any direction, even under high hydrostatic pressures.

“In the end, PENETRON ADMIX was chosen thanks to lower costs and a more comprehensive guarantee of permeability reduction and self-sealing of cracks throughout the service life of the concrete,” adds Domingo Lema.

The Edificio Central residential tower in La Florida, Chile is home to 240 upscale apartments and a 3-level underground parking garage.

Penetron provides protection: The 20-floor Edificio Central residential tower in La Florida, Chile is home to 240 upscale apartments and a 3-level underground parking garage.

High groundwater pressure due to the depth of the La Florida excavation required a robust solution.

PENETRON ADMIX specified: High groundwater pressure due to the depth of the La Florida excavation – almost 10 m (33-feet) deep for the underground parking – required a robust solution.

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