The newest office of the Libyan Islamic Bank opened its doors in November 2022 in Benghazi, Libya. PENETRON ADMIX was specified to protect the bank’s below-grade reinforced concrete structures from the marine environment of the nearby coastal lakes of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
Established in 2017, the Libyan Islamic Bank (LIB) now has 11 branches across Libya, with the just opened branch in Benghazi as one of six new locations scheduled to open in 2022. The LIB adheres to the practice of Islamic banking laws (Sharia compliant), the most important difference being the prohibition of charging interest on any private and commercial activities. This regulation avoids the potential for usury and “unethical commercial activities” according to the principles of Islamic Sharia law. LIB resorts to a financial model that delivers a predetermined return on investment to avoid conflict with the Islamic regulations.
The newest LIB branch office is located in the Al-Fuwaihat area, the commercial center of Benghazi, adjacent to the shopping area of Al-Pepsi, a vibrant district of businesses, shops, and markets. The LIB office features a ground floor retail banking area, two office floors above, and a reinforced concrete basement floor where the high security bank safe is situated.
“Because of the area’s marine environment and the high groundwater levels at the construction site, the project’s general contractor requested a robust waterproofing solution for the bank’s below-grade concrete structures,” explains Kadem A. Elbarghathi, Managing Director of Penetron North Africa.
After consulting with Penetron North Africa, the contractor, Dar Elkhabra, specified PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, for the concrete mix to mitigate chloride ion penetration and potential corrosion of the reinforced concrete structures of the below-grade bank safe rooms of the new Libyan Islamic Bank office. PENEBAR SW-45A swellable waterstop strips were also installed to seal all the construction joints.
El Motahida Concrete Mixing Plant, the ready-mix concrete supplier, provided 1,500 m3 of PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete for the foundation slab and the thick retaining walls of the new LIB facility.
Easily mixed in during batching and unaffected by the local saltwater environment, PENETRON ADMIX quickly becomes an integral part of the concrete and lasts for the service life of the concrete. A permanent solution with self-healing capabilities, PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete will self-heal and seal all hairline cracks that form throughout the service life of the concrete.
“Thanks to the success of previous Penetron projects, the contractor was confident that PENETRON ADMIX would provide the required protection for the concrete basement structures – while saving time and minimizing labor costs,” adds Kadem A. Elbarghathi.