The official December 2019 inauguration of the MASIC Commercial & Office Building sets another highlight in Jeddah’s booming real estate market. Chosen over a previously-specified membrane system, Penetron crystalline technology ensured a waterproof and durable structure for the building’s extensive below-grade floors.
The project owner and developer, MASIC, began as a trading house in 1933 and soon expanded into a wide-ranging conglomerate. Today, MASIC is an investment company active in financial services, real estate, and agriculture (aquaculture). The MASIC Commercial & Office Building is one of many construction projects recently underwritten by the company.
The MASIC Commercial & Office Building was designed by SAK Consult, the project architect, and ERGA, a design consultancy. Centrally located on King Road in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia the nine-floor office building reserves two floors (2,840 m2/31,240 square feet) as retail space and the three below-grade floors accommodate a 226-car parking garage. The total available office space is approximately 17,200m2 (192,500-square feet).
Combatting a Flooded Construction Site
“Originally, a compartment PVC membrane system was specified as the waterproofing solution for the MASIC project, but the difficulties of controlling the dewatering at the construction site led to an urgent reassessment of the situation,” explains Jozef Van Beeck, International Sales & Marketing Director of The Penetron Group. “One of the challenges included active leaks in the existing concrete foundation and retaining walls.”
The situation was so serious that the originally specified compartment PVC membrane system was scrapped in favor of an integral crystalline solution from Penetron, which waterproofs the concrete from within. The active ingredients in Penetron’s integral crystalline materials react with the moisture in concrete to form insoluble crystals, which self-heals and seals all hairline cracks, pores and capillaries. This permanently reduces concrete permeability, increases density and promotes active self-healing capabilities.
In their 2010 “Report on Chemical Admixtures for Concrete,” the American Concrete Institute (ACI) clearly spells out the advantages of a crystalline waterproofing solution as “a superior product to reduce permeability in concrete under hydrostatic pressure and thereby significantly increases the durability and lifetime of concrete structures.”
Multiplying the Durability of Concrete
PENETRON ADMIX was used to treat about 6,000 m3 (7,850 cubic yards) of concrete for the foundation slabs, and another 1,200 m3 (1,570 cubic yards) for the retaining walls. Around 1,620 m (5,350 feet) of PENEBAR, a swellable waterstop, was installed along construction joints to ensure a watertight seal. Before the PENETRON-ADMIX-treated concrete could be poured, there were leaks in the existing concrete that needed repairs. These leaks in the below-grade structures were initially treated with PENEPLUG, a rapid-setting compound, to quickly stop the active leaks. PENECRETE MORTAR was then used to permanently seal the cracks and finally, an application of PENETRON topical coating was sprayed over the surface of the concrete elements. Both of the project’s concrete water tanks – one for drinking water and the other for fire-fighting purposes – also received the PENETRON treatment.
“With the completion of the MASIC tower, Penetron’s integral crystalline technology ensured a permanent, virtually maintenance-free waterproofing solution – even under the conditions encountered in Jeddah,” summarizes Jozef Van Beeck. “And in terms of durability, the service life of PENETRON-treated concrete is about three times that of conventional concrete.”