The restoration of the Clifford Residences, completed in November 2023, sets a new, Art Deco-styled architectural highlight in Mosman, Australia. The concrete foundation structures of the luxury apartments are protected from high groundwater levels and the marine environment by PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture.
“Nestled on the shores of Sydney Harbor, the newly restored Clifford Residences have undergone a remarkable transformation,” exclaims Jozef Van Beeck, Director of International Sales & Marketing for The Penetron Group. “What remains unchanged are the location’s uninterrupted harbor views of Mosman Bay, Cremorne Point, and the Sydney skyline.”
Designed by Fortey & Grant Architecture & First Marque Designs, the renovated building on the tip of Curraghbeena Point also retains its classic façade with subtle Art Deco references, only footsteps from the ferry wharf. The conversion of the previous 6 x 2-bedroom apartments on 3 levels, into four whole floor luxury apartments also comprised the addition of an internal elevator linking each apartment to the stylish reception foyer, new balconies, high-level interior finish, and two underground floors, including a parking garage to enable vehicular access and basement areas.
Built right on the banks of Sydney Harbor with constant exposure to seawater, the concrete mix for the concrete foundation structures needed to be impermeable to both the hydrostatic pressure of the site’s high groundwater levels and exposure to the marine environment.
“Because concrete is a hard, porous, and absorbent material, it can crack and allow water (and chloride ions in the seawater) to easily penetrate through pores, micro-cracks, and capillary tracts. This can quickly lead to a wide range of problems that deteriorate the concrete or the embedded reinforcing steel,” adds Jozef Van Beeck.
After review during the planning phase of the project by engineers at John Romanous & Associates, PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified to provide the Clifford Residences’ concrete structures with long-term protection from the saltwater environment. Holcim, the concrete supplier, added the admixture to the concrete mix used for all below-grade structures, including the foundation slabs, retaining walls, elevator pits, and the stormwater retention tanks. Subject to wind, salt, and contaminates from the ocean, the building’s concrete roof slab was also treated with PENETRON ADMIX.
Once added to the concrete mix, proprietary chemicals in Penetron’s crystalline admixture react in a catalytic reaction with moisture to generate a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. The resulting formation seals pores and microcracks, and becomes an integral part of the concrete matrix, making the concrete impermeable to high groundwater pressure and chloride ions in saltwater that can cause corrosion.
“PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete also has the ability to self-heal micro-cracks for the service life of the treated structure,” adds Jozef Van Beeck. “This protection effectively minimizes any future waterproofing related maintenance costs for deterioration often encountered in marine environments.”