The October 2019 inauguration of the new Belarus Embassy in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in Central Asia – the second coldest capital city in the world – was carried off with pomp and circumstance. The Penetron crystalline technology, applied comprehensively throughout the basement structures, will ensure durable concrete structures with much less fanfare.
Coming off the Expo 2017, an international exhibition on ‘future energy’ that was attended by millions of tourists, Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, continues to be the center of innovative architectural design, with a number of globally recognized architects – such as Norman Foster and Kisho Kurokawa – involved in the projects. The new embassy building for Belarus is only the latest milestone of the ongoing construction boom in Kazakhstan’s capital.
The new Belarus Embassy complex in Nur-Sultan consists of the embassy building, an administrative building and a residency. Penetron crystalline products were specified for the embassy’s extensive below-grade concrete structures.
Local Team Provided Key Support
“In addition to superior product performance, the project benefited from other advantages,” adds Pavel Salnikov, Director of Penetron-Kazakhstan. “First, we have an excellent local team that provided continuous technical support to the technical and construction teams, ensuring the client received the best service and results possible. Penetron’s local production facility is not far from the construction site, which streamlined the supply of all the required Penetron waterproofing materials.”
The local Penetron team in Kazakhstan worked closely with the project engineers and architects during the initial design and detailing stages of the embassy project. The next phase began once the Belarussian government officials in charge of the project specified Penetron as the preferred overall waterproofing solution. Faced with concrete structures that were embedded up to 4 m (13-feet) underground, PENETRON ADMIX was added to treat all below-grade concrete. PENEBAR SW waterstop strips were installed to permanently seal the construction joints, adding to the overall impermeability of the basement structures. To provide an extra measure of security and take care of any new cracks in the concrete, PENECRETE MORTAR and PENETRON were applied topically to ensure a completely durable embassy foundation.
Crystalline Formation Impervious to Extreme Climate
Easily mixed in during batching by the ready-mix supplier, the crystalline technology behind PENETRON ADMIX and the topical PENETRON products is unaffected by the often extreme climatic conditions in Nur-Sultan. The non-soluble crystalline formation that forms throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete permanently seal microcracks, pores and capillaries against the penetration of water or liquids from any direction, even under high hydrostatic pressure. As an added benefit, PENETRON ADMIX ensures the concrete is protected against deterioration caused by freeze-thaw cycles.
“Once the concrete cures, the admixture becomes an integral part of the concrete matrix,” says Pavel Salnikov. “The concrete becomes waterproof and will stay waterproof for the lifespan of the concrete structure.”