Media Release

Preserving Sydney’s Surf Living Saving Clubhouse with Penetron Concrete Waterproofing Technology


The major renovation and upgrade of the Tamarama Surf Living Saving Clubhouse on the Pacific Coast of Sydney, Australia, was ceremoniously inaugurated in April 2023. The concrete foundation structures of the new clubhouse were waterproofed with PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture.

Founded in 1906, the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club is located at Tamarama Beach on the South Pacific Ocean in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. It is one of the foundation clubs of Australia’s surf lifesaving movement and has maintained a record of ‘zero lives lost’ with its volunteer patrols since 1906.

“For more than 110 years, the Tamarama Club volunteers have provided beach surveillance, and completed thousands of rescues and first aid treatments,” explains Steve Hodkinson, General Manager of Penetron Australia. “Over the past three patrol seasons alone, Tamarama has carried out 183 rescues and thousands of preventative actions that kept beachgoers out of trouble – and treated everything from jellyfish stings to dislocations.”

The club’s iconic clubhouse operates as a hub for the club’s surf lifesaving operations and as a venue for many community activities. However, with the passing of time, the building visibly deteriorated and no longer met the needs of its members. After demolition of the old building (without affecting the iconic façade), the $4.56 million upgrade began.

Because the construction site on Tamarama Beach faces the Pacific Ocean, Holcim Australia, the project’s ready-mix concrete supplier, realized this project needed particularly robust protection from the marine environment and the high groundwater levels (and subsequent high hydrostatic pressure). Penetron Australia was asked to provide a durable concrete waterproofing solution.

PENETRON ADMIX was specified for the foundation slab and retaining walls of the new clubhouse. Concrete treated with PENETRON ADMIX is impermeable to the corrosive chloride ions – and potential deterioration – prevalent in seawater. This protection against corrosion substantially extends the service life of reinforced concrete structures and protects them from the destructive effects of the marine environment.

Once added to the concrete mix, the proprietary chemicals in PENETRON ADMIX initiates a catalytic reaction with moisture to generate a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. This formation permanently seals micro-cracks, pores, and capillaries against the penetration of water or liquids from any direction. Further, the concrete acquires a self-healing capability for hairline cracks up to 0.5mm (1/51”) in size for the lifetime of the concrete – providing a waterproof and durable solution for the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club.

Completion of the construction project this year, despite numerous rain delays, now ensures the continued operation of the historic clubhouse. The new facility will help Tamarama SLSC increase membership, improve surveillance of the beach, add areas for training – and continue to support the community with lifesaving patrols, safety awareness programs, and provide a venue for local activities such as classes for Zumba, yoga, and martial arts.

“PENETRON ADMIX has been used successfully in numerous seaside projects across Australia,” adds Steve Hodkinson. “Our crystalline admixture provides impermeable concrete and helps reduce high maintenance and repair costs.”

The new clubhouse of the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club is impermeable to the corrosive chloride ions – and potential deterioration of concrete – prevalent in seawater.

Zero lives lost since 1906: The new clubhouse of the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club is impermeable to the corrosive chloride ions – and potential deterioration of concrete – prevalent in seawater.

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