The December 2023 grand opening of the Muruj Green City complex in the Smouha district of Alexandria, Egypt, marks the emergence of a wholly new neighborhood in Egypt’s second largest city. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified by the ready-mix concrete suppliers who supplied the gargantuan project to ensure durable concrete structures.
The major Mediterranean port city of Egypt, Alexandria, was founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great and rapidly became a major center of Hellenic civilization and Egypt's capital. Today, Alexandria is a popular tourist destination and an important industrial center thanks to the natural gas and oil pipeline network from Suez. With over 5.5 million inhabitants, it is the largest city on the Mediterranean, the second largest in Egypt (after Cairo), and the fourth-largest city in the Arab world.
Located between the Mediterranean Sea and Airport Farm Lake, the Smouha district is adjacent to downtown Alexandria and one of the city’s newest neighborhoods. Characterized by wide roads and many parks and green spaces, it is also close to Nozha International Airport.
The Muruj Green City complex in Smouha is an expansive, multi-use complex that comprises not only 12,000 residential units (apartments, townhouses, and villas) housed in 45 (!) 14-floor buildings, but also office and commercial buildings, numerous schools, a hospital, sports facilities, and landscaped parks. It is currently one of the Egyptian government's largest construction projects.
“The dimensions of this upscale development are enormous,” adds Kadem A. Elbarghathi, Managing Director & Partner of Penetron North Africa. “Once completed, the complex will offer over 2.1 million m2 of residential apartments, 160,000 m2 of commercial space, around 220,000 m2 of townhouses and villas, a 107,000 m2 hotel, a 19,000 m2 mosque – the list goes on and on!”
Due to the very high groundwater levels and proximity to the Mediterranean Ocean at the Smouha construction site, virtually all the contractors (MWA, El-Masrya, El-Baron, El-Ryad, etc.) involved in the construction of the Muruj Green City project needed a durable concrete waterproofing solution for the below-grade concrete structures. Penetron worked closely with the ready-mix concrete suppliers – Concreto Station, El Fouad Station, and Team Mix Station – to come up with an optimal concrete mix.
“PENETRON ADMIX was specified by every one of the ready-mix concrete suppliers because of the admixture’s comprehensive protection against concrete deterioration – and a comparably low cost,” says Ahmed Nada, General Manager of Penetron Egypt.
Once mixed into the concrete mix, the proprietary chemicals in PENETRON ADMIX react in a catalytic reaction to generate a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. These crystals permanently seal micro-cracks, pores, and capillaries against the penetration of water or liquids from any direction – making the concrete impermeable.
“Used for the foundation slabs and the below-grade retaining walls of the Muruj Green City buildings, PENETRON ADMIX provides permanent protection for concrete constantly exposed to the marine environment and hydrostatic pressure encountered in Smouha,” says Ahmed Nada. “Our crystalline waterproofing admixture also provides an added self-healing capability that automatically self-heals and seals any hairline cracks that appear during the lifespan of the concrete, reducing the need for maintenance in the future.”