The December 2023 opening of the Edificio de Oficinas La Concepción office tower in Santiago, Chile, brought a world-class office campus to the growing Providencia district of the capital. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified as the concrete waterproofing solution to protect the below-grade foundation structures from high groundwater levels.
Situated in the northeast of Santiago de Chile, Providencia contains many high-rise apartment buildings and a significant portion of Santiago's commerce. Notable for its legacy of historic and stately buildings, it is also home to many embassies. The district’s newest office building, the Edificio de Oficinas La Concepción, was designed by Alemparte Barreda Wedeles y Besançon Arquitectos y Asociados (ABWB). The 14-floor mixed-use tower offers 15,000 m2 of A-level office space and retail areas (including a winery), and a four-level below-grade parking garage.
“The project specs for Edificio de Oficinas La Concepción specified “the use of PENETRON ADMIX or similar” as a concrete waterproofing solution for the below-grade reinforced concrete structures,” says Domingo Lema, Managing Director of Penetron Chile. “Penetron Chile contacted the project architects to show how the Penetron product performed in similar projects throughout the country.”
After an evaluation by the architectural team, PENETRON ADMIX was specified ahead of competitive products. Concretes Transex, the ready-mix concrete supplier, provided PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete to protect the concrete foundation slabs and perimeter walls from the high groundwater encountered at the construction site.
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 of the embedded reinforcing steel.
“Ultimately, our more economical solution, proven permeability reduction, and self-healing of hairline cracks over the service life of the concrete won the La Concepción job for Penetron,” says Domingo Lema.