The Bosmans Club Residences in Stellenbosch, South Africa, welcomed its first residents in September 2023. The Penetron System, a comprehensive crystalline waterproofing system, was specified to protect the below-grade floors and parking decks from deterioration due to cracks and seepage of high groundwater levels at the construction site.
A town of about 22,000 inhabitants in Western Cape province, Stellenbosch is an all-in-one wine and food destination, lively university town, and historic regional hub. Thanks to its strategic position on the banks of the Eerste River, Stellenbosch was the second European settlement in South Africa – after Cape Town.
Stellenbosch’s Bosmans Crossing precinct, located just behind the renowned Oude Libertas Theatre, is emerging as one of Western Cape province’s most cosmopolitan and popular hubs.
The Bosmans Club on Distillery Road (close to central Stellenbosch) comprises 46 apartment units, available as studios, and 1-2-bedroom layouts. The ground floor offers retail shops, a coffee shop, laundromat, and yoga studio. In addition to a parking garage, the basement levels feature private storerooms, bicycle storage, and washing facility. There are also rooftop braai (BBQ) facilities with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified by the structural engineer to treat the concrete used for the basement floors and parking decks – to ensure permanent waterproofing protection. Lafarge was the ready-mix concrete supplier.
“The first portion of the parking deck was cast just before the Covid pandemic hit South Africa; the second portion was cast 14 months later. Differential shrinkage and restraint resulted in several cracks appearing,” explains Johan van Wyk (MICT), Technical Engineering Support for Penetron Africa. "All cracks 0.5mm and narrower self-healed and sealed as expected as a result of the active ingredients in PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete being catalyzed when exposed to water.”
PENETRON, a topically applied crystalline slurry, and PENECRETE MORTAR, a crystalline waterproofing repair grout, were used in combination to repair all cracks wider than 0.5 mm. These crack repairs were completed by Wetcor Cape, a Penetron-approved applicator, leaving the concrete decks permanently sealed.
“The Penetron System was specifically chosen to decrease the permeability of the concrete matrix and add crack self-healing capabilities to the concrete, which conventional waterproofing systems could not provide. Any future hairline cracks will self-heal and seal in the presence of moisture, increasing the durability and service life of the concrete structure while virtually eliminating waterproofing related maintenance,” adds Schalk Faber, Technical Engineering Support at Penetron Africa.