PENETRON Helps Set Up Petronas R&D Center in Italy

A better idea: The contractor found a superior waterproofing solution to the originally specified membrane; PENETRON ADMIX was used for the foundation slab, retaining walls and underground walls.

Ultimately, the PENETRON team was able to save the builder time and keep to the construction schedule. Downstairs, everything is dry and solid, just as specified!

Set to open in December 2017, the new Petronas Lubricants Global Research Center in Santena, Italy, is built on a waterproof below-grade concrete structure that features PENETRON crystalline technology to provide integral protection from high groundwater levels.

With the completion of the new 17,000 m2 global R&D Center in Santena, Petronas Lubricants International (PLI), the global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm of Petronas, now has a global hub linking the company’s technological innovation efforts in Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America.

As with this Santena project, water table conditions at construction sites – percolating water and hydrostatic pressure – can often pose unexpected challenges for the builder already dealing with scheduling and budgetary issues. Conventional membrane solutions, a widespread technology to keep concrete structures dry, demand lengthy and complex installation procedures involving more crack inducers for waterproofing injections, with many cold joints and post injections carried out by trained specialists.

“Membranes are more established and better known than crystalline waterproofing technology,” explains Enricomaria Gastaldo Brac, Director of PENETRON Italy. “However, when Gilardi General Contracting, the project contractor at Santena, asked PENETRON Italy to come up with a better idea for their new facility, we had the ideal solution: an integral waterproofing admixture added to the concrete with self-healing capabilities.”

Technically, the main challenge for Gilardi General Contracting was to ensure that the testing areas and laboratories – with delicate equipment and fuels running under stringent test conditions at all hours of the day – remain in an absolutely stable (i.e. dry) environment. Because the local ground water level posed a potential threat to…

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