LOCAL construction materials supplier BUE Enterprise is pushing contractors and developers to use a crystalline concrete waterproofing technology for better protection of buildings and infrastructure.
The Krystol waterproofing technology was first introduced into Brunei last year and BUE Enterprise has used it for “several new private houses and apartment projects”, according to its general manager.
“In addition, engineers of the Sungai Akar treatment plants were looking for a system which is resistant to ammonia or sulphate,” said Chris Yong, general manager of BUE Enterprise.
Other projects that have already started utilising the Krystol technology includes the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK), amongst others.
“The Masjid Mukim Kilanas designer wanted a peaceful hassle-free environment for the life of the mosque, and the designers for the police shooting club wanted a bulletproof waterproofing solution,” he said. The Seria Crude Oil Terminal is also using the Krystol technology, said the general manager, due to the product’s high HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) credentials.
Comparing Krystol with other products in the market, Yong said “most are ‘pore blockers’ which do not self-deal, and some contains stearates and sodium silicates which lack independent test data and technical support.”
“Whereas Krystol is the only permanent waterproofing system on the market, and guarantees to ‘self-heal’ cracks up to 0.6mm,” he said.
Yong added that the system has also solved some of the toughest local leakage problems with the least amount of time and call backs.
“The maintenance staff at The Mall called us to provide a solution for their leaking basement, and we took on the challenge where others had failed, and after initial trial repair works, two months later we were awarded the repair works for the entire two-level basement,” he said.
One tip that Yong explained to customers when looking for a proper waterproofing system is to investigate exactly how each one works and acquire examples of proven projects where it has been used successfully.
“Additionally, you have to understand the maintenance or replacement requirements for each system,” said Yong.
In a press release issued by BUE Enterprise, it stated that Krystol technology has been used globally for more than 35 years, and is considered the only ‘Green Solution’ on the market with a 25-year warranty.
“Greener solutions to infrastructure and building design are part of our contribution towards being a responsible society,” said Yong.
Asked about why Yong sees the potential in concrete technology, Yong said that concrete is a material that is widely used as a major construction material, which is low cost, versatile, and has unique engineering properties. “The availability of the constituent materials makes its utilisation more attractive than other construction materials,” he said. Yong added that the key advantage to the use of concrete is that it can be molded or formed into “virtually any shape”, when newly mixed, and is strong and durable when hardened.
“These qualities explain why Brunei architects and engineers, chose concrete to build dams, high-rise buildings, storm drains, bridges and homes.
“Concrete is like a sponge and when viewed under a microscope with voids and capillaries, which is why when subject to hydrostatic pressure moisture will appear on the other side of the solid mass,” said Yong.
He also said that when a concrete structure is reinforced with steel which is subjected to “constant hydrostatic pressure”, for example, basements, bridge foundations or swimming pools, without water proofing protection, the steel reinforcement will deteriorate rapidly causing cracks and structural failure.
“Although structures made of concrete can, and usually do, have a long service life, but it is widely believed that waterproofing systems available in the market now are only a finite five to 15 year solution which will still require repair, or total replacement throughout the life of the structure,” said Yong.
He added that BUE Enterprise is now being approached by many home and building owners who are faced with failed waterproofing systems.
“Existing waterproofing systems have been developed to protect concrete and its steel reinforcement from corroding under harsh conditions,” said Yong, who added that examples of existing systems available in the market include bituminous membrane sheet, bentonite sheet, PVC sheet, fluid applied system and hydrophobic admixture.
“Although these systems have been used around the world for many years, some of the drawbacks these systems have in common are difficulties in installation, membrane joint failure, requires additional protection from puncture due to UV radiation damage, and is costly to repair and environmentally unfriendly,” he said.
Asked about other benefits of using the crystalline concrete technology, Yong said: “Imagine a permanent concrete waterproofing solution which can self-heal cracks, similar to how our blood system heals our cuts; that is Krystol technology”.
The Brunei Times
By Debbie Too & Bandar Seri Begawan