It is well known that almost all construction practices have an immense impact on our environment. The rate of construction has increased significantly, especially in the past 20 years. We are using resources at a rate of 150% more than our planet can sustain. This means it now takes Earth one year and six months to regenerate the natural resources we use in a year, leaving us with a quickley diminishing pool of vital resources.
What is the solution? Should we decrease the speed of development? Or should we use this opportunity to take a closer look at how we can use our resources in a more sustainable manner?
Steel and concrete are the most popular material choices in modern architecture such as office buildings, public buildings, bridges, etc. The question is, which is greener and has less environmental impact? There are frequent debates to either side, depending on perspective. However, it is enough to mention that substantial research demonstrates that concrete can have less impact on the environment than steel, and on the other hand, in many applications such basements, dams, water tanks, or underground parking, using concrete is unavoidable. How we can reduce the negative impact of concrete structures?
To evaluate sustainable features of concrete or any material, many factors should be considered. The most critical factor is longevity. That is, will the structure last for the duration of its intended life, without the need for major repairs. During service life, the building should resist weathering action and chemical attack, while maintaining its desired, engineering properties. Such a structure remains sound and needs few repairs. Many steps need to be taken to address the causes of concrete deterioration, but one thing that is certain: in order to have a durable structure, permeation of water into the concrete should be reduced.
Water is concrete’s worst aggressor and is the cause of nearly all deterioration. To safeguard against this type of damage to concrete, reliable waterproofing is necessary. In fact, concrete waterproofing is the real-life solution that can extend the service life of structures by decades. However, many factors should be considered to select a concrete waterproofing system. Many concrete waterproofing products contain harmful chemicals, deteriorate over time, and/or require substantial site disturbance for installation. Additionally, many of these products make it difficult to recycle the concrete at the end of the structure’s life. To mitigate these concerns, more and more contractors are looking for a more reliable system.
Kryton’s Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM) is a crystalline concrete admixture that transforms concrete into a water-resistant barrier, shielding it from moisture and keeping the concrete strong and durable. At the presence of water, KIM reacts with un-hydrated cement particles to form millions of needle-like crystals. Over a period of weeks and months, these crystals grow, filling the naturally occurring pores and voids in concrete, and permanently blocking the pathways for water and waterborne contaminants. Unlike other system, KIM becomes more effective with time, to protect the concrete structure during its entire service life. It will not wear away, puncture, tear or become damaged. Because crystalline admixtures are integrated into the concrete mix, extra labor and the potential for human error is reduced and backfilling can begin as soon as the concrete hardens, saving time on the construction site. KIM, has been used in many LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified projects, such as Las Vegas’s CityCenter, and Vancouver’s Van Dusen Garden Visitor Center.
Here are just a few ways KIM and other Kryton concrete waterproofing products can help contribute to a better LEED rating:
SS Credit 5.1 Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat (2 points)
Kryton can help reduce site disturbance. Less excavation is required because Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM) waterproofing admixture is added directly to the concrete mix. No need to excavate to accommodate space for workers applying physical membranes.
SS Credit 7.2:
Heat Island Effect: Roof (1 point)
Kryton can waterproof roofing, adding to a building’s green roof.
Materials & Resources
MR Credit 2.1: Construction Waste Management (1 point)
While membrane coated concrete goes straight to the landfill, KIM concrete can be recycled post demolition, eliminating waste.
Indoor Environmental Quality
EQ Credit 4.2 Low-Emitting Materials: Paints & Coatings (1 point)
Krystol contains no volatile organic compounds, and does not affect air quality.
Innovation and Design Process
ID Credit 1.1-1.4 Innovation in Design (1 point)
KIM and Krystol concrete waterproofing products contribute to the overall durability and life expectancy of a building by stopping corrosion, increasing freeze/thaw durability, and protecting against chemical attack, carbonation and other detrimental effects. Implementing a reliable waterproofing solution is an important step on the way to creating durable concrete, and as a result, a more sustainable structure.
By Alireza Biparva, B.Sc. , M.A.Sc.
Concrete Specialist and Research & Development Manager at Kryton International Inc.
To contact a Kryton representative, please visit www.kryton.com
or phone +971.4.4436238