The Al-Falak building is a residential/commercial building in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. When investigating waterproofing options for the building's below grade slab, walls and water tank, the project team knew they needed a system that was cost-effective and low-maintenance. However, their search was made more complicated by a number of factors.
First, the area's soil contains extremely high levels of sulfates and chlorides, which can decrease the integrity of concrete and corrode steel reinforcements. This has a large, negative effect on the useful lifespan of concrete buildings in the region.
Second, the region's hot, dry climate can dramatically shorten concrete's setting time, resulting in weaker concrete and enhancing the likelihood of shrinkage and cracking.
Finally, because the Al-Falak building's underground water tank is designed to hold drinking water for building occupants, the chosen waterproofing method needed to be non-toxic and protect against the migration of contaminants from the soil around the tank.
All parties involved with the construction of the Al-Falak building agreed that Kryton's Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM) represented the best solution for this project because it provides superior waterproofing and corrosion protection at a highly affordable price.
KIM is an innovative concrete admixture that incorporates Krystol, Kryton's proprietary crystalline technology. When added to a concrete mixture, KIM cures to form crystals that fill the spaces between concrete particles, blocking water penetration from all directions. KIM reacts with incoming water to self-seal small concrete cracks, providing permanent leakage protection and eliminating maintenance and repair costs.
By blocking the penetration of water that can carry contaminants such as salt, chlorides and other chemicals, KIM safeguards steel reinforcements against corrosion. KIM is also certified non-toxic by NSF International, a widely respected third-party certification provider that develops standards for food, indoor air, the environment and water.
When used in hot climates, KIM helps to cool concrete and reduce premature moisture loss, creating a more durable structure and reducing shrinkage and cracking. Unlike external membrane systems that can become brittle and deteriorate in hot, dry conditions, KIM is unaffected by the desert climate and remains effective for the life of the structure.
830 cubic meters (2700 cubic feet) of KIM concrete were used in the Al-Falak building.