On the eastern side of Beirut, the 5-star Habtoor Grand Hotel Convention Center & Spa was constructed in 2001 and still stands as one of the most prestigious and successful hotels in Lebanon.
The Al Habtoor Group, owner and operator of hotels throughout the Middle East, has a very high standard of quality for specifications in all their developments. The appearance is always one the most important factors in their hospitality projects.
The external facade of the Habtoor Grand Hotel was designed to be rendered with a plaster giving a decorative marble-like appearance. A plaster that could achieve this marble look with proven and permanent results, including excellent adhesion to the walls, a crack-free surface, high compressive strength, and water resistance was required for the project. Since construction would occur over the hot Lebanese summer months, the plaster would also need to be easy to install in temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F).
While executing control mock-ups, the Arabian Construction Company (ACC) was faced with a few challenging problems. Since the ambient temperatures were high and a part of the concrete walls were fair faced, the plaster was susceptible to shrinkage and debonding. Preliminary mock-up samples were covered with cracks, and even when a bonding agent was used, debonding from the fair faced supports was observed. A variety of ready-mix mortars and mixes with different additives were trialed but the problems persisted.
ACC had dealt with the T.A. Group with success in previous projects, and decided to once again consult them for a solution on the Habtoor Grand Hotel. The T.A. Group proposed a traditional plaster modified with Kryton’s Krystol Mortar Admixture (KMA) along with synthetic fiber reinforcement.
KMA is a specially designed chemical admixture for cementitious mortar that contains Kryton’s unique Krystol technology.
A total of 1,250 kg (2,756 lbs.) of KMA was supplied by the T.A. Group for this project. Using KMA and the fiber reinforcement led to a crack-free, water resistant plaster with great adhesion. Providing just the solution the contractor was looking for.
Even years later, the decorative mortar rendering still looks great.
Krystol Mortar Admixture (KMA) is a hydrophilic crystalline admixture used to provide long-term protection of masonry mortars and concrete masonry units against water and waterborne contaminants by reducing permeability and absorption of the mortar.