Atlantis, a $1.5-billion resort, is located at the centre of the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, off the coast of Dubai. The resort features two hotel towers linked by an arch and a 170,000 meter squared (42-acre) water-based theme park – Aquaventure – with an artificial marine habitat that includes 65,000 marine creatures, snorkel trail, dolphin encounter program and the Ziggurat – seven water slides, two of which wind through a lagoon full of sharks.
The extraordinary location of this project created significant concrete waterproofing challenges in the construction of four below-grade water storage tanks, which include temperature-controlled seawater tanks for dolphins and a dolphin skimmer tank. The close proximity to the sea and saline water means that there is a high chance of sulfate-laden ground water contamination and therefore potential damage to the steel reinforcement of the structure. Also, due to the resort’s open location in the ocean, proximity to the desert and changing temperatures, there is a strong likelihood of rising water levels from fluctuating tides, storms or other natural calamities. The team was concerned that the rising water levels could compromise the integrity of the tanks, not only keeping the temperature-controlled water in but keeping sulfate-contaminated water out.
The team selected Kryton International’s Krystol Concrete Waterproofing System to waterproof all four of the water storage tanks at Aquaventure. When it comes to preventing water damage and preserving the integrity of concrete structures, waterproofing is essential. In the case of concrete water tanks, however, reliable waterproofing is doubly critical. A leak in a water tank can be expensive and time-consuming to repair, especially in underground or partially buried tanks since below-grade cracks and leaks are often more difficult to detect and repair.
The Krystol surface applied system (which includes the Krystol T1 and Krystol T2 cementitious slurry treatments) was applied to the entire surface area inside of the water tanks to create a watertight tank protected from sulfates and other elements that could compromise the integrity of the structure. Membrane systems were also applied to the outside walls as outlined in the specifications.
Based on Kryton’s proprietary crystalline waterproofing technology, the Krystol system turns concrete into a permanent, waterproof barrier. When added or applied to concrete, Krystol causes millions of needle-like crystals to form, filling the spaces between concrete particles, blocking the penetration of water and corrosive elements and resisting hydrostatic pressure. Over time, incoming water causes additional crystals to form, self-sealing small concrete cracks.
Key factors in the Atlantis Construction Management Team’s decision to use the Krystol Concrete Waterproofing System were its ease of application. Also, the soil in hot or tropical climates found in Dubai, particularly along the coastline, contain high levels of sulfates, chlorides and other chemicals that decrease concrete’s integrity and corrode steel reinforcements. Unlike membrane-based systems the Krystol Concrete Waterproofing system becomes a permanent part of the concrete matrix it will not wear away and is impervious to surface damage making it extremely effective in such an environment. By blocking the penetration of water that can carry these contaminants and safeguarding concrete and reinforcements against corrosion, the Krystol Concrete Waterproofing System will prolong a structure’s life.
The result? Significantly reducing the amount of membranes typically required for such projects by using Krystol at Palm Jumeirah saved significant construction time and costs for the project team. Unlike external membranes, Krystol does not deteriorate when exposed to harmful UV rays, aggressive chemicals and sulfate found in Dubai’s groundwater or prolonged heat.
Waterproofing at Palm Jumeirah was successfully completed in June 2007.