Atlantis, a $1.5-billion resort, is located at the center 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-square meter (42-acre) water-based theme park known as Aquaventure with an artificial marine habitat that includes 65,000 marine creatures, a snorkel trail, a dolphin encounter program, and the Ziggurat, which involves 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 included temperature-controlled seawater tanks for dolphins and a dolphin skimmer tank. The close proximity to the sea and saline water meant that there was a high chance of sulfate-laden groundwater contamination and therefore, potential damage to the steel reinforcement of the structure. Also, due to the resort’s open location in the ocean and proximity to the desert and changing temperatures, there was a strong likelihood of rising water levels from fluctuating tides, storms, and other natural calamities. The construction team was concerned that the rising water levels could compromise the integrity of the tanks, making it more difficult to keep the temperature-controlled water in while also keeping the sulfate-contaminated water out.
The construction team selected Kryton’s concrete waterproofing system to waterproof all four of the water storage tanks at Aquaventure. After all, 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.
With that in mind, the team applied Kryton’s waterproofing system (which includes Krystol T1 and Krystol T2 cementitious slurry treatments) to the entire interior surface area of the water tanks. That would protect the tanks from sulfates and other elements that could otherwise compromise their integrity. Membrane systems were also applied to the outside walls as outlined in the specifications.
Based on Kryton’s proprietary crystalline waterproofing technology, the slurry treatments turn concrete into a permanent, waterproof barrier. When added to concrete, they cause 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 construction team’s decision to use the Kryton’s concrete waterproofing system was its ease of application and that 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 the integrity of concrete and corrode steel reinforcements. Unlike membrane-based systems, Kryton’s 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. It also does not deteriorate when exposed to harmful UV rays, aggressive chemicals, and sulfate found in Dubai’s groundwater or prolonged heat. By blocking the penetration of water that can carry these contaminants, safeguarding concrete and reinforcements against corrosion, and providing waterproofing that can withstand UV rays and more, this system will prolong a concrete structure’s life.
The result? Kryton’s system significantly reduced the amount of membranes typically required at Palm Jumeirah and saved significant construction time and costs for the construction team.
In the end, the waterproofing at Palm Jumeirah was successfully completed in June 2007.