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PUDLO Speeds Progress & Simplifies Health & Safety In Basement Waterproofing Of University Building

PUDLO has been used to waterproof basement concrete in the construction of the new Academic Building at Newcastle University.

Faulkner Brown has designed the building as part of a £50M ‘INTO’ centre providing overseas student teaching and accommodation within the University’s King’s Campus in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

McGee Construction was awarded the nine-month, £4.6M subcontract concrete works by main contractor, Balfour Beatty Construction Northern Limited. As an alternative to the sheet membrane waterproof system originally specified, McGee proposed the use of PUDLO to provide integral, membrane-free waterproofing of the basement slab and walls.

“The key reasons for using Pudlo were safety and programme savings,” said Conor Hanlon, McGee’s project manager. “It removed the requirement to install a sheet system, resulting in a single concreting operation which saved time. This process eliminated operatives working in confined conditions, reducing health and safety issues.”

As well as 20 years guaranteed waterproofing of the completed concrete structures, PUDLO has improved dimensional stability and durability, and significantly increased the strength. In addition, it reduces water absorption, permeability, drying shrinkage, cracking and improves chloride resistance by 100%.

McGee’s site team was also impressed with PUDLO’s technical service. “A PUDLO inspector attended both the preparation phase, concrete pours and post-pour curing operations to make sure they were carried out in line with their on-site quality system,“ said Conor Hanlon. “They also offered us technical assistance when details needed reworking to suit in-situ conditions,” he added.

The Academic Building is a concrete framed building arranged over five floors, incorporating a structural steel frame to support a standing seam brass roof. It has a reinforced concrete basement constructed in contiguous piles.

The design features a dramatic atrium spanning the building’s length and a bold stone-glass façade revealing the open-plan ground floor at street level. The envelope cladding consists of sandstone panels, rain screen, structural glazing, curtain walling and traditional brick work.

It will provide circa 3,000m2 of teaching and recreational space for around 700 students, including a cafe, specially designed language and science labs, a lecture theatre, and offices for administration and teaching staff.

Due to open summer 2012, Newcastle is INTO’s biggest student centre yet, and will also include two new halls of residence. Altogether, the development will comprise 11,500 m2 of new build together with 3,000m2 of refurbished student living accommodation in 537 units.

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