Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Architect/ Engineer: Arup
Main contractor: SPIE Matthew Hall Ltd
Waterproofing contractor: Cemplas Waterproofing & Concrete Repairs Ltd
Type of works: supply and installation of internal waterproofing, plant rooms and ventilation tunnels.

In preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games, the swimming pool in Crystal Palace National Sports Centre has been extended to 50m to meet Olympic standards. When it came to the internal waterproofing of the pool, plant rooms and ventilation tunnels, plus repairs to the diving boards, a repeat of the specification that has kept the pool watertight for over 50 years was the natural choice.

Having kept the original pool watertight for over 50 years, Sika 1 from global building products manufacturer Sika, assured it would safeguard the centre’s extension. A pre-bagged waterproofing system, it provides complete protection from water and vapour ingress.

The scheme is part of the complex’s major £67 million regeneration being undertaken by architect and engineer Arup and main contractor SPIE Matthew Hall. Work includes a new Regional Sports Centre and the complete refurbishment of the existing Grade II listed sports centre.

The Sika 1 pre-bagged waterproofing system was applied to the pool walls and floor and one end of the pool creating a permanently impregnable barrier. This is made possible thanks to the Sika 1 admixture - a colloidal silicate liquid. Mixed in with pre-bagged renders and screeds, Sika 1 reacts upon contact with water by swelling and blocking all gaps and capillaries. The use of Sika pre-bagged mortars ensures the correct grading of aggregate and cement is used in every batch. Not only does this help maintain the highest level of quality control on site, but it also reduces the risk of quality issues arising.

To complete the watertight solution, Sikadur® Combiflex® was applied to all construction joints and junctions where the swimming pool wall met the floor. Comprising a highly elastic sealing sheet – Combiflex® Hypalon Sheet – and Sikadur® epoxy resin, it is an easily installed system that sealed and protected all joints subject to movement.

As an experienced applicator of Sika Systems, Cemplas Waterproofing & Concrete Repairs Ltd, who are currently celebrating their 40th year anniversary, was ideally suited to the project. Once the swimming pool had been completed, the company followed on to halt water ingress in the plant rooms and vast ventilation tunnels – an issue that posed the threat of the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease. Here, Sika’s Cavity Drainage System was applied. Utilising a polypropylene internal drain membrane to cover the walls and floor, the system essentially forms a secondary wall within the structure. Ideal for structures that are too weak to utilise a waterproofing render product, the system allows water to still penetrate the structure, but not track past the membrane and into the building. Due to this flexibility, the building is still capable of movement. Once water reaches the membrane, it is directed into a cavity drainage channel and into a sump and, from here, water is discharged from the building. Using Sika Monotop Concrete repair system and Sika Ferrogard corrosion Inhibitor, Cemplas Waterproofing & Concrete Repairs also carried out repairs to the listed diving board.

“Cemplas has over 30 years experience of applying Sika waterproofing systems,” commented Paul Stacey, Business Development Manager of Cemplas Waterproofing & Concrete Repairs Ltd. “As an experienced specialist structural waterproofing contractor, having worked on many of London’s prestigious buildings, we are confident of the performance of the Sika product range. Our dedicated, well equipped workforce are all Sika trained and we were therefore ideally suited to undertake the works to the project.”

With both systems certified by the British Board of Agrément (BBA), Crystal Palace Sports Centre is guaranteed to be home and dry come 2012, with almost 2,500m2 of world-beating waterproofing in place.

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