January 24, 2018
University Builds Science Center with PENETRON Technology
Inaugurated in January 2018, the new Spearman C. Godsey Science Center is both an eye-catching architectural statement and a modern scientific facility. PENETRON ADMIX was requested by the architect to help provide a reliable waterproofing solution.
The oldest private university in Georgia (USA), Mercer University has over 8,500 students enrolled in 12 colleges and schools. The new Spearman C. Godsey Science Center houses the university’s programs in chemistry, biology and neurosciences. Designed by Hussey Gay Bell, a prominent Savannah (GA) engineering and architecture firm, the building combines the historic architecture of the campus with the innovations of a modern 21st century Teaching and Research & Development science center.
Creating a Durable Concrete Structure
Constructed by Chris R. Sheridan Construction Company of Macon, GA, the four-story, 142,000-square-foot (13,200 m2) facility encompasses 60 teaching and research labs, classrooms, lecture halls and teachers’ offices. The Godsey Science Center is part of the “STEM quadrangle” in the center of the Mercer University campus that also incorporates the School of Medicine and School of Engineering facilities, and the Willet Science Center.
“This $44 million project was the largest single construction project in the University’s history,” adds Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “That made a reliable – and durable – solution for the concrete structures imperative.”
Architect Specifies Crystalline Waterproofing Solution
The architects at Hussey Gay Bell specified a crystalline waterproofing solution to ensure waterproof below-grade structures for the new Science Center. Argos USA, the ready-mix supplier, added PENETRON ADMIX SB (in soluble bags) to approximately 2,000 cubic yards (1,300 m3) of concrete used for the foundation slab and basement walls.
Water and waterborne contaminants penetrate concrete mainly through capillary absorption and hydrostatic pressure. The crystalline technology of PENETRON ADMIX makes concrete impermeable to any groundwater penetration by developing a network of crystals (see 1,000x SEM image) in the natural microscopic openings (pores and capillaries) found in concrete. The admixture remains an integral part of the concrete matrix; crystalline growth takes place throughout the concrete structure.
Long-Term Concrete Durability
“Overall, the PENETRON technology used in the concrete structures greatly improved the lifelong durability of the Godsey Science Center, which corresponds to the long-term outlook of the University and how they manage their assets,” explains Mr. Chen. “In addition, the treatment is completely non-toxic, which eliminates the use of VOC-containing or tar and rubber-based linings, contributing to a healthier campus environment.”