PENETRON Total Concrete Protection in the Vault at the University of Georgia

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The Special Collections Library at the University of Georgia in Athens houses priceless historical artifacts of the state of Georgia. The belowground structure was recently inaugurated, providing a cool and dry environment to best preserve history, thanks to PENETRON ADMIX.

Millions of documents and artifacts: 100-year old archived items must be maintained at 30% relative humidity for optimal preservation.

The use of PENETRON ADMIX in the vault structure of the Special Collections Library ensures that the history of Georgia will be preserved and protected for generations to come.

How do you keep history from crumbling away? At the Russell Building at the University of Georgia, a 117,000 square foot facility that features classrooms, auditoriums and exhibit areas, the Special Collections Library with over 50 miles of storage shelves has the answer.

The recently opened Special Collection Library is a below grade vault that houses great historical treasures, which include millions of handwritten manuscripts, century old newspapers and original video footage. The storage space was designed to protect these pieces of history from hurricanes, earthquakes and water damage and preserve them for future generations.

Consistent Climate to Resist Adverse Environmental Conditions
The 30,000-square-foot vault houses these important items in a Harvard Model (high density) storage system that integrates 30-foot high shelves to allow efficient cataloging and retrieval, all in a climate-controlled environment. The critical humidity and climate control system maintains the stored items near 50°F and at a consistent 30% relative humidity to provide optimal preservation of the paper and film media.

One of the challenges was to design a structure to withstand immense natural forces and any potentially harmful environmental conditions. This was accomplished by locating the Library below grade, creating a secure bunker-like structure for the vault and treating the concrete with PENETRON crystalline waterproofing technology (supplied by Cemex). PENETRON ADMIX was used in the reinforced concrete vault foundation and walls to reduce concrete permeability and ensure no groundwater could enter the structure.

Admix with Self-Healing Crystalline Properties
“The unique crystalline waterproofing technology of PENETRON ADMIX not only lowered the permeability of the concrete but also provides a self-healing capability for any cracks in the concrete when in contact with water,” adds Christopher Chen, Director of The PENETRON Group.

As a waterproofing admixture sufficiently stable to resist water under pressure as defined in the “Report on Chemical Admixtures for Concrete” published by the American Concrete Institute (ACI 212.3R-10 / January 2011), PENETRON ADMIX is a Permeability-Reducing Admixture for Hydrostatic conditions (PRAH). Its self-healing properties develop insoluble crystals in the pores, capillaries and cracks in the concrete matrix to block water from traveling through the concrete, even against a high head pressure of water.

“The use of PENETRON ADMIX in the vault structure of the Special Collections Library ensures the history of Georgia will be preserved and protected for generations to come,” concludes Chen.

The PENETRON Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs and floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives and distribution channels.

For more information on PENETRON waterproofing solutions, please visit our website at penetron(dot)com or our Facebook page, facebook(dot)com/ThePenetronGroup, email us at crdept(at)penetron(dot)com or contact our Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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