Preprufe® Meets the Waterproofing Challenge at Four Mumbai Developments

When building in areas with high groundwater levels, it is absolutely vital to get the right waterproofing system in place from the start. Prevention is always better than cure, as an inadequate waterproofing system or one that fails can have disastrous consequences – from structural damage to health dangers and costly repairs.

As more structures are now built near to the coast or in direct contact with sea water, the risks are greater than ever. To protect these vulnerable buildings from aggressive soil conditions and the corrosive effects of sea water, a waterproofing membrane is required that has been specifically designed to withstand the most demanding environments.

For over half a century, Grace Construction Products has provided leading solutions to many challenging waterproofing projects. In Mumbai – a city built on reclaimed land that was once an archipelago of seven islands – a number of projects have turned to Grace's Preprufe® waterproofing membrane to deliver outstanding watertightness, enhanced structural performance and proven longevity.

Preventing water passage in India.

India's financial capital and most populous city is currently undergoing a huge construction boom. More than 15 'supertalls' (buildings with a structural height of 300m and more), hundreds of skyscrapers and thousands of high-rises are being built. One specific site to the south of the city, Worli, has recently become a major investment and redevelopment hub.

An affluent district bound by the Arabian Sea to the west, Worli has a deep natural harbour. In a country that has the lowest ratio of open space to people anywhere in the world, the Worli district is particularly susceptible to high groundwater levels – producing a series of design and specification challenges for below ground waterproofing.

Four projects under construction in this prime redevelopment area are Oberoi Oasis Tower, Omkar Worli Project Tower, Century IT Park and the Indiabulls Blu residential complex. Totalling more than 250 floors and over 1000 metres in height, these sites share a common theme – deep foundations, high water tables and aggressive ground conditions.

At these major projects, a high performance waterproofing membrane is an absolute prerequisite. To meet the challenging ground conditions and deliver watertightness strong enough to sustain an inevitable rise in water levels, caused by the tropical climate and a huge increase in the city's impervious surfaces, Grace offered the most 'fit for purpose' solution.

Four projects, one solution

Overlooking the Arabian Ocean, the Oberoi Tower required the specification and installation of approximately 14,400m² of Preprufe® to protect the foundations of a new 230 metre tall luxury hotel, residence and high-end commercial office space. Facing confined retaining walls as well as the notoriously high groundwater tables, Preprufe® provided the most suitable waterproofing protection.

Another new development set to redefine the Mumbai skyline are three 'supertall' towers currently being built by Omkar Realty. The project, which also marks the first entry into the Indian residential sector for architects Foster + Partners, presented identical challenges and waterproofing difficulties to those at the Oberoi hotel. Here, over 15,000m² of Preprufe® was chosen to ensure fully bonded waterproofing, zero water tracking and proven concrete protection.

At Indiabulls Blu, two 60 floor residential towers that reach a height of 252 metres will form part of the larger One Indiabulls Worli development. With the Arabian Sea just metres away, the high ground water table was again a key challenge on site, for which 3,500m² of Preprufe will protect the building’s foundations, isolated footings and stitched raft.

Set for completion in 2015, Century IT Park will be the city's tallest commercial building at 300 metres in height when finished. Developed by the Shapoorji Pallonji group for Century Mills, the project required driven piles to support its deep foundations. Faced with Mumbai's aggressive ground conditions and high water table, as well as the extensive pile penetrations – Preprufe® once again met the challenge.

Preprufe® – the name you can trust

Designed with synthetic adhesive layers, Grace's patented Advanced Bond Technology™ enables concrete to aggressively adhere to Preprufe®, forming a unique intimate seal which prevents any water migration between the waterproofing and the structure, substantially reducing the risk of leaks.

No other system on the market protects a substructure from the harmful effects of water, vapour and gas better than Preprufe®. It can also be applied on wet substrates and is immediately trafficable after application, which makes for fast and easy installation.

The Preprufe® membrane utilises an advanced acrylic surface coating, specially developed by Grace, and simplifies the installation process by removing multiple layers and complicated detailing. Protective layers of concrete or boards are eliminated, reducing the depth of excavation and spoil, whilst the number of materials to be sourced are minimised, all accelerating the critical path of the programme to ensure the project was delivered on time.

For more than 30 years, Grace has developed innovative technologies and time-tested products to provide waterproofing solutions for virtually all above-ground and below-ground applications. The success of high-profile construction projects where Preprufe® continues to be specified perfectly demonstrates the importance of a waterproofing membrane that is fit for purpose, economically and environmentally sustainable and delivers performance like no other system on the market.

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Grace Construction Products is a leading global provider of construction chemicals and building materials that are used to enhance the durability, strength and appearance of structures. Products include concrete admixtures, fibers, surface treatments and liquid pigments, additives for cement processing and masonry products, waterproofing, air and vapor barriers and fire protection. More information about Grace Construction Products is available at

Kelly Slociak

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