Achieving Visual & Durable Concrete, through the use of Zemdrain® Controlled Permeability Formwork Liner on the V&A Project, Dundee.
As part of Dundee’s Waterfront £1 billion redevelopment, The Victoria & Albert Museum opted to construct a new iconic structure to display the brilliance of Scottish creativity. The structure will be at the forefront of Dundee’s transformation and, according to forecasts, the redevelopment will attract over 350,000 international visitors per year to East Scotland – firmly placing Dundee on the map!
Why build the V&A, Dundee?
This inspirational building has been designed to a high environmental specification and has a recognised measure of sustainability.
V&A – 'A living room for the city'
The V&A project is the 1st British building to be designed and built by the Japanese architectural practice. Kengo Kuma’s vision was to provide a welcoming space for visitors to enjoy and socialise, thus providing a way of reconnecting the city of Dundee to its historic River Tay Waterfront. Thanks to the architectural team, the extraordinary building is a testament to great design and innovation.
'Scottish Cliff Face' appearance
Every building defines its own place within its environment – and the V&A Museum is no exception. This massive three-story concrete structure, which boasts over 8,000m2 of floor area and 11,000m2 of external concrete façade, is to resemble a natural Scottish cliff face, with dark granite textures, crevices and overhangs. The structure consists of 21 separate external wall sections, with no straight external walls.
To achieve such characteristics, the architect developed a concrete specification, developed to mirror the local Scottish rock:
To complete the illusion of a Scottish cliff face, the majority of the concrete surface was later covered by precast rough stone cladding units, each panel weighing in excess of 3 tons, once completed.
Due to its close proximity to the Firth of Tay, and the threat of attack from sea water, chlorides and sulphates, the new concrete façade is exposed to:
These conditions posed initial concerns to the design team concerning the building’s design life.
Zemdrain® CPF liner, supplied by MAX FRANK, was used on this prestigious project for various reasons. The members of the design team discovered various benefits in its use – considering both concrete durability and aesthetics:
The Architect led the design team in creating a building which would represent Scotland. One of the top priorities was the concrete quality and colour; a dark pigmented colour, with a high quality, regular concrete surface finish, was specified.
The Engineer had been impressed by the concrete finish on the Queensferry Crossing (formerly known as the Forth Replacement Crossing) where Zemdrain® CPF liner was used to achieve a dark, consistent concrete finish. Arup suggested the use of Zemdrain® CPF liner to the Architect, for the V&A project.
The Main Contractor also appreciated the benefits of using Zemdrain® CPF liner from the Queensferry Crossing project. Owing to the additional durability benefits which Zemdrain® CPF liner offers to the concrete, BAM decided to use it on the entire site perimeter sea wall defences.
The Subcontractor had some concerns regarding the concrete finish, in relation to the architectural concrete specification. Many pre-contract trails, mimicking the complexity of the double-curvature formwork and heavy reinforcement congestion, were carried out. These caused most of the concreting issues with excessive honeycombing at the concrete surface. PJ Carey had observed the way in which Zemdrain® eliminated blowholes and honeycombing at the concrete surface on the Queensferry Crossing project.
Zemdrain® CPF liner enhances concrete durability by reducing surface porosity and sorptivity, increasing resistance to the concrete in aggressive environments – therefore increasing the life span of the structure and minimising any future maintenance costs through concrete repair solutions.
Zemdrain® is available in varying roll widths, suitable for different structural applications, such as bridges, tunnels and water tanks. MAX FRANK supply both re-usable and self-adhesive options.
The V&A scheme was ‘Highly Commended’ at The Concrete Society Awards 2017 - click here.