SMR Projects are proud to have provided Xypex waterproofing for The Sill Discovery Centre in Hexham.

The prestigious building is a world-class visitor destination in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Northumberland National Park, the site comprises learning and event spaces, as well a gallery with an exhibition programme. Additionally there is also a local food café, youth hostel, rural business hub, and a shop specialising in local crafts and produce.


The waterproofing challenge

A waterproofing solution was required for multiple areas within the site. This included the lift pits, the youth hostel retaining wall, as well as the basement slab and walls of the visitor centre shop. Protection was also required for the suspended roof slabs. These were stepped over three levels across the entire building.


An efficient waterproofing solution

Xypex provided a cost-effective solution that simplified the construction process. Furthermore, it ensured that administering the waterproofing did not delay other areas of the construction project.

SMR Projects delivered a waterproofing solution that included Xypex Admix and Concentrate. Admix was used in the retaining wall to the youth hostel, lift pits and in situ basement walls. These needed to be placed prior to the basement slab. Admix was also used in the suspended roof decks. These were a combination of in situ concrete and 150mm thick Xypex concrete on top of suspended steel decking.


Products specified

The following products were specified for The Sill Discovery Centre:

Xypex Admix C Series – used in the retaining wall, lift pits, basement slab, basement walls, in situ suspended roof slab and 150mm structural topping on suspended steel decking.

Xypex Concentrate – used in all joints.

Hydroswell Bentostrip and Hydroswell Sealant – either used individually or combined in all joints.


The results

Xypex technology means the product remains potentially permanently active for the life of the structure. This allowed all 1,060m3 of concrete, including the suspended decks, to be designed to a 0.3mm crack width. Additionally, it could still be covered under the required 25-year warranty.

Using Xypex also ensured that the waterproofing caused no additional delays to The Sill Discovery Centre construction programme. This was despite poor weather conditions within the rural locality.