Southwark, United Kingdom

The £14m Canada Water Library, recently opened by Southwark Council on the edge of the Canada Water Basin, has a basement constructed using the Sika® Watertight Concrete System.

Canada Water Library is designed by Piers Gough of CZWG Architects, and is part of a larger scheme to regenerate the area around the Canada Basin. The inverted pyramid shape of the library was the solution to building a large library on a site with a footprint of limited size.

The actual library houses 40,000 books, CDs and films, with other areas within the building housing a café, learning facilities and theatre space. The building has excellent green credentials, which include a ground source heat pump and grey water harvesting.

Project Requirements

The basement, which houses various items of plant and water tanks, needed to be protected from water ingress from both a high-water table and its position close to the water’s edge.

Sika Solutions

London Concrete supplied 400m3 of watertight concrete to the project. The Sika® Watertight Concrete System is BBA certified and has a successful track record going back over 50 years, keeping water both in and out of structures, depending on the requirement.

It incorporates two powerful, state-of-the-art Sika admixtures that work together within the concrete mix, firstly, by reducing the water cement ratio and secondly by blocking the remaining capillary pores. This produces an extremely effective watertight concrete solution that guarantees the future integrity of the building basement.

Within the system, construction joints were sealed with the SikaSwell® jointing system, which consists of joint sealing profiles that expand on contact with water to seal any voids between adjoining concrete slabs.