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The Shard, London


The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, is the latest in a long line of prestigious London landmark projects to be protected by Alumasc’s Hydrotech hot melt waterproofing system.

This iconic building joins well-known developments such as Canary Wharf, Bishopsgate and Tate Modern where Hydrotech has been successfully used, signifying new heights for the market leading structural waterproofing system.

A total of 3500 metres of Hydrotech has been installed across various levels of the 310m (1,016ft) landmark building, whose glass façade now dominates the London skyline. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the building comprises offices, restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel and residential apartments.

Hydrotech was specified by affiliate architects, Adamson Associates following its effective use on projects such as Canary Wharf. Its high performance and flexibility of installation, made it suitable for use on several areas where alternative products were not an option. Despite a number of challenges posed by weather, intricate design details and the unique logistics presented by a building spanning more than 1000 feet, Hydrotech helped achieve a highly successful installation.

The system has been installed on the ground floor podium, level 17 plant area, under the green roof on level 20, the building maintenance units at level 29 and the viewing level 72 – which is London’s highest public viewing gallery, offering 360° views. Alumasc’s Derbigum flat roof membrane was also installed on level 75.

Joining the podium waterproofing to other systems presented a particular challenge, as did the junctions where the waterproofing meets the glazing. On the viewing area, the waterproofing had to incorporate numerous major pitch pockets to accommodate the steel frame which is designed to compensate for the movement of building from this level and above.

Alumasc, the installers and contractors worked closely together to achieve a successful outcome despite the difficulties. Paul Read of Alumasc comments: “The working relationships on site were a key factor in the success of this installation – everyone was reactive and focused on problem solving. The installers coped admirably with the constant need to stop and start work, while other trades were working to a very tight schedule. Despite the adverse conditions, all work was carried out to a high standard.”

The Hydrotech hot melt system provides seamless waterproofing ideal for podiums and highly detailed waterproofing projects. It is manufactured using 10% post-consumer recycled material, is BBA accredited and has European Technical Approval ETA-05/0152. Hydrotech is designed to last for lifetime of the structure and is available with a choice of warranties.