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DATE November 29, 2021
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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

The stage is being set and safety features are being put in place. All the necessary structures are being erected and buildings being built in preparation for some 500 million people around the world to tune in and tens of thousands to line the Jeddah race circuit for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

As the inaugural Saudi Formula 1 course is a street circuit, meaning it is run on existing streets, many of the facilities erected are temporary, but many new buildings in the Al-Shati corniche area are being built and facilities such as the Yacht Club expanded to serve the F1 officials, drivers and crews as well as the fans and world’s media.

Even though some structures are temporary and will be taken down after the race, they are still required to meet stringent Saudi building code and safety standards. Those that are being permanently built or expanded not only have to meet those standards, they have to be constructed to withstand the harsh conditions of a beach environment.

What makes the beach such a harsh, corrosive environment?

Saudi Arabia is known to have extremely harsh weather conditions, but all of nature’s elements are on display along the shoreline. Above ground, the sun intensely beats down drying out and weathering everything, and the wind almost constantly blows carrying sand, salt and other minerals from the seawater that “sandblast” any and all exposed surfaces.

Below ground, the steady encroachment of seawater and the salts and minerals it contains seek any flaws or weaknesses in the critically important foundations and other buried components of any structure it comes in contact with. Once it finds an opening, structural deterioration rapidly begins.

For a building or structure to sustainably withstand this constant assault, builders must use the best quality materials and adhere to the highest construction standards to ensure long-term structural integrity and sustainability.

As far as waterproofing goes, no material has proven better at providing protection than the market leading waterproofing membranes developed by U.S.-based Grace Construction Products Applied Technologies (GCP) and available exclusively in Saudi Arabia at Arkaz, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alturki Holding.

“We have been providing the Saudi construction industry with GCP membranes for more than a decade,” said Dr. Frank Noehmer, Managing Director, Arkaz. “They have been used on numerous high-profile structures across the country and have proven time and again to provide protection that is second to none.”

What makes Preprufe membranes so strong and cost effective?

A combination of factors makes the Preprufe series of membranes so durable. To withstand harsh conditions, material must be of the highest quality. Preprufe High Density Polypropylene (HDPE) is pure, high-quality polyethylene with no additives that might weaken its molecular structure. In addition, Preprufe fully bonds to structural concrete protecting it from water migration and ingress, even when ground settlement occurs. Moreover, GCP’s patented ZipLap bond ensures a continuous seal, durability and resistance to groundwater, even when the water is contaminated with chlorides and sulfides.

Quality rarely comes cheap, and Preprufe is no exception; however, the added cost of the unparalleled protection it provides is recouped not only over the course of the building or structure’s service life, but also during construction.

Preprufe membranes are easy to install and eliminate the need for an additional protective layer because the membrane fully bonds to the structural concrete. Moreover, there is no curing time. Immediately after Preprufe is installed, work can proceed.

For more information on the Preprufe waterproofing membrane systems available at Arkaz, contact our team at Info@arkaz.com.

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