Built in the 1670’s, the Ashmolean Museum part of Oxford University, is the world’s first university museum.
Famed architect Rick Mather designed the structure, including its 4000m2 basement. The £61 million project saw all but the original, Grade 1 listed elements of the structure demolished and replaced with a stylishly designed and fit for purpose new building. The redevelopment has doubled the gallery space of the museum and created dedicated conservation and education facilities.
The provision of materials had to fit in with tight site deadlines, to which Renlon and Sika demonstrated their ability to supply large specifications under pressure. The waterproofing was specified in accordance with BS8102.
The basement’s vast size meant the system required a total of 250 tonnes of Sika prebagged mortar, combined with 27,500 litres of Sika -1. Over the reinforced concrete structure, Renlon cast a layer of Sika -1 Spritz Mortar. This was followed by a second and third layer of Sika -1 Render and Finishing Mortar to the walls and equally a second and third layer of Sika -1 Screed Mortar to the floor, creating a three-layer system of protection.
To ensure no moisture penetrated the structure, Renlon applied an epoxy cementitious combination material, which acts as a surface mounted Damp Proof Membrane when used in combination with a 2 part bonding agent. This was essential to maintain the integrity of the artefects held in the basement.
The product also heavily reduced time on the project. Once applied on top of the mortar, it sped up drying times, allowing work to proceed ahead of schedule.