Hycrete Technologies, LLC Hydrophobic Concrete Additive
Back in October of 2005 we posted about the first products to receive Cradle to Cradle certification through McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). One of them was "Hycrete", a form of concrete made intrinsically waterproof (hydrophobic really) by use of an additive offered by a New Jersey-based firm Hycrete Technologies, LLC. Hycrete Technologies "...manufactures Hycrete Admixture, a hydrophobic concrete admixture product developed in response to industry demand for a low-concentration, environmentally friendly additive. The admixture blocks penetration of water by forming a nonsoluble precipitate that fills concrete pores and attaches itself to polar particles, thus sealing internal voids". Importance of Hycrete Admixture to the "green building" market is discussed below.
From the Hycrete press release we are informed that: "... According to William McDonough, founding partner of McDonough & Partners and a leader in the sustainable development and green office movements, "The need for external membrane and coating systems is eliminated [with Hycrete]. Any time a process in construction can be avoided, more is accomplished with less, and savings through time and material are realized.""
Additionally, use of Hycrete can reduce the need for hydrocarbon-based waterproofing sprays, foundation seal membranes, or roof-covering membranes. The latter would be particularly important on "living roof" projects where the presence of potted plants holds moisture in contact with roof materials and where maintenance access under the plantings is difficult. Elimination of the entire membrane-application step can help keep a project on schedule even with rain and snow.