a Watertight solution to North West Cambridge development

The Project

Aggregate Industries has supplied 3,000m3 of its innovative and highly-durable Watertight concrete mix to the North West Cambridge Development – the University of Cambridge’s ambitious £1bn scheme to create a new district of homes, shops and schools on the city’s outlying farmland.


The Background

Aimed at addressing the escalating housing shortage in Cambridge, which has seen many key workers priced out of the city, once complete the development will include 1,500 new affordable homes, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduates, a primary school, community centre, two parks and local shops.


The Problem

As part of the recently-completed first phase of development, known as The Eddington site, around 91 residential homes were built on top of an underground car park. To protect the car parks’ basement and ground floor slab from water ingress and potential damp, concrete frame specialists Tamdown, were on the hunt for a water resistant concrete solution.


The Solution

Cue Aggregate Industries’ Watertight, a versatile range of specialised ready-mixed concretes designed to protect structures from water ingress or to retain water within a structure.

Working to strict access times limited to between 9am to 4pm, the project involved concrete pours of up to 280m3 a day, twice a week. In total to date, the Aggregate Industries team have supplied 14,000m3 of concrete to the first phase of the project.

Core to this was the 3,000m3 of custom blend Watertight, made using the Masterlife WP799 BASF’s a high performance integral waterproofing system for wet cast concrete incorporating combined waterproofing and super plasticising components.

What’s more, the second tier of waterproofing saw the use of BASF’s ancillary products at the construction joints such as MasterSeal 910, hydro-swelling waterbars used to seal and leak-proof joints in concrete structures by swelling up to 200% on exposure to water.

Fully compliant with BS 8102 type B construction, the benefits of using this system were reduced water and air permeability, reduced water penetration and absorption as well as lower installation time and cost.

Simon Wycherley at Aggregate Industries, said: “As a ground-breaking model for affordable urban housing in the UK, the contractors working on the North West Cambridge Development Eddington were right to choose a tailored approach to concrete specification.

“With a host of high performance concrete blends at our disposal, including BASF admixtures, we were able to create bespoke Watertight concrete solutions with superior water-resistant properties, enhanced toughness and excellent workability that will no doubt last for years to come.”

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Project details

  • Commercial landscaping

  • University of Cambridge

  • Tamdown

    • 3,000m3 of custom blend Watertight
    • Fully compliant with BS 8102 type B construction

Watertight is a versatile range of specialised ready-mixed concretes designed to protect a structure from water ingress or to retain water within a structure. When compared to traditional methods of achieving watertight structures, Watertight offers contractors and specifiers the competitive edge in both cost and time savings.

“As one of the largest development projects in the region, the North West Cambridge Eddington site is set to provide much needed accommodation for local residents. As such, it was vital that the basements and ground floor slabs of the underground car park located below the new homes were built to be as robust and water resistant as possible in order to ensure that the building lasts the test of time. The team at Aggregate Industries didn’t disappoint with their customised Watertight solution and the seamless service you’d expect from a market leader; we look forward to working with the business again in the future.”

Mark Coe, Senior Project Engineer at Tamdown