SOCHI, Russia – From seaport to alpine ski-lift, PENETRON technology stands behind much of the new infrastructure built for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The PENETRON crystalline waterproofing technology was an optimal solution for the adverse climate and geological conditions.

Russia has spared no expense to make the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi – which runs from February 7th to 23rd – a success. Before 3,000 athletes from over 80 countries start to show up, both organizers and volunteers were still working feverishly this week to put the finishing touches on the town and the Olympic Village, located to the north.

Robert Revera, CEO & President of PENETRON, has been closely following the progress. “Through PENETRON Russia, we’ve been working on key infrastructure projects in Sochi over the past four years. It’s a unique location, where you have a saltwater harbor on one end of town and an Alpine village with complete skiing and winter sports facilities at the other end. Both locations had projects that benefitted from PENETRON crystalline waterproofing technology.”

Ships Ahoy!
Starting at sea level, Sochi added a modern harbor on the Black Sea in time for the Olympics with numerous berthing facilities. The PENETRON system was used to treat the concrete wharfs and harbor facilities across Greater Sochi, including the Adler, Matseste and Lazarevskoye harbors.

In the center of town, a new and expanded railway station was built that now features generous passenger areas, retail shops, restaurants and connected office space. This new facility, with all concrete structures treated with PENETRON products, will accommodate up to 20,000 passengers per hour during the Olympic events.

Water & power systems
Less visible but just as important, the most modern wastewater treatment facility on the Black Sea coast opened recently in Adler. To ensure integral and comprehensive waterproofing, PENETRON ADMIX was used for the aeration and settling tanks and related concrete structures.

Providing a modern power grid was a top priority before any construction began in Sochi. The upgrades to the existing plants and construction of new power plants – both with PENETRON technology – included the showcase SS Poselkovaya plant in the Mzymta River Valley. This new energy hub provides power to the Krasnaya Polyana area, a mountainous region around Sochi with many villages, including the Olympic facility.

Sports and more sports
Closer to the Olympic Village, the Bolshoy Ice Palace is a point of pride for local residents and is an International Ice Hockey Federation-approved facility. The most significant (but certainly not only) adjacent sports areas treated with PENETRON technology include:

  • Russia’s first cross country skiing and biathlon complex (with two stadiums)
  • “Russian Hills” Alpine skiing facilities, approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for both winter and summer events (with concrete water storage tanks for snow-making)

To get the fans to the Olympic events, PENETRON was used to treat the numerous retaining walls that were built for the "Serpentine," the connector between the main highway and the Olympic Village complex. Once at the village, a multi-level parking garage with an accessible roof also profited from the PENETRON system.

The geological challenge
Today, the Olympic venues look pristine and perfect. However, the start of construction brought a rude surprise to the Olympic Organizing Committee: the “Russian Hills” facility is located on a geological fault system where the bedrock needed for stable construction lies at a considerable depth and the surface is mostly unstable sand.

Igor Chernogolov, President of PENETRON Russia, points out that “the Russian Hills complex is also comprised of a number of technical service buildings that are built partially and completely underground. On-site construction and waterproofing was done under the most difficult conditions – with heavy rainfalls and a high water table from all the melting snow and ice. It soon became obvious that no topical waterproofing solutions would work.”

The PENETRON Russia team worked with specialists from LLC Hadroprotectors, a PENETRON-certified distributor, to accurately identify the problems confronting the construction team – and develop an optimal waterproofing solution.

“These were demanding projects, but the PENETRON technology performed perfectly,” adds Revera. “Soon, everyone around the world will be able to see the results in the Winter Olympics broadcasts – let the Games begin!"