Newton Waterproofing: Fire Resistant Tunnel Waterproofing – The British Museum

  • 20 Apr 2023

The King Edward VII Galleries is a Grade I Listed structure and part of the iconic British Museum complex in London. Newton Waterproofing was recently involved in a project there…

Constructed between 1907 and 1914, the building sits above a series of tunnels and ventilation shafts, which serve to supply air to the gallery via an external ventilation unit.

Due to water ingress in the tunnels, there was serious concern as to the quality of air supplied to the gallery, and the impact that this might have on the artefacts kept there.

The Project

Newton worked directly with Arti Structural Waterproofing and Oldroyd to provide a solution that would protect the tunnels against water ingress and fire, and allow the tunnels to be re-instated as the primary air supply to the galleries above.

This involved cleaning and repairing the tunnel walls and floors, then installing a permanent waterproofing and fire-rated solution to achieve a Grade 2 environment as per BS 8102:2022 and also meet the British Museum’s fire strategy.

The Solution

Arti Structural Waterproofing and Newton worked with the British Museum, main contractor and Nex Architecture to propose a system that met all of the requirements for waterproofing and fireproofing a Grade I Listed building.

After ensuring that the walls and floors were clean and well prepared, HydroCoat 107 Elastic 2K was installed as the primary Type A barrier waterproofing. The flexible, cement-based membrane provided a robust coating to seal existing leaks in places where a Type C system was not feasible.

Next, Oldroyd Xtf membrane provided a full Type C cavity drain membrane system to the walls and floor of the tunnels. Type C systems are widely accepted in listed structures as they are reversible and require minimal fixings to the substrate.

CDM 520 eco Floor was also used beneath the floor build up to deliver maximum drainage capacity to the pump system.

Oldroyd Fireproof Membrane

Oldroyd Xtf is the number one sustainable fireproof and waterproof solution for underground projects. Produced in Norway by specialist manufacturer Oldroyd, it contains only environmentally friendly raw materials and is thoroughly tested in challenging Norwegian and Faroese tunnels.

Oldroyd Xtf membrane is tested according to the EN 13501 standard for ‘Fire classification of construction products and building elements – Part 1: Classification using data from reaction to fire tests’.

As a result, the membrane is classified to B-s2.d0, meaning it completely prevents burning droplets when exposed to fire. Watch Newton’s Xtf fire testing videos for more information.

Oldroyd are specialist UK product partners with Newton Waterproofing Systems, and the Oldroyd Xtf membrane is distributed exclusively in the UK via Newton.

The Result

The trained installers from Arti Structural Waterproofing dealt with many challenges on this complex project.

High humidity levels, coupled with the challenge of fitting a fire-rated membrane to a high standard in a very constrained space made it a physical challenge as well as a technical one.

Many of the existing services could also not be removed, so a significant effort was required to ensure that the membrane was effectively installed to all tunnel walls.

Project Completion

The project was successfully completed over 10 weeks, with Newton and Arti delivering a solution that is waterproof, fireproof, maintainable and reversible.

As a result, the happy client has a system that meets all of their requirements, and will be regularly serviced by Arti Structural Waterproofing.

Newton Waterproofing Systems,
Newton House,
17-20 Sovereign Way,
United Kingdom,

Phone: 01732 360 095
Fax: 01732 359 033
E-mail: [email protected]


Visit Newton Waterproofing System's website

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