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When Waterproofing Meets Art with Wolfin Polyester PVC Membrane

When Waterproofing Meets Art!

See how and why Wolfin PVC sheet membrane was chosen to waterproof two heritage listed iconic fountains in Sydney.

The complexity of the waterproofing works recently completed on Governor Phillip Fountain and the Old Parliament House Fountain in the Royal Botanic Gardens demonstrates, once again, the versatility of the Wolfin Waterproofing System.

In both of these unique projects, the Wolfin Membrane was not only use as a waterproofing solution, but also as an aesthetic feature. That is where the art comes into play! Projex Group had to create a perfect pattern to fit with the existing outlines of the stones and choose the right coloured membrane to match the current look. The finish results are breath-taking!

These unique waterproofing projects also display the high standards of workmanship carried out by Wolfin certified and highly skilled contractor (SSP Waterproofing), as well as the technical expertise of Projex Group.

Here is an overview of these two unique projects:

Project #1: Governor Phillip Fountain – Royal Botanic Gardens

Context: The idea of doing this heritage listed fountain with a sheet membrane was introduced by the Department of Public Works, who contacted Projex in order to discuss the possibility of using the Wolfin waterproofing membrane.  The previous waterproofing had failed, and a new solution was needed to renew the waterproofing at the fountain in the four lower basins.

Being a heritage listed fountain, the new waterproof membrane has to withstand the following conditions:

  • Submerged constantly underwater
  • Exposed to water chemical compound including:
    • Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Bromine/Chlorine
    • Hydrochloric Acid

The membrane also needed to be AS 4654.1 compliant, UV resistant, flexible and no mechanical fixings were allowed to penetrate the marble stone walls around the perimeter of the fountain walls. The Wolfin Membrane was terminated on the fountain walls using Factory Bonded Wolfinsteel that was secured to the existing marble stone using chemical adhesives.

Product Used:

  • Wolfin IB membrane – Grey (unreinforced) 1.5 mm was chosen to match the existing render.
  • Custom-made Wolfin Grey Stainless-Steel (316L Low Carbon) profiles were designed and manufactured for this installation to allow chemical bonding to the marble and ensure watertightness.

Wolfin Membrane Installation Step-by-Step:

Step 1 – Conducted a visual inspection of the substrate & surfaces and thoroughly washed down & cleaned the substrate to remove any contamination, dirt, laitance to ensure the substrate was smooth, clean and free from any debris and sharp edges.

Step 2 & 3 –Wolfin IB floor & wall sheets were carefully measured (twice) & cut to replicate the pattern of the stone surrounds ensuring all joints of the stonework align with the membrane seams. Special custom-made Stainless Steel (316L) Wolfinsteel P1 termination profiles were produced for this project and they have been chemically fastened to the top of the perimeter walls around the entire pond to terminate the membrane.

Step 4 – (Floor): The individual pre-measured cut sections of Wolfin IB were installed to the pond floor aligning the seams & joints to create the required aesthetic finish. All overlaps & junctions of the installed sheet were then homogenously welded together by hot air welding to create a continuous sheet. The Wolfinsteel P2 base angles were then installed onto the completed floor membrane at all floor and wall junctions and were mechanically fastened using Stainless Steel Anchors.

Step 5 – (Walls): The pre-measured Wolfin IB were then installed to the walls and hot air welded to the Wolfinsteel P1 termination at the top of the pond walls whilst also ensuring all membrane laps lined up with the Wolfin floor sheets and the pattern of the stone perimeters and joints. The Wolfin PVC membrane then extends down the walls & is overlapped 100mm onto the floor membrane thus totally encapsulating the Wolfinsteel P2 base angles.

Step 6 & 7 – Visual inspection of the installed membrane including testing & checking of all laps and seams with hand-held probe tool and rectify any defects. Finally, the perimeter terminations (Wolfinsteel P1) were primed & the joint sealant was installed as per manufacturers recommendations.

Projex Group was then, notified that the completed area is now ready for inspection by their inspector

Step 8 – Projex Group inspection & sign-off as required with all Wolfin Installations. Projex Group conducted their final quality assurance inspection to ensure all manufacturer specifications were met and the installation of the Wolfin membrane was according to their recommendations & standards.

Step 9 – With the installation now completed, a thorough water testing of the installation was completed to ensure no leakage.


Quality Assurance and Inspections

All works have been thoroughly tested and inspected throughout the entire process. The installation of the waterproofing system has been monitored by Projex Group from start to finish to ensure full compliance with the specification and all manufacturers recommendations.

Projex Group involvement in this project has been crucial and extremely valuable and includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Provision of shop drawings of all details that are not included in standard published manufacturer’s drawings.
  • Approve the selection/design of all termination and similar details before installation.
  • Thoroughly inspect on completion, log any defects found, arrange for their rectification. Re-inspect and certify that the work is correct and complete.
  • On completion, take full liability for the quality, correctness and sufficiency of the workmanship as part of the single point Warranty.

Here is a short narrative of all the parties involved who have contributed to the success of this installation:

  • O’Sullivan Conservation is a company that has at its core high-quality workmanship, expertise and a dedicated approach to the care of cultural materials and objects. Experienced in fountain conservation and restoration, O’Sullivan Conservation were in charge of overseeing the entire project. They offer specialist conservation services, with a focus on high quality solutions.
  • Projex Group is the Australia’s leading supplier of waterproofing systems who also offer the highest standard of technical support in the industry.
  • SSP Waterproofing is a certified Wolfin waterproofing contractor who pay utmost attention to details and provide superior quality installations.
  • Wolfin Waterproofing Membrane is the waterproofing system sitting above all other membrane available in Australia. Wolfin PVC membrane is considered the best because of its quality, how its applied and the way the installation is strictly controlled by the supplier.


Project #2: Old Parliament House Fountain – Royal botanic Gardens

Context: The head of maintenance at Old Government House approached Projex Group to design a new waterproofing system to eliminate water leakage from the fountain. The solution was not that simple! We had to create a design that would maintain or improve the aesthetics look of the fountain without compromising any heritage features of the fountain.

In collaboration with heritage firm Paul Berkemeier Architect and Projex Group, a proposal using the Wolfin Grey Polyester/PVC sheet membrane as a feature as well as a waterproofing membrane was submitted and accepted.

Application: Due to the complexity and intricacies of this project, Projex Group recommended Wolfin contractor SSP Waterproofing. As usual, the Wolfin membrane was installed to the highest standards respecting & reflecting the unique and creative design of the architect in collaboration with the Projex Design team.

Results: The results were astonishing! It was flood tested once the fountain came back to life and no problem or leakage occurred. According to all involved, the Wolfin membrane looks like it belongs in the fountain. The way it has been welded together makes it visually pleasant and the fountain looks even more beautiful with the PVC membrane in it.

With their work to prove it, SSP Waterproofing show that you can create art by applying waterproofing membranes! No matter what the field is, the art of artisans still exists!

Projex Group dedicated team of technical waterproofing specialists and designers are always available every step of the way, from the design to completion stages to ensure compliance with manufacturer guidelines. If you have a critical and/or unique installation to waterproof, contact our experts at Projex.

The Projex Mission is to source and supply technically excellent products to meet the needs of owners, designers, insurers and operators of buildings and structures for specialist protection against water, industrial liquids, impact and corrosion risks.