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Firestone GeoGard EPDM Supplied Lining for Inland Surfing – The Wave

Firestone Building Products has provided nearly 20,000m2 of its GeoGard EPDM lining membrane for construction of The Wave in Bristol. Boasting two surfing lagoons, each covering an area of almost 2.5 acres, The Wave is the first surfing venue in the northern hemisphere to be built using innovative Wavegarden Cove technology.

The £25m project is entirely powered by renewable energy and has been designed to offer guaranteed year-round surfing fun, with up to 1000 waves per hour ranging in shape and size from 50cm to almost 2m. With an undulating lagoon surface to optimise wave formation, The Wave required a flexible and durable lining membrane, capable of withstanding heave, ground movement, the weight of the concrete used in construction, and the water that fills the surfing lake.

Firestone Building Products worked closely with the project’s design team at Hydrock to develop a specification that maximised design flexibility and buildability during installation, while offering a robust long-term solution. Andrew Cooper from Firestone Building Products comments: “With its excellent hydrostatic pressure resistance, our GeoGard EPDM lining is proven in large-scale lagoon applications around the world, but this is the first time it’s been installed at a surfing destination. “Our EPDM membranes also offer 300% elongation in all directions, Giving GeoGard EPDM an exceptionally high level of elasticity, maintained throughout its 40+ year service life, ensuring resistance to tearing, cracking and puncturing. The 1.1mm GeoGard EPDM lining used is also extremely strong and resilient, which is particularly important for a buried application like this, where a fit-and-forget lining system is essential.”

Specialist contractor, Turtle Productions, was engaged to install the lining system, following excavation, backfilling, compacting and laser levelling of the lagoons to within a tolerance of 10mm. The Turtle Productions team installed a Pozidrain drainage geocomposite layer before covering this with a geotextile layer and installing the Firestone GeoGard EPDM membrane. A further layer of geotextile was then laid onto the GeoGard EPDM, followed by a PE film and the concrete pour.

Turtle Productions designed and then followed a carefully devised layout to optimise use of the EPDM membrane on the undulating lagoon bed, utilising Firestone’s range of Quickseam Splice Tape and Flashing products to seal the joins. The lining installation was carried out in a phased programme around scheduling for other trades on site, with Turtle Productions offering a rapid call out to complete a flexible programme of works to main progress on the project. Mark Hennell from Turtle Productions adds: “This is a very large-scale, complex and challenging project that required a flexible approach to scheduling work, along with meticulous attention to detail. “We have vast experience in installing the

Firestone GeoGard EPDM system and all our installers have been trained by Firestone, so we were able to manage the challenges of the multiple changes in direction and level of the lagoon surface and work around an ever-evolving schedule required by the other trades.” The Wave is now open for business, offering surfing sessions and lessons to surfers of all abilities.