The Leading Edge

The Leading Edge

Waterproofing the ‘Bits that Matter’ at Aotea Square.

Neuchatel NZ has worked on some pretty large jobs around New Zealand, but arguably none more complex than Aotea Square.

This cherished public space in the heart of Auckland City is rated for 20,000 people, and is host to concerts, art exhibitions and even sports events, and sees millions of visitors every year. But few of them would realize the park is situated on top of a 930-vehicle underground car park.

The multi-level underground carpark covers a whole city block, and is nestled into the hillside down from K’Road. It is designed to dissipate not only to handle surface water accumulating in the park, but also (in the event of major rainfall) water run-off from the hills surrounding the park.


The integrity of this waterproofing system has to stand up to extremes of temperature and traffic-induced vibrations as literally 1000’s of cars file through the car park each day.

And it has to be extremely robust. The last thing the council wants is to be going back to tear up the paving and fix leaks.

While the majority of the waterproofing was completed using membrane sheets, given the critical nature of this brief, the contractor called in Neuchatel to manage the intricate job of waterproofing around seams, steps and problem areas of the build.


Neuchatel used Permanite mastic asphalt, which is not only impervious to water and extremely long lasting, but also flexible, to accommodate movement of the structure.

Another benefit of Neuchatel Mastic Asphalt is it sets fast and can be worked on by man and machine within hours, minimizing delays in construction. And finishing is a breeze, with no special requirements.

So today, when you sit on the steps or ponder the planters, imagine what lies just beneath those striking granite tiles. Because this 30-40mm thick layer of Mastic Asphalt is what makes this entire structure viable.

Although Neuchatel played a small part of the overall build, few other products play such a crucial role in the performance of the structure. It’s been six years since Aotea Square was completed, and there’s not a leak in sight. We expect it’ll be 60 years before they even start to worry about the waterproofing, and who knows what Auckland will look like then.

If you’d like to view more about the progressive stages of the construction of Aotea Square, check out this presentation.

For the last 100+ years Neuchatel has been protecting tens of thousands of surfaces from deterioration caused by heavy machinery and the elements. In this time they’ve refined their products and services to be more durable, environmentally friendly and affordable – especially for large scale projects