Not a DIY project: a top of the line parking lot for IKEA Spain

When IKEA was constructing a new retail store outside of Madrid, the customer experience was at the heart of the design, right down to the parking lot! Since the Swedish furniture company wanted a best-in-class surface – perfectly flat, puddle free and ultra-resistant – they knew to call upon the expertise of another world leader, LafargeHolcim, to find the perfect solution. Our HydromediaTM draining concrete for water management delivered on all counts of this challenging project that took more than an illustrated user manual to pull off!


Key project figures

Parking lot surface

Hydromedia™ speciality concrete

22 Days
Delivery and technical assistance

IKEA and LafargeHolcim: a beautifully designed partnership

As the world's largest furniture retailer with 328 stores in 28 countries, IKEA is synonymous with functional design and quality.  So when it looked to optimize the construction of its newest store in the suburbs of Madrid, IKEA needed a partner equally committed to high-performance design and quality. That’s why they turned to LafargeHolcim to see how we could perfect design, reduce execution speed and minimize subsequent maintenance of the future complex.

Building Spain’s newest, largest IKEA store through dialogue and innovation

Constructing a new IKEA store requires a few more tools and loads more expertise than assembling one of the brand’s intuitively-designed bookshelves or bedside tables. Our teams collaborated closely with IKEA in Spain to identify their needs, understand their unique brand experience and brainstorm solutions.

The store’s 10,000 m2 parking lot quickly emerged as a key aspect of the project that could benefit from our products and technical expertise. Together with the client, we established a set of construction criteria which, when combined, represent a real challenge! The chosen pavement solution had to:

  • Achieve optimal flatness and uniform thickness for the comfort of IKEA customers trying to navigate a busy parking lot while pushing carts loaded with bulky items
  • Guarantee maximum drainage capacity (400 liters per square meter per minute) to avoid rainwater accumulation
  • Resist heavy foot and vehicular traffic despite the holes in its surface
  • Honor IKEA’s high aesthetic standards, which go above and beyond what might be expected for a parking lot
  • Be easily installed in less than 30 days

While asphalt is normally the obvious material choice for most parking lots, it fails to deliver on several of IKEA’s key requirements. In order to meet every one of the customer’s expectations, we knew we couldn’t simply propose an “off the shelf” solution.

Discover Hydromedia™, the latest generation of draining concrete for water management

Thanks to its very high permeability and drainage capacity, Hydromedia™ concrete absorbs rainwater and facilitates its natural runoff into the ground. Designed for urban environments, using Hydromedia™ means less flooding and safer roads, pathways and parking lots. Its cutting-edge formula also gives guarantees better robustness and greater long-term resistance.

Hydromedia and Infinicem: the winning pair for leveraging pavement performance

Meeting the challenges presented in this project was a real team effort. Our RMX team, road segment team and R&D teams, in collaboration with our global and country teams, worked together to develop a tailored solution that perfectly matched IKEA’s needs and brand reputation.

We started with one of our most innovative products, the best-in-class Hydromedia™ permeable concrete with advanced drainage technology. Not only does this concrete solution rapidly absorb storm water better than any other existing product, its fluid formula allows for smoother pouring and flatter, more even surfaces. Our teams then infused Hydromedia™ with our Infinicem ultra-fine cement, which offers a quicker setting time and higher resistance and durability.

By combining these two solutions LafargeHolcim delivered a high quality, esthetic project designed with function and maintenance in mind. Sounds exactly like an IKEA product – without the hard to pronounce name!