July 1, 2022

COWI: Glostrup Neurorehabilitation Center

COWI: Glostrup Neurorehabilitation Center

Intelligent moisture sensor increases security for developer

At the Danish hospital, Rigshospitalet, a new neurorehabilitation center is being built, which, with its 25.000 m2, will create the framework for care, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with damage to the brain and spinal cord.

‍In this connection, a number of competent construction actors have been selected to carry out the project, including Rambøll, who were chosen as the developer consultant, and Juul & Nielsen, who won the facade contract.

The consulting company, COWI, also takes part in the project with responsibility for construction management and professional supervision. To do so, they have chosen to include Woodsense’s wireless moisture sensor, which, among other things, is to monitor timber facades. The entire hospital is covered in more than 100 prefabricated timber elements:

“It started with the construction firm proposing to place the sensor in the wooden elements to increase security for the developer.” - Lars Møller, Construction Site Manager, COWI.

Moisture measurement at exposed areas in the construction

Until the construction is completely closed, water is a risk factor in all construction cases. In the construction of the neurorehabilitation center, the developer has taken a proactive approach and quickly localized the areas where the water moves.

moisture sensor in facade element
Sensor placed in facade element

In collaboration with COWI, Woodsense has recommended sensor placements at particularly exposed risk areas of the building, such as around the base, in the parapet, and on the north-facing facades.

The sensors are also placed on facade elements at each facade in order to collect data for reference. Sensors are located at the top and at the ground level, at different corners, etc.

The sensors have also been used to continuously monitor that the elements are drying out correctly:

wood moisture level
Wood moisture from the sensor shows increased moisture level and subsequent gradual drying.

Moisture sensor as fixed part of quality assurance

The moisture sensor is included in the quality plan of the construction firm to document that no moisture is being built into the construction. This creates a safety for both construction firm and developer.

With an intelligent moisture sensor, the developer can keep an eye on the moisture levels and included them in the weekly quality assurance between developer and construction firm:

“In larger timber constructions, I would clearly recommend a QA with built-in sensors. It creates a safety for both developer and construction firm that the documentation is in order.” - Lars Møller, Construction Site Manager, COWI.

Here, they draw weekly reports and make sure that the moisture level does not exceed 16%, which is the agreed level in the project, just as they receive alerts if anomalies occur.

See report example.

By taking a proactive approach to moisture measurement in construction, it is possible to save the construction firm both time and money on the quality assurance, while simultaneously reducing resource consumption and thus CO2 emissions with the replacement of damaged materials.

Technology as part of the timber constructions of the future

COWI-Arkitema wants to unfold the possibilities for technology and digitalization that supports sustainability in construction. The ambition is that future timber projects will use sensor technology to monitor moisture in timber constuctions:

“We see great value in owning data from timber projects, and we see wood as one of the building materials of the future. We will also use the collected data for future design optimizations,” explains Marianne Friis, Arkitema, and continues:

“At COWI/Arkitema, we believe that sustainability, digitalization and new technologies must be combined to achieve our ambitious climate goals. It has become clear to us that a collaboration with Woodsense’s sensor solution is a step in the right direction to achieve our goals.”

Woodsense’s moisture sensor is being recommended and written into tender material. In addition, work is currently underway to ensure that the sensor will assist COWI in creating a concept for protecting timber constructions in the future. Here, the sensor must be part of a service to increase quality assurance during construction and by subsequent evaluation of the performance of the construction.

The ambition is that the construction industry will be able to both build and renovate even more sustainable timber constructions in the future.

At present, we are in the process of integrating data into the developer’s CTS system. This way, the developer can get alarms from the intelligent alarm system and data from the platform into their desired system at the end of the construction period.

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