Until the construction is completely closed, water is a risk factor in all construction cases.
The building consists of a concrete structure, timber facade elements and a flat roof. COWI was responsible for the construction site management and contractor Juul & Nielsen was responsible for the building envelope.
The facade elements had been challenged by water coming from the flat roof. Some elements had received water already and the building owner wanted to ensure that the built in moisture wouldn't be a problem in the future. Also, they wanted to ensure that if future water would find it's way in, then they wanted to find a way to find it quickly.
For the site responsible was it difficult to give the building owner the assurance that everything was okay, when they couldn't do measurements inside the closed elements at all times.
Closed elements create a lot of worry for building owners, because that is places where moisture can enter and slowly spread to become a bigger mould problem.
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In the construction of the neurorehabilitation center, the developer has decided to use Woodsense to take a more proactive approach to quality assurance.
“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.
COWI decided to place 50 sensors in the vulnerable areas of the building envelope. The sensors was located in the elements:
- close to the roof on the top floor to check for incoming water,
- under windows for leakages from windows, and
- in the bottom of the elements for the moistening effect of the ground
Every week the site responsible reported to the building owner on the wood moisture content of the elements, so that they could see how the elements dried out, or so that they could identify increases in moisture and decide how to repair.
Other places was the sensors also placed to follow that the elements would dry down to required levels after they had been wet.
Decreased maintenance costs
After the handover, the building owner then wanted to ensure they would get the data and alarms to make their maintenance more efficient, which led to the solution being integrated into the building management system.
With the 10 year battery lifetime, will the building owner be able to detect damages in both the 5 year warantee period of the contractor and afterwards where the responsibility of damages are on the building owner.
“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.
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.
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