The current project focuses on the component of flat roofs, a widely used roof type in Austria and globally, which has proven to be highly susceptible to moisture damage in the past decades due to deviations in planning or execution. The project aims to address a research gap in building physics and achieve the following objectives:
From a research perspective, improve the modeling of processes involving large-scale airflow through building components, with a specific focus on heat and moisture transfer. The flat roof, as a building component, serves as a validation example for this purpose.
From a business perspective, optimize the timing of flat roof inspections using a new algorithm. This optimization is based on a commercially available sensor system provided by a partnering company. By utilizing the measurement data, the project aims to reduce the long-term sum of investment, damage, and maintenance costs associated with flat roofs.
© FFG-Antrag Roof Alarm, 2020
Effect of the project on the risk of structural damage compared to operation without moisture monitoring and monitoring without the use of an optimizing algorithm.
The work in the project is based on laboratory experiments as well as experiments on the flat roofs of three real buildings, one of which is a dedicated test building. It also relies on an existing software-based model for hygrothermal component simulation. The project partners include a basic research-oriented research partner (TU Wien), an application-oriented research partner (IFB), and a small startup company (BMONC, founded in 2015) as a corporate partner. BMONC offers moisture sensors with connectivity to the LoRaWAN network (Internet of Things) for moisture monitoring of flat roofs in the B2B market.
The central project results are as follows:
From a research perspective, a module for simulating the flow through multi-layered building components, integrated into an existing scientific simulation software, along with the theoretical foundations presented in the form of a dissertation and at least one scientific publication.
From a business perspective, an algorithm that can be utilized after the project's completion to significantly improve an existing online visualization of the condition of flat roofs.
Corresponding results obtained from extensive experiments conducted on four test objects, including three exposed flat roofs of real buildings and one laboratory roof.