Smart Sensors to Monitor Building Envelope

10/01/2015 |

Facade system designed to cut energy usage

Building facade

Sensors embedded in insulation can optimize building facades in response to environmental factors such as sun orientation. The new monitoring technology minimizes the need for human intervention.

A new monitoring technology can be integrated with building insulation and helps to optimize energy savings by activating specific components of the building facade.

The system, developed as part of the European project Multifunctional Energy Efficient Facade System (MeeFS), continuously monitors and optimizes relevant factors, such as sun orientation for photovoltaic panels and water feeding for vegetated roofs.

A major advantage of the researchers’ new method is that monitoring is continuous and automatic, meaning human intervention is only necessary when the system encounters a problem. Additionally, all active units in the systems are in constant communication to report on the status of their area, meaning that building operators would only have to check the data periodically to ensure that facility components are operating correctly.

The scalable technology uses an algorithm to calculate specific conditions and needs inherent to each building site. This information is compared to baseline performance data to help FMs better understand the factors that contribute to excess energy consumption, as well as providing a benchmark to understand the system’s capabilities and limitations.

“The point of modular design is that the layout of the facade can be customized to better fit a particular building,” says Marcin Bukat, a specialist in the development of control system activities at research and development firm Ska Polska.

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