SensGT - Sensor supervised building services for moisture protection in solid timber construction modules

Project: Research project

Description

The timber construction sector experienced a very positive development over the past decades. The introduction and establishment of cross-laminated timber (CLT) led to a rapid growth of the timber housing market and to new design and construction approaches with the building material wood (i.e. solid timber construction). CLT-built room modules represent a specific form of solid timber constructions with a high degree of prefabrication. The room modules are prefabricated in plants with readily fitted installations and furniture. After completion, they are transported to the construction site with trucks where they are finally assembled. Building services account for approximately 30-40 % of the overall production costs of the modules. State-of-the-art technologies of building services are designed for application in buildings made with bricks, concrete or steel. Timber constructions, however, have much higher demands on building services in terms of moisture protection compared to these buildings types. The permanent exposure of timber structures to moisture, for example caused by leaking installations or untight surface seals (e.g. in showers), causes a biological degeneration of the wooden structures, resulting in substantial costs for repairing the damage. This research project therefore aims at developing solutions for an adequate integration of water bearing installations into CLT room modules in order to reduce this avoidable risk. Basic approaches and results will also be applicable to solid timber constructions in general. Research tasks within this project are performed at three levels. The initial selection of building services systems already affects the risk for subsequent moisture damages substantially. A risk-benefit analysis is therefore carried out in work package 2 in order to assess technological options. The results are used to develop a decision support tool for building owners, architects and planners. Work package 3 addresses the development of design and construction principles for a low-risk integration of water bearing installations in CLT room modules. A special emphasis is put on the design of safe installation modules tailored for the application in room modules and suitable for prefabrication. The prefabrication of installation modules enable a cost-efficient implementation of protection measures and simplifies the integration of moisture monitoring systems based on sensors as investigated in work package 4 of this project. The results of work package 3 will be summarised in a catalogue featuring design guidelines and construction details for the integration of installations in room modules. For critical zones, in which design approaches are not possible or difficult to implement, monitoring systems based on sensors are a viable option. A new sensor system is therefore developed and investigated in work package 4. Finally, the solutions developed in work packages 2 to 4 are experimentally evaluated by means of laboratory mock-ups in work package 5.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/02/1831/01/20