Solutions for Quality Assurance during Construction and Long-Term Monitoring for Heavy Timber Structures

Mass Timber buildings have a greater risk of its structural integrity being compromised from moisture intrusion than steel or concrete buildings. Mass Timber retains water similar to a sponge, which can collect and cause damage to structurally significant portions of the building. 

The moisture content of wood components are affected by external environmental conditions and internal sources generated during construction and occupant generated moisture. To prevent this, SMT has been involved in monitoring moisture in some of the most influential mass timber projects in the world.


We’ve helped enable construction professionals to validate significant decisions in design, sequencing, and quality of work by using data recorded during transportation, construction, and during the life of the structure.


Our unique sensors and electronics allow the collection of performance data from critical components, including real-time conditions during construction. 


Contact SMT to see how we can assist with your project, or continue scrolling for more information

Roof Integrity Monitoring

The roof is the first defense against moisture, however there is risk of moisture accumulation due to either errors and damage in the installation of the roof assembly, or through moisture that has been allowed to collect in hidden areas. ​To verify the quality of your roof on a mass timber project, SMT offers Leak Detection Services. 


​For long term monitoring of the structure, SMT offers three solutions. 


1. FutureCast Leak Detection System: A permanent network of sensors installed in a grid directly onto the waterproof membrane part of a roof to monitor the integrity of the waterproofing. This allows tracking of moisture content trends over time to allow for scheduled repairs to minimize moisture damage.


2. Roof Deck Moisture Monitoring: Similar to FutureCast, moisture sensors are installed directly into the structural element of the roof - however they are not installed in a grid. This allows tracking of moisture content trends over time, as well as efforts to dry out the assembly in the event of a leak.


3. Targeted Structural Monitoring: An array of sensors are installed at the most structurally important locations to monitor for the long term health of the structure as required by the design.


When working with Mass Timber construction it's important that materials arrive on site dry and stored in a dry environment. SMT monitors timber materials during transportation by installing sensors enabled via cellular based data acquisition to monitor for moisture, temperature and relative humidity.


Temperature sensors with various depths

Moisture sensors with various depths



SMT moisture sensors can be embedded in structurally significant sections of laminated timber, with several probes at different depths to build up a moisture content profile of the section. This can be used to validate design decisions, track drying out progress, and protect against the impacts of moisture - such as mold, rot, and decay of the timber elements

Cross section of CLT with various depths of moisture probes.
Structural Displacement

Mass Timber poses some unique challenges other materials don’t - wood is a hydroscopic material and will expand and contract over time from moisture, temperature and other forces.

SMT produces a number of movement sensors to aid in measuring structural displacement - giving owners and project managers confidence that movement within their timber structure is within acceptable limits.

Data Visualization

At SMT, we are constantly pushing forward with how we visualize data - making it easier to understand and use.


In combination with BIM technology, we utilized the Unity Game Engine to create a virtual tour of the UBC Tallwood Building, allowing users to explore the building and inspect live sensor data.


The user has the flexibility to view the building's exterior from any direction, while individual sensors can be selected to view historical data trends.

Unity Virtual Tour: Let's walk through SMT sensors inside the UBC Tallwood House.

Download the Virtual Tour Application:

Using Unity Gaming Engine, users are able to virtually tour the building and inspect live sensor data.

The building exterior can be viewed from any direction.

Select sensors to view historical data trends.


Want to learn more about Mass Timber Monitoring?
Download one of our handy overview documents or Contact SMT to talk to our technical consultants.

Mass Timber

A+E Spec

Previous Projects

UBC Brock Commons Tallwood House

Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC)

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Head Office

©SMT Research

18 stories, 160,000 Sq. Ft.
CLT Vertical movement and roof moisture performance monitoring.

©Emma Peter

©Ed White

6 stories, 52,000 Sq. Ft.
CLT Vertical movement and roof moisture performance monitoring.

4 stories, 112,000 Sq. Ft.
Green Roof leak detection and NLT moisture monitoring during construction.

Let's talk about your next project.