Water from the Sky


Every year it happens. We know it will happen. Predictable. Studied. Documented.

Water will come from the sky in the month of September through May in the Pacific Northwest. In one week of last November over 10 cm / 4 inches of rain (or precipitation) fell continuously.

Fell on to your construction site. How did your construction site fair over this past weekend? Did you look at the forecast for next week?

So why does the construction scheduling people not believe it?

If I was considering an architectural and general contracting team for constructing my building in Vancouver, I would select the one that has "rain delay" or "covered and dry" or "included contingency cover and drying procedures" in big bold letters on gantt chart outlining in the project schedule - starting somewhere in mid October. This holds true for all types of construction - modular, prefab, on-site built, wood, concrete and glass.

What do you do now that your building is wet?

We at SMT have been assisting general contractors, architects and building enclosure specialists to provide automated real-time measurement of the moisture content in wood, concrete and gypsum products. Instead of sending someone around taking measurements all day or guessing on the site conditions, you can spend your time to remediate moisture damaged areas, and use technology to track the data to make clear decisions on the next steps.

Installation of Point Moisture Monitoring (PMM) sensors with extensions to reach the core of the wood slab. Perfect for heavy wood structures such as Nail Laminated Timber (NLT), Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT).

Critical moisture levels tracking for construction is not just limited to wood construction, concrete has it's own challenges of membrane adhesion and entrapment of latent moisture with-in structures during construction.

Installation of Embedded Moisture Sensors (EMS) into the concrete slab or at the surface interface can be used to report the moisture level (or equivalent RH) for knowledge of predicted days till membrane can be installed, drying trends for use during the construction period. The EMS remains in the slab for long-term performance and assessment for moisture levels related to corrosion and pre-mature decay.

Couple these moisture sensors with Wireless or GSM based data acquisition systems, cloud-based Building Analytics Monitoring Dashboards, and you can utilize real-time information to schedule construction and monitor your drying processes. You can also pass on to the owner and building operator a maintenance tool for future use.

Are you not from the Pacific Northwest - this information still pertains to your construction project - you just know extreme weather by other names: hurricanes, tropical storm, nor'easter, cyclone, thunderstorm...

The cover photo credit to *FLCC in an article that discusses Florida summer construction delays related to contracts.

Follow SMT and our Vice President, Jason, on Linkedin for more interesting articles!

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