A Suite of IoT Enabled Sensors for Monitoring Mass Timber Projects

Mass Timber


SMT has been involved in many heavy timber projects, creating solution sets to enable professionals to get the best performance out of their timber of choice.


Our unique sensor instrumentation allows the collection of performance data  from critical components, including real-time conditions during construction, giving architects, engineers and contractors  the critical information they need to make informed decisions.


Data recorded during transportation, construction, and over the life of the structure validates significant decisions in design, sequencing, and tradesmanship.

Parameters we measure:

  • Interior moisture content for Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Nail Laminated Timber (NLT) and Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT)

  • Exterior and interior relative humidity and temperature

  • Floor to floor settling or product shrinkage

  • Roof leak detection


Temperature sensors with various depths


A complete structure is only as good as it's components, and so with Mass Timber construction it is of the utmost importance that the materials arrive on site in the best possible condition.


Timber that is over-saturated can cause expensive delays to construction, or add unwanted risk to the assembly.  SMT's transportation monitoring is enabled via cellular based data acquisition for moisture, temperature and relative humidity, giving you a real-time analysis of your timber's condition before it even arrives. 


Moisture sensors with various depths


Wood components are vulnerable to external environmental conditions including; rain, wind, heat and variable temperatures. Wood moisture-content is also affected by internal sources generated during construction, as well as occupant generated moisture.

For critical areas in which air transfer via the DLT a sensor can be installed to monitor for moisture that would otherwise collect unseen.

Mass Timber Diagram.png
Cross section of CLT with various depths of moisture probes.



As Mass Timber construction and High-Efficiency building so often go hand-in-hand, the ability to monitor thermal efficiency becomes vital to verify decisions made in the design stage. SMT sensors have been used for the comparison of wood fibre insulation to conventional insulation both during the initial construction period and throughout seasonal environmental changes.


Individual components have published R‐values, making it possible to calculate the R‐value for a specific assembly.

Considering other components (such as fasteners), variability in construction, as well as environmental factors, measuring the in‐situ effective R‐Value is critical in determining the actual thermal efficiency of a wall system.



While Mass Timber offers multiple unique benefits to a construction team, it also poses some unique challenges -  specifically the variability of wood with respect to shrinkage resulting from moisture and other unforeseen conditions.


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.



No two structures are the same, even if they are designed that way! SMT's sensor suite is adaptable to site conditions and requirements, for example on one Mass Timber project we were tasked with monitoring attachment methods of  Steel Composite Truss to a DLT wall. We utilised a tri‐axial structural displacement monitoring method shown opposite.


Roof Integrity



As part of our leak detection solution set, SMT offers a roof integrity monitoring system that will fit your project.


Mass Timber buildings stand to incur greater risk than steel/concrete where moisture ingress is allowed to incur. SMT offers peace of mind that your Mass Timber project waterproofing in intact through our 2 part process: 

1) A membrane integrity scan using our industry leading Digiscan360 Electronic Leak Detection

2) Installation of a permanent monitoring system embedded directly into the roof assembly. 



At SMT, we are constantly pushing forwards with how we visualise data - making it easier to digest and therefore more useful.


In combination with BIM technology, we utilised 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. 

As digital twin technology continues to disrupt the construction industry, SMT is leading the way with innovative ways to interact with and know more about your structures. 

Download the Virtual Tour Application

For Windows

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Past Projects

UBC Brock Commons Tallwood House

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

©SMT Research

Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC)

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

©Emma Peter

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Head Office

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

©Ed White

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