When we went to see Diego Savio and Paolo Marchetto in their workshop in Trissino (VI), they reminded us of cyclists after a victorious uphill finish: very happy but at the same time exhausted by the effort. Tired because they started pedaling to bring their idea to life, over 3 years ago now as Diego mentioned.
When and why did this idea come about?
The idea was born a few years ago after witnessing some timber buildings that had rot in the “ground connection” area. From there the question arose: “is early identification and reporting of this problem possible, before the situation gets out of hand?”.
What is this?
The product consists of a “system that accurately measures humidity through smart sensors distributed in different areas of the building, the location of which is determined by a technician”. The data collected is sent to a control unit via a cable or radio waves which is then processed with a complex algorithm developed specifically for this application. The algorithm is indeed a trade secret, so they were not able to discuss it in detail.
The control unit stores these measurements, monitors the operation of the various sensors (up to 16) and triggers an audible alarm when the conditions become critical i.e. the moisture content exceeds a certain value (20%).
The work was very complex and involved both the software and the hardware tominiaturizeall the circuits so that they can be installed inside normal electric boxes. This means that the installation is very simple and can be done without the aid of special tools by personnel with a minimal specific training.
The instrument must be seen as something that measure the variation of humidity and not so much the absolute value as underlined by Diego: A technician is interested in understanding if there are changes occurring that can compromise the durability of the building. Using this principle, the system has also been successfully used to monitor the drying phases of damaged building before the restoration of removed non-structural elements.
Where can it be applied?
The system can be easily used to monitor the health of buildings but not only that. In fact, it can be installed to any timber element including laminated or solid beams and columns, this is due to easily variable length of the special probes developed and tested in the lab. So, this instrument is not only for CLT and platform frames but for timber in general.
Is it reliable?
One of the most complicated aspects was the calibration of the system to obtain exact values in line with other professional tools on the market, says Paolo. We at Ergodomus were lucky enough to receive an almost final version to conduct some experiments and we were fascinated. In the coming months we will publish some very interesting results of the research we are conducting.
How much will it cost?
The goal has always been to minimize costs so as not to excessively affect the overall costs of a home. Diego and Paolo tell us that the cost is much lower than that of a repairer intervention in case of problems. To get an offer you can use the contacts below.
Finally, their design motto which is absolutely in line with the design philosophy that has always characterized Ergodomus:
“The durability of timber cannot be an option but must be a certainty”.
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