Wireless Sensor Network Picture

Wireless Sensor Networks for buildings – Christian Orthmann

Project name: Investigation of wireless sensor network for application within the building industry

Project student: Christian Orthmann

Report: Building process improvements by sensor support

Course type: Special course, Autumn 2012

Supervisor: (Al)Fred Heller

Summary: The project aims at the application of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) within the building sector, to improve the overall performance of buildings. The hypothesis is defined as: “The introduction of sensors into the building construction cycle leads to significant economical, technical and societal gains. If sensors are wireless these gains are even more pronounced.”
To define the demanded functionalities of the WSN technology for the building application, a number of use cases are described and the function demands analysed. For each of these functionalities a test setup is developed to document that it is basically implementable. For this purpose SUNspots where used due to the completeness, and the simplicities of these devices and network toolbox. This toolbox is sufficient for prototyping the functionalities, however the drawback of this methodology is that SUNspots are designed for general purpose that do not meet the criterion of the current domain.

The conclusion of the report is, that functionalities for the building sector can be met, but that the hardware and software have to be adjusted to the detailed criterion of the application at hand. Hence further work is proposed to develop own hardware on basis of some kind of standard basic components, such as antennas, memory blocks, sensors and such like.

Final paper: Building process improvements by sensor support

Acknowledgment: The current work is supported by the Bjarne Saxhof Foundation – Thanks to the foundation – without this support, the work would not have been realized.

The big picture (relation to the overall vision): The current project aims at developing flexible, adaptable monitoring and sensoring technologies for a number of reasons:

  • improving the understanding of buildings
  • aim at improved performance, especially indoor environmental and energy performance through better insight and improved controlling abilities
  • improve flexibility and quality assurance for the building process through documentation

Vision talk: Wireless Sensors has a huge potential in the building sector, as stated. It also gives new flexibility in research and education. As demonstrated as a part of the current project, the application of WSN can be very useful for a vision on a Virtual Research Environment.

Next step: The next step will be to implement our own open source, environment for a Wireless Sensor Network that can be applied to research and eduction with minimal limits to what we can do.