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Aiming at green, damage-proof façades

Illustration: Staticus
Scientists at SINTEF take part in developing a CO2-reducing, remote façade maintenance system that will contribute to green change at both a national and international scale.

In order for the zero-emission society to be realised, new solutions are needed for buildings and areas. Emission-free buildings are part of the puzzle.

Driving sustainability in the façade industry is among the main goals for the façade contractor Staticus, which has partnered with leading academic experts to develop sustainable, timber-based building envelope solutions.

SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations, is among the partners in the project titled “Developing a more environmentally friendly automated façade system that is integrated into the building’s control systems”.

Members of the SINTEF Community team are bringing their multifaceted expertise to the project, from identifying the most risk-prone façade spots to improving the accuracy of damage predictions.

Transforming scientific expertise into sustainable solutions

A part of SINTEF enterprise group, SINTEF Community is a research institute for the sustainable development of buildings, infrastructure and mobility.

Providing research and development, research-based consultancy, certification and other services, the institute has specialist expertise in areas such as architecture, construction, and digital transport solutions, as well as a cutting-edge laboratory for testing materials and constructions.

SINTEF Community boasts decades of experience in developing and testing façade solutions in Nordic climate conditions, as well as in dealing with climate-induced façade damage. According to research scientist Johannes Brozovsky, this project is a unique opportunity for SINTEF to apply in practice its years of experience in building physics and sustainable construction.

“We bring an in-depth understanding of the development of constructive and environmentally-friendly solutions to the table, especially when it comes to wooden constructions,” Brozovsky explains.

“Together with Staticus, we can transform our expert knowledge into practical applications and create new building envelope solutions. These solutions will support the high quality of the indoor environment while reducing the energy use and environmental impact of buildings.”

Maximising durability, minimising risk

During the project, SINTEF Community aims to improve the accuracy of damage predictions to façades. As Brozovsky explains, reducing uncertainties in risk management prolongs the life cycle of construction elements, which can have a significant positive effect on a building’s environmental impact.

“Buildings are exposed to a wide range of harsh climatic conditions over their lifetime,” he says.

“By minimising the uncertainty of what these conditions are and taking climate change into account, the risk of damage is reduced and building components are eventually made more durable. In turn, better durability results in less damage to the façade during the operational phases, which saves investors’ money and cuts down the environmental emissions of replacing building parts.”

During the project, SINTEF Community will bring their expert knowledge to workshops and interviews aimed at determining the elements of wooden façades that carry the highest risk of damage.

Additionally, façade-integrated sensors will be used to run numerical damage and decay models in order to identify risk areas before damage occurs.

Meet the SINTEF Community team

Three experts from SINTEF Community are contributing to the project.

A structural engineer with a background in numerical analysis and modelling, Dr. Katarzyna Ostapska will develop a tool for quickly and straightforwardly assessing the risk of mould and decay in façades based on real weather data input. She will also identify a material model for wood from experimental data and build a numerical model of a timber frame to accurately simulate timber connections in a façade. Ostapska has a PhD in fracture mechanics of timber engineering.

Dr. Arian Loli is in charge of identifying the possible risk spots in timber and timber-aluminium façades and linking them with moisture- and leakage-induced damage. He will carry out interviews and workshops as well as a literature review and a review of standard recommendations and data from insurance databases. These insights will be used to increase the modelling accuracy of risk spots in computer software and sensor placement. Loli holds a PhD in architecture.

The leader of this project at SINTEF, Dr. Johannes Georg Brozovsky is tasked with reporting, quality assurance, team management as well as time and budget planning. Brozovsky has a background in building physics and a PhD in architecture.

Project Information

Project duration:

01/01/2022 - 31/12/2023

Contact person:

Johannes Georg Brozovsky

Contact person