General Electric (GE) Company’s Protimeter HygroTrac Environmental Monitoring System, is to be employed in a pilot program, to predict the optimized glazing and insulation taking place during restoration of London’s 23-storey Ferrier Point Block in Canning Town. The project’s key contractor is East Grinstead’s Rydon Group Ltd, and this restoration project is expected to cost £3.7 billions.
The present day Tower blocks are occupied by a diverse set of people, having different lifestyles. Lots of variant factors such as humidity, room temperature, dew point etc. depend on the environment and the surroundings where the tower is located, and hence there cannot be a single type of model to suit all buildings, especially where glazing and insulation are concerned. Harley Curtain Wall Ltd has been conducting feasibility tests to facilitate the refurbishment of the tower block.
Seven flats have been chosen, wherein the Hygrotrac system would monitor parameters such as temperature etc, to evaluate environment inside the building. Every single flat has been outfitted with hygrotrac sensors in the lounge, kitchen and main bedroom, and also two more sensors are fixed outside the flat to observe the exteriors. The data amassed by each sensor is transmitted every 15 minutes to a central data acquisition gateway, placed in one of the seven flats. The gateway in turn, via the internet, forwards the data to the HygroTrac server, which can be accessed by subscribers, to observe present and past data. If there are net connectivity problems, then the gateway sends the data to its FLASH memory system, and uploading to the server takes place when the net is reconnected.
According to Graham Hackley, Technical Manager, Harley, the interior environment’s data has to be collected in such a way, that no disturbances or problems are created for the occupants. Also continuous functioning of the sensors is a must, and if there are malfunctions in the sensor operations, then it is necessary that notice of such matters should be sent to the company. If a manual data downloading operation is carried out, huge disruptions would take place. Furthermore, HygroTrac’s successful track record at Bath University also helped in deciding the issue. He hoped that the projects in profiling tower blocks, by using sensing systems before renovation, would meet with success.