Sensorized ETICS for LCA performance assessment, monitoring and certification of the correct installation process and operational life

p.bellagente - June 11, 2019

The sensorized ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite System) has been investigated by the Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics and the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Brescia in Italy. A prototype has been accomplished and tested at the experimental facilities provided by ESEB (Ente Sistema Edilizia Brescia/ Building System Institute Brescia), within a collaborative framework involving either the Academia or the Industry.

The sensorized ETICS aims at monitoring and controlling the installation procedures and the operational life of the system itself. As far as the installation stage is concerned, contracts could be arranged and managed on a more effective way, while, within a Performance-Based Contract (e.g. an Energy Performance Contract), the SCO might make the agreements and payments less controversial. The research programme has been managed with the support of Weber (Saint-Gobain), starting from the ETICS-Focused FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis). Consequently, a sensorized prototype has been established adopting two different insulation materials, in order to establish data lakes and assess the prospective performances.

Tied to the research programme, the automation of a traditional contract, related to the installation of an external thermal insulation composite system, has been analysed, in order to detect the main and most meaningful steps and validation processes. Usually, electronic tools are not used to validate the correct installation of the building components. Moreover, nowadays, any national or international standard dealing with the installation steps is not available. For this reason, a handbook edited and published by the Italian external thermal insulation committee (CORTEXA, 2017) has been taken used, together with some best practices gained throughout some interviews performed together with professionals working for  Weber (Saint-Gobain).

Usually, building component-related installation contracts do not define requirements in detail and they state that the work should be done ‘in accordance to the best practices’. However, the ‘best practice’ is an undefined notion and computable values are not provided. In order to create a smart contract, computable values must be defined in order to check the actual performances against the expected contract requirements.

Such initial requirements have been included into a python code for the purpose of creating a smart contract. The ultimate goal lies with monitoring the installation process and to link the smart contract to the blockchain technology (for the payment-related topics, too). Each step should be individually chipped and once big data sourced by sensors are able to attest the successful compliant installation and operations, then the payments could be generated without human intervention: on a self executing criterion.

Currently, the research group is working on linking data gathered from sensors and other capturing technologies (such as photogrammetry) to the smart contract for ending the stated targets and goals.

This work is one of the first examples of application of smart contracts for AECO sector and it aims to be a reference for the industry.


BIM+ (30 June 2019): How the Internet of Things can link installation, operation and contracts


Principal Investigator: Prof. Angelo Ciribini, DICATAM, University of Brescia

Tutor: Arch. Lavinia Tagliabue, PhD, DICATAM, University of Brescia

Co-tutor: Eng. Silvia Mastrolembo, PhD. DICATAM, University of Brescia

M.Sc. Candidate: Rigert Seneja, DICATAM, University of Brescia

Prototype Developer: Eng. Davide Diotti, ESEB – Ente Scuola Edile Bresciana

ETICS provider’s representative: Mr. Flavio Terminelli, Weber (Saint-Gobain)

Sensoring engineers: Eng. Stefano Rinaldi, PhD, Eng. Paolo Bellagente, PhD, Prof. Alessandra Flammini, DII, University of Brescia

Data monitoring and visualization: Eng. Flavio Simoncini, DII, University of Brescia

Battery provider: Micromac srl

Windows provider: I.T.I. Impresa Generale S.p.A.

Laser scanner surveyor: Eng. Stefano Cantoni, Prof. Giorgio Vassena, Gexcel

Smart Contract & Blockchain advisor:Eng Marzia Bolpagni, PhD Mace