The new ePredict prediction tool, as a part of the eGate 2.0 cloud platform, will forecast the drying time of the concrete slab during the building construction project. This will significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of the project scheduling.
Your best guess about concrete drying time may not lead to the best flooring quality
Moisture problems in building construction and floor installation arise when impermeable flooring is installed over the top of a still drying concrete slab. With the slightest temperature change, the water molecules trapped below the surface will condense into liquid water, causing the flooring damage. All building contractors have seen their fair share of floors that had blistered, de-bonded, and warped due to too high moisture content.
While it typically takes only 28 days for the concrete to cure to its minimum required strength, the rule of thumb is that concrete takes about 30 days to dry per inch of slab thickness. This means that for a standard four-inch-thick concrete slab drying takes four months. But if the slab gets wet, such as being rained on, the drying time can be extended.
The ambient RH can also have a big effect on drying. In Florida in the summer with high humidity, the slab may never dry down to 85%. In many parts of the U.S., getting the RH to 75% may be difficult without closing in the building and operating the HVAC system.
With all the above variables, estimating the time when the flooring installation crew should start their work is far from trivial. To make this process easier, eGate is now launching a cloud-based prediction tool, to improve the accuracy of the project scheduling.
”While the construction industry is evolving and adopting new technology for improved productivity, e-Gate is supporting this trend with data-driven solutions that improve the construction project efficiency and quality.” says Jarkko Haukijärvi, CEO, eGate Smart Building Innovation Corp. “The ePredict tool represents the latest example of our leadership in bringing practical data monitoring tools to the construction market“.
eGate prediction algorithm is based on Big Data analytics with 150 million data points
“eGate’s ePredict has been developed with a direct feedback from our partners and building contractors. The purpose here is to improve the construction project efficiency and scheduling. Accurate drying estimates enable contractors to plan for the flooring installation as soon as possible, but only when the concrete slab is dry enough. This will save time, money, and will reduce risks of any flooring failures.”
”The prediction model is a result of eGate’s extensive research, and it is based on 150 million measurement points of concrete humidity data we have collected over the years. Each project is of course different and changing environmental conditions will also impact the drying time. But as soon the algorithm detects new conditions, for example, the slab getting wet because of the rain, ePredict adjusts the drying forecast, accordingly.” says Haukijärvi.
Wireless cloud-connected concrete sensors make the prediction possible
The input data to the eGate prediction algorithm is collected with eGate Nsens wireless sensors, using the standard ASTM 2170 method for concrete humidity measurement. Nsens sensors send the real-time measurements to the cloud database, where the prediction algorithm is continuously calculating and updating the new drying forecast. The ambient air Temperature and Humidity values are also measured and inputted to the prediction model, using the eGate RHT-out sensor.
Mr Mika Aalto, a condition-monitoring specialist at Cramo Group, eGate’s partner in Europe, says that they are looking forward to the availability of the ePredict tool, as the right timing of the flooring installation is one of the most critical parts of successful project scheduling.
“In the past our concrete drying forecast has been based on rules of thumb and excel spreadsheets. eGate’s new prediction tool is using real-time measurement data, so it takes the guessing out when calculating the project schedules, leading to better project quality and efficiency at the end. This also enables us to collect useful data from each project. Our jobsites are often of similar size and environments, so we can use the history data to improve our project performance in the future. In general, we have been impressed by eGate solution’s easy installation, reliable data collection, and real-time reporting capabilities.”
Cramo Group has been participating in the eGate prediction tool development from the end-user experience perspective.
Jobsite sensors that are easy to install and easy to use
eGate has paid special attention to making its solutions easy to install at the jobsite. Before the physical installation, the measurement points are marked online on the building floor plans. The installation of sensors is then easy onsite, especially as wireless sensors do not require any complex wiring. During the project monitoring phase, the online project mapping tool helps to zoom into one single jobsite or viewing multiple sites at the same time.
eGate is targeting the general availability of the ePredict tool for April 2021.