At PCL’s 16 York Street project, we used smart water monitoring technology integrated into Job Site InsightsTM to mitigate the risk of a major and all too common construction issue: water damage.
Completed in mid-2020, 16 York Street is a PCL-built 32-storey office building located in downtown Toronto. Designed to LEED® Platinum standards and International WELL Institute workplace guidelines, 16 York construction featured innovative technology with Job Site InsightsTM (JSITM), PLC’s smart construction platform being used extensively. 16 York was the first project to deploy water leak detection sensors. By increasing operational efficiency, speeding schedules and improving build quality for a client with high expectations, JSITM was integral to fulfilling the vison of the client, who wanted 16 York to stand out from other buildings with its unique, high-end finishes such as Italian-sourced marble floors in the lobby.
One of the biggest challenges in construction, and often the costliest, is water damage. Some water damage cost is recoverable through insurance—which brings its own costs—but the time and effort dealing with these issues is not. In addition, as water damage continues to escalate in cost and frequency, higher deductibles and premiums are becoming more commonplace.
The risk of water damage is a major issue for every project, including 16 York. With aggressive budgets and schedules, and to ensure PCL quality and reputation were upheld (if not exceeded), it was integral that water risk was mitigated at 16 York.
Eddy Solutions is a market-leading IoT-enabled hardware, network and service provider specializing in water monitoring and leak detection. Eddy’s water monitoring solution can be used during construction and then turned over to clients who can continue to rely on Eddy as their water management solution for their buildings. PCL partnered with Eddy to bring their suite of smart water monitoring technologies into JSITM.
The system provides protection from water damage events, reducing out-of-pocket water damage costs, delays, rework and insurance claims. Eddy also provides insights into water efficiency and predictive maintenance resulting in lower operating costs on water and avoidance of business and resident/tenant disruption due to losses.
The Eddy solution consists of two key components: a suite of smart water monitoring hardware devices including water sensors, flow monitoring devices, shut off valves and network gateways; and the Eddy Cloud: machine learning and AI-driven water system learning combined with real-time alerts, dashboards and 24/7 monitoring services.
Drawings, pricing, and mechanical design was completed during the pre-construction phase and the Eddy system was installed in conjunction with the water system. Common areas, amenities, in-suite risk points, mechanical rooms and domestic distribution risers were fitted with water sensors, while main and pressure-reducing valve stations were equipped with automatic and remote shutoff valves.
During a behavioral learning period, sensor and flow data at key distribution points helped the system set a baseline. Flow anomalies and water leaks were communicated through alerts via a dashboard via the Eddy app.
One event in July 2020, close to substantial project completion, provided an example of the potential of Eddy’s risk mitigation offering. JSITM had alerted the project team to a deficient cooling in the building and it was discovered that a control valve had failed. The mechanical subcontractor was replacing the unit, which required them to drain the water system. While up on a higher level, the project Superintendent was immediately alerted to the uncharacteristic outflow of water. He quickly communicated with the project team to ensure all was well.
In this event, there was no water damage event, which is what all constructors hope will be the case on every project. But in the event that there ever was a major water issue, and we know that water damage events have continually increased every year, the water monitoring capabilities and real-time alerts of JSITM and Eddy Solutions allowed our project team to react to a situation immediately. A water damage event so close to occupancy would have greatly impacted our costs, our ability to turn over the building to the client, and our client’s ability to open the building to their tenants on time.
Our use of JSITM with Eddy Solutions water monitoring successfully supported the project from a risk management perspective and provided valuable insights for use on future projects.
- Presence of water detection
- Anomalous behavior detection and issue alerting through JSITM
- Automatic and remote water meter shut off
- Integration with existing meters to track consumption
- Integration with shutoff valve for large pipes
- Custom dashboards and real-time analytics
- 24/7 monitoring support
- Main feed: protect building on the main pump station supply for all domestic water
- Hoist suite: immediate notification of water presence and potential pipe freeze and blowouts
- Temporary water feed: protection to the temporary water line, all adjacent temp. water facilities included.
- Subgrade and mechanical: immediate leak notification of water threats to major mechanical equipment and potential water ingress/egress
- Risers: water, temperature, and humidity readings in domestic distribution risers
- Common areas: sensors and shutoff valves in common areas, amenities, and mechanical rooms
- Main feed and PRV stations: equipping main and pressure reducing valve(s) stations with automatic and remote shutoff valves in the main and pressure reducing valve(s) stations
- In-suite: sensor protection at points of risk like fan coil units
- Anomalies: identified through a behavioral learning period enabled by sensory and flow data at key distribution points
- Dashboard/Application: detailed and summary data will be available on the dashboard