FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR IP:
- Question: What does this IP represent?
Answer: Several new commercial construction products, such as a new waterproofing systems for below-grade applications, enhanced roofing systems, and new preformed seal systems for architectural and bridge/highway applications.
- Question: Is this IP a product?
Answer: Yes, but there are several different products still in development
- Question: What is happening to make this IP a product?
Answer: We have already performed three different MVP (Minimum Viable Product) installations using a discrete moisture sensing system. We are now developing membranes with integrated sensing layers.
- Question: What sets the BuildTech Solutions below-grade waterproofing system apart from existing commercial systems?
Answer: (1) The membrane and drain panel will be integrated at the factory instead of in the field (which happens during the installation process), which reduces job-site labor, increases installation reliability, and reduces total costs over the life-cycle of the installation; (2) The system also incorporates an intrinsic capability to sense water leakage and therefore check the integrity of an installation over the life-cycle of the installation.
- Question: The intrinsic leak detection sounds complex, does this change how the material is handled during storage and installation?
Answer: For below grade waterproofing (BGWP), the intrinsic leak detection is created with a passive conductive layer within the membrane itself, and therefore, the material behaves like existing membranes...no special handling will be required.
- Question: Can a system be installed without using the leak detection?
Answer: Yes, because the intrinsic leak detection is a passive conductive layer, it can be ignored (why?), or simply measured once after installation with a hand-held multi-meter to check if the install was successful or not, or connected permanently through a physical connection (wired or wireless).
- Question: How do you isolate the location of a leak?
Answer: Because each BGWP panel is connected to its own detection device (either temporary or permanent), the entire panel acts as a sensor, so that the location of a leak will be isolated to a panel. For other applications, each sensor contains an unique digital ID that allows geolocation.
- Question: How does the BGWP panel sense a leak or moisture that is penetrating the membrane?
Answer: The BGWP membrane is primarily rubberized asphalt, which is a very good electrical insulator, so the conductive layer (placed on the side of the membrane away from the structure that is being waterproofed) will conduct almost no electrical current from the conductive layer to the structural substrate. So if there is a breach in the membrane from moisture infiltration, this moisture will conduct electricity and the electrical leakage current will increase substantially...and this increase may be sensed by an external detection device (e.g. a hand held ohmmeter will measure a drop in electrical resistance or an LCR meter will measure a change in electrical impedance).
- Question: What type of external device can be used with the BGWP system?
Answer: Because of the range of different devices, and the complexity of the instruments we have available today, the external device can be chosen to simply measure DC leakage current once, or measure complex AC impedance, connected through wireless RFID, and connected through the Internet to enable continuous (24/7) remote monitoring of the integrity of an installation.
- Question: What type of external device is used to read discrete sensors and/or the sensing layers within membranes?
Answer: an RFID device must be used to read the sensors and sensing layers within membranes.
- Question: Can any RFID reader be used to read BuildTech sensors?
Answer: No, only BuildTech RFID readers will work. This is because our sensor tags have data security protocols and require specialized algorithms to extract data from the sensor tags.
- Question: I've heard about other leak detection methods, such as EFVM, how does this compare with the BuildTech IP?
Answer: The nature of the below-grade installation prevents the use of the electrical leak detection methods already in use for above-grade applications such as EFVM (Electronic Field Vector Mapping) and High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD), because both methods require physical contact with the distal (outward-facing) surface of the waterproofing membrane.
- Question: Where can I go to get more information about this IP?
Answer: please visit our Intellectual Property page, which provides links to the patents as well as a white paper that shows how the new waterproofing system will be much more reliable than current commercial systems. Additionally, please visit our MSLL (Moisture Sensing Leak Location) page for information about our MVP field installations.