The threat of water damage to commercial buildings is an often-underestimated risk, but it’s a very real problem that facility managers must face.
Office buildings or residential and commercial complexes can be particularly vulnerable to plumbing mishaps. They have exponentially more water features than homes, and leaks can also occur in AC and other systems. Writing in Insurance Business Magazine, Douglas Barnett details the design vulnerabilities that office buildings and other facilities have to water damage:
What is more, building architecture can turn a simple leak into an expensive affair. The location of the toilets is often the same from floor to floor. That stacking design means any problem on the top floor can have repercussions in the stories below. And if all toilets are affected, the building will need to shut down during repairs.
Scaling up water system management
Water management systems should be part of the risk management toolkit for commercial facilities. The systems can act as an additional insurance policy for commercial buildings, both during construction and then throughout the life of the facility.
A common challenge is scaling up any management system to monitor what can amount to thousands of feet of plumbing as well as HVAC systems, fire sprinklers and other systems for multiple structures in a complex. At WINT, we’ve worked hard to apply advanced artificial intelligence and monitoring techniques to provide water system management at any scale.
We understand the challenges that our commercial clients face, and our goal has been to offer simple client-facing solutions powered by advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) applications on the backend. If water flow patterns at a location diverge from normal, WINT units can quickly detect problems. When it comes to water damage, every second counts, so the devices can be programmed with the capability to shut off water to an area if a problem is detected.
Advantages of monitoring
Water management systems can be put in place before construction of commercial facilities is even completed, guarding against leaks that can delay the construction process or cause expensive damage. Once a commercial facility is completed, it’s especially important to be on the lookout for construction-related water issues during the first years of occupancy.
For example, a weekend water leak on the 11th floor of an insurance company’s building in Israel ended up costing the business about millions in facility damage, ruined computers and other damage. Compare that outcome to the experience of a Fortune 200 company that had installed the WINT system: Alerted to a burst pipe, the business responded quickly enough to stave off potentially millions of dollars in damage.
Water system management doesn’t have to be expensive. AI and machine learning technologies provide scalable and affordable solutions that can provide commercial facilities significant savings in water usage and repairs.