IN RECENT YEARS, there has been a lot of public debate about moisture damages in buildings. What if there was a way to detect the risk for moisture damage even before the damage has emerged? According to Tuomas Saikkonen, CEO of roofing accessories company VILPE, this might soon be reality:
“Picture a ventilation outlet equipped with sensors that continuously measure the humidity in the insulation layer under the roof. If humidity increases, the system gives an alert and acts inde-pendently, well in good time before any damage has occurred.”
According to VILPE’s R&D Director Veli-Pekka Lahti, sensors have considerably come down in price during the last few years, which opens up for new opportunities that only recently sounded like pure science fiction.
“I wouldn’t have thought that the development would be this fast. At the moment, we have many research projects going on together with universities and other partners, and the results look promising.”
SAIKKONEN IS convinced that VILPE’s future lies in intelligent products and IoT, which, knowing the company’s history, sounds very probable – there are few companies with such an impressive track record of innovation. Founded in the 1970’s, VILPE has over 30 patents and new product innovations are born on a yearly basis. The newest one in line is a so-called adjustable mushroom fastener, which can be used on bitumen, PVC or EPDM roofs of varying thicknesses.
AS INNOVATION is one of VILPE’s core values, the company invests 5-10 percent of its turnover in R&D. One clear sign of the company’s innovativeness is the fact that VILPE’s products are being copied by competitors both abroad and in Finland.In the summer of 2020, VILPE’s innovation practice reaches a completely new level, when the first intelligent roofing products equipped with sensors are launched.
“IoT is finally becoming a part of the building industry. I believe that ten years from now, we will be shocked when we look back and realize how little data we had back then. Today many important decisions in the building industry are still based on gut feeling rather than real information.”
Business sector: Ventilation & roofing accessories
Turnover: 20 MEUR
Major markets: Northern Europe, Russia & the Baltics