Clean gutters, no worries, Source: Helsingborg Municipality

Helsingborg digitalizes even its rain gutters

Helsingborg digitalizes even its rain gutters

Smart sensors will warn of potential blockages, and that in turn will prevent moisture from destroying the buildings’ facades

The Swedish city of Helsingborg is taking its Internet of Things (IoT) strategy so seriously that no tiny detail of daily life gets overlooked. The latest addition to the smart city plan is to make its rain gutters more intelligent and easier to monitor by installing sensors notifying when there is a build-up of leaves and debris.

The problem with overflowing rain gutters, apart from the fact that they are not doing their job correctly is that they cause moisture to seep into the building façade, progressively destroying its structural integrity.

Plus, spotting problems with gutters can be difficult. They often sit high up on buildings. Arranging lifts and barriers to check the situation costs both time and money. To solve this, a pilot project is therefore underway in the city.

Expanding the idea of a smart city to every corner

Daniel Edenström, administrative manager at the city’s property department, shines more light on the situation: “One of property management's biggest challenges is getting our money for maintenance to be enough for all the work we need to do on the city's properties. Clogged gutters can lead to moisture-damaged facades over time, which is very costly. In the project, we are testing whether we can digitally keep track of our gutters and in this way more quickly remediate, if necessary before the facade and building are damaged.”

As a response, a service is being developed with tech companies Pingday and Lindab. The administration will place leakage sensors, which will warn public employees in case there is a blockage in a particular gutter. It minimizes inspections and saves time and money.

The first buildings to benefit from the test project will be three public schools in Helsingborg.



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