2022 11 23

Damage-proof façades – the mission of SINTEF Community experts in an automated façade system project

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Driving sustainability in the façade industry is among the main goals for Staticus. Through Staticus Care, we have partnered with leading academic experts to develop sustainable, timber-based building envelope solutions that make a difference in the construction sector worldwide. 

SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations, is among our partners in the project titled “Developing a more environmentally friendly automated façade system that is integrated into the building’s control systems”. Members of the SINTEF Community team are bringing their multifaceted expertise to the project, from identifying the most risk-prone façade spots to improving the accuracy of damage predictions. Dr. Johannes Brozovsky, research scientist at SINTEF Community, told us more about SINTEF and their role in the project. 

Transforming scientific expertise into sustainable solutions

A part of SINTEF enterprise group, SINTEF Community is a research institute for the sustainable development of buildings, infrastructure and mobility. Providing research and development, research-based consultancy, certification and other services, the institute has specialist expertise in areas such as architecture, construction, and digital transport solutions, as well as a cutting-edge laboratory for testing materials and constructions.

SINTEF Community boasts decades of experience in developing and testing façade solutions in Nordic climate conditions, as well as in dealing with climate-induced façade damage. According to Johannes, this project is a unique opportunity for SINTEF to apply in practice its years’ of experience in building physics and sustainable construction.

“We bring an in-depth understanding of the development of constructive and environmentally-friendly solutions to the table, especially when it comes to wooden constructions,” Johannes explains. “Together with Staticus, we can transform our expert knowledge into practical applications and create new building envelope solutions. These solutions will support the high quality of the indoor environment while reducing the energy use and environmental impact of buildings.”

Maximising durability, minimising risk

During the project, SINTEF Community aims to improve the accuracy of damage predictions to façades. As Johannes explains, reducing uncertainties in risk management prolongs the life cycle of construction elements, which can have a significant positive effect on a building’s environmental impact.

“Buildings are exposed to a wide range of harsh climatic conditions over their lifetime,” Johannes says. “By minimising the uncertainty of what these conditions are and taking climate change into account, the risk of damage is reduced and building components are eventually made more durable. In turn, better durability results in less damage to the façade during the operational phases, which saves investors money and cuts down the environmental emissions of replacing building parts.”

During the project, SINTEF Community will bring their expert knowledge to workshops and interviews aimed at determining the elements of wooden façades that carry the highest risk of damage. Additionally, façade-integrated sensors will be used to run numerical damage and decay models in order to identify risk areas before damage occurs.

Meet the SINTEF Community team

Three experts from SINTEF Community are contributing to the project. 

A structural engineer with a background in numerical analysis and modelling, Dr. Katarzyna Ostapska will develop a tool for quickly and straightforwardly assessing the risk of mould and decay in façades based on real weather data input. She will also identify a material model for wood from experimental data and build a numerical model of a timber frame to accurately simulate timber connections in a façade. Katarzyna has a PhD in fracture mechanics of timber engineering.

Dr. Arian Loli is in charge of identifying the possible risk spots in timber and timber-aluminium façades and linking them with moisture- and leakage-induced damage. Arian will carry out interviews and workshops as well as a literature review and a review of standard recommendations and data from insurance databases. These insights will be used to increase the modelling accuracy of risk spots in computer software and sensor placement. Arian holds a PhD in architecture. 

The leader of this project at SINTEF, Dr. Johannes Georg Brozovsky is tasked with reporting, quality assurance, team management as well as time and budget planning. Johannes has a background in building physics and a PhD in architecture. 

About SINTEF

SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations with over 2,000 employees from 75 countries and about 3,600 customers per year. SINTEF’s expertise spans from renewable energy, marine technology and biology, to buildings and infrastructure, materials, micro-, nano- and biotechnology, oil and gas, health and welfare, digitalization, and transport. SINTEF is known for multidisciplinary scientific excellence aiming to create value through knowledge generation, research and innovation, and develop technological solutions that are brought into practical use.


The project “Developing a more environmentally friendly automated façade system that is integrated into the building’s control systems” is funded by the 2014-2021 Norwegian Financial Mechanism Program “Business Development, Innovation and SMEs” and EEA and Norway Grants.

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