How AI uncovers water leaks while cutting carbon emissions in construction

July 10, 2023 | 5 minute read
Rick Bell
Senior Content Marketing Manager
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Much of Europe and the US are suffering through unprecedented drought. The global fresh water supply is a finite critical resource, and its accessibility is dwindling. Its conservation remains crucial as population and industries grow.

Water use also generates harmful carbon emissions. But detailed analytics through artificial intelligence is a new tool in use to reduce water waste while simultaneously cutting carbon emissions in the struggle to protect the global environment.

WINT is a water management system using AI, advanced data analysis, and pattern recognition to detect and stop leaks at the source in real time. The Israel-based company is playing a critical role in water sustainability and is one of the technology partners featured at the UK Oracle Industry Lab. The WINT platform integrates with Oracle Primavera Unifier and is hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

“We're extremely happy about this partnership,” says Yaron Dycian, chief product and strategy officer at WINT. “Oracle is a big name, and it’s an honor be associated with them and get the exposure that the Oracle Industry Lab provides. Bringing in top-notch contractors to see our technology is a great opportunity for us.”

Sustainability is critical to maintaining assets as well as building them, says Geoff Roberts, director of industry and innovation for Oracle Construction and Engineering. Anything that can prevent leakage and ensure sound water management is a significant plus for project managers.

“Having WINT in the lab showcases our commitment to sustainability,” Roberts says. “Enabling key data and alerts to be brought into Oracle Primavera Unifier ensures a one-stop shop for the project delivery teams and ensures sustainability measures are clearly defined.”

Managing the flow of water

A quarter of the water that enters a building is wasted. Pipes break, faucets leak, toilets overflow, and the water seeps where it wants. Improperly managed water use is enormously expensive, Dycian says. He adds that water is the largest cause of damages from a financial perspective to buildings and construction sites.

“If you do not monitor, if you do not track, if you do not manage, you'll never be successful with water sustainability.”

—Yaron Dycian, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, WINT

Water waste also strains sustainability in other ways. For every thousand gallons of water used, approximately 80 pounds of carbon emissions are generated since electricity is needed to pump the water.

“Insurers say that water is the new fire and it’s their main financial headache,” he says. “These are big problems, and our vision is to solve them.”

WINT is an IoT platform. Devices are strategically placed throughout a building or construction site, which “learn” normal water use and then identify anomalies that are wasteful and potentially destructive. When WINT detects a leak, it alerts users so they can instantly shut water off. WINT’s artificial intelligence identifies the source of the leak to quickly fix the problem.

Solving water waste on construction sites

WINT works in commercial or residential projects from construction through to the operational phase. Builders face even higher insurance rates since 30% of the overall insurance payouts is attributed to water damage, Dycian says.

“Water leak damage specifically now has deductibles upwards of a quarter-million dollars per incident; it's a lot of money,” Dycian says. “We help general contractors by taming water leak damages. As a result, many of our customers are seeing insurance benefits. Insurers are giving them a break, both in the deductible as well as on the premium, if they use WINT.”

Nearly 70% of water waste on a construction site comes from a broken pipe or a bad fitting. The piping system on a construction site or in a young building, which typically contains over a thousand joints on a single floor, isn’t completely shaken out. A single poorly fitted joint or clogged sink can cause millions of dollars in damage.

Dycian recalls a New York high rise that suffered over $100 million in damage just weeks before project handover. A worker on an upper floor inadvertently left a tap open right before the weekend and the sink clogged.

“You can imagine the water just runs and runs all through the building, and you've suddenly got $110 million in damages,” he says. “We eliminate that concern.”

Saving water to cut carbon emissions

Water use requires energy. Drilling into the ground, desalinating the seas, and pulling from a reservoir or lake, followed by filtration and distribution, consumes vast amounts of electricity. Once water is consumed, it’s pushed back into sewage treatment—a process emitting greenhouse gases.

This entire cycle creates massive carbon emissions. Dycian says that the water seepage from just two leaky toilets over the course of a year will generate carbon emissions equivalent to a passenger car.

“It's a lot of carbon for no good reason, let alone the water wasted,” he says.

Through the WINT technology—their motto is prevent, protect, and preserve—a major facility for a large technology company cut their overall water consumption by 46%, saving them 8 million gallons of water annually and reducing their carbon footprint by 350 metric tons per year.

WINT integration with Oracle Primavera Unifier

The WINT integration with Oracle Primavera Unifier helps builders improve their environmental sustainability. Like a single pane of glass, builders want to see everything in the same place. Dycian says it's an effective way for customers to consolidate everything that they need.

“If you do not monitor, if you do not track, if you do not manage, you'll never be successful with water sustainability.”

The Oracle Smart Construction Platform combines our industry-trusted applications with a common data environment and an ecosystem of partners to help owners and delivery teams work together and continuously improve performance. The platform connects teams and data, synchronizes work, and empowers individuals to make informed, proactive decisions. Power performance with proven Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for scheduling, portfolio management, construction project management, project controls, construction payment management, and more.

Read more about the Oracle Industry Lab and its partners:

DustScanAQ partnership with Oracle Industry Lab breathes fresh air into monitoring pollutants

Bringing supply chain decarbonization full circle for the construction industry

Participants learn about innovation and sustainability during the Oracle Construction and Engineering Summit

BIM Forum Brasil builds new relationships during first mission to Oracle in Chicago

Innovation and sustainability top upcoming Oracle Construction and Engineering summit

Oracle Industry Lab marks first year of operation

Reality mapping experiment breaks new ground at the Oracle Industry Lab

Getting hands-on experiences at the Oracle Industry Lab

Oracle Industry Lab drone challenge tests pilots’ jobsite skills

Showcasing the advantages of drones in data capture

Sustainability practices a priority at new UK Oracle Industry Lab

Take a tour of the Oracle Industry Lab

Why AI and machine learning belong in the construction and engineering industry

Rick Bell

Senior Content Marketing Manager

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