To understand what is building thermography, we must understand what thermography means. Thermography can also be known as infrared thermography which is where an infrared camera or thermal camera can read and convert infrared radiation information from an object or persons into a two dimensional picture or video. This is a process that is non-invasive and can be carried out quickly. Building thermography is where thermography can be used in the building industry to detect building faults with homes and buildings. Building thermography is becoming more popular as homes and buildings often require a building energy rating (BER) certificate. As building thermography can detect areas where heat could be escaping from a home or it could show up structural issues such as issues with a roof or damp patch in a wall. Building thermography is popular as people become more aware of being energy efficient due to climate change. Building thermography activities are best to be taken on cold days, to check for areas where the cold air might be coming into a building. The reason is the difference in the delta T between the inside of the property and the outside temperature, the greater the difference the easier it is to spot the problem. Building thermography surveys are mostly on older buildings that may have poor insulation. However new buildings such as new homes often need a BER certificate to allow home buyers to avail of green mortgage rates. This is where the building thermography process comes into play, it can also give new home buyer’s the reassurance that their homes are energy efficient as buyers become more aware how important it is to have an energy efficient home.
Thermal camera / Infrared cameras have been around for many years but only recently the cost has decreased to a level where the general plumber or energy assessors can afford the cameras, they may not use them everyday but when they do use them the information from them help to identify hidden problems which cannot be seen with the human eye. Some people even think them as x-ray cameras but this is defiantly not the case as it is a completely different technology.
The image above can clearly detect where there is a ceiling leak. If an issue such as a ceiling leak is not detected quickly it can quickly spread and cause damaging to flooring such as carpets. This could turn into a health and safety issue if not identified in time.
The above images is from a building thermography survey which has identified that the door is not well insulated or is fitted correctly into the door frame. It clearly shows cold air escaping around the top of the door frame. This could make a home energy inefficient and long-term result in higher energy costs.
The type of thermal cameras SATR recommends for building thermography should have a certain level of specifications. As we are looking for small areas of concern in many cases, a resolution of at least 160x120 is recommended greater than 320 x240 is preferred, we would also recommend a camera which has focus adjustment as this will allow the end user to optimise the images for a clear and detailed image. One of the key features with any thermal camera is to have the correct training on how to set up the camera and use the device when on site. Saving images and video are important and also how to interpret the actual image . SATIR are able to assist with this and also send out monthly newsletters with interesting articles for up to date industry information.
The SATIR I-Series is a recent addition to SATIR industrial range of thermography cameras. It is a suitable thermal camera series for building thermography applications. There are two models available: the i-160 (160x120) an entry level model and the i-384 (384x288) a mid level model. It has a fixed screen design which is a new design feature which features a 3.5 inch LCD responsive touchscreen. It has a battery life of 4 hours which would cover a 2-3 house surveys in one day. It has a wide temperature range of -20°C ~ + 550°C and temperature accuracy of ±2°C or ± 2% of readings. The key reason why the i-series is best suited to building thermography is that it comes with an Android App, that can be installed on a phone or iPad/tablet. The Android app is useful in situations where the surveyor is in the attic or on a roof or ladder and may not have the focus to properly analyse the survey as they could be working at heights, so a safety aspect is more important. A second person or surveyor could be on the ground and opens the android app on their phone or tablet and properly analyse the survey with more detail and provide voice messages to the surveyor at heights to scan particular sections that may be showing up more of a concern. To learn more about the I-series please visit https://satir.com/product/i-series-thermal-camera-android-app or you can request a quote on our form at https://satir.com/request-a-quote