September 2012 Monthly Meeting

Sep 4 2012 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Meeting Title: 

Electronic Leak Detection for Building Envelopes


Aceh Community Room
Mercy Corps, 45 SW Ankeny St
Portland, OR 97204


Tom Cooper, Progeo Monitoring


Electronic leak detection for roofs in almost any form, whether it is manually practiced or computer controlled, is based on the following principles:

  1. High inherent electrical resistance of roofing membranes;
  2. The ability of water to conduct and at the same time to act as a resistor to electrical current;
  3. The ability of other materials to conduct and resist electric currents;
  4. The ability of water vapor to distribute and concentrate in areas in the roofing envelope.

The first 3 combined elements can shape an electrical field which allows one to detect leakage in membranes and to determine the location of such leakage and the 4th principle allows systems to measure increase in overall moisture in a building envelope, indicating and roughly locating a leak. We are going to demonstrate how the 2 widely used manual methods of leak detection and how the automatic leak detection systems utilize the 4 principles. We will discuss automatic leak detection including detection of leakage at penetrations and edges of building envelopes, leak detection for multi-layered roofs utilizing more than one discreet membrane or an impermeable vapor barrier acting as one of the membranes, and how vapor tracking in a roofing envelope can help determine leakage.

Thomas Cooper is the Executive Vice President of Progeo Monitoring of North America. He is responsible for business development, AIA Continued learning programs, and corporate client services.

Before coming to Progeo, Thomas was the Managing Director of Green Roof Solutions, Inc. a component manufacturing company in Chicago which produced materials for the burgeoning green roof industry. Green Roof Solutions supplied branded components to major membrane manufacturers for inclusion in their green roof systems product offering. Tom is a member of RCI and the Gulf States Construction Specifier’s Institute Leadership group.