Water is one of the most notorious yet inescapable problems faced by shopping malls. Every year when the rainy season brings along heavy downpours, water may seep from the ceiling or be brought in by visitors. Meanwhile, technical reasons like HVAC unit failure, overflowing toilets, pipe reducer fitting failure, poor pipe maintenance, and galvanic corrosion are typical reasons for interior leaks. In a nutshell, water leakage in shopping malls is all too common to avoid.
However, these minor water issues shouldn’t be underestimated. In many cases, they result in greater losses than damages directly brought by rainstorms. According to the whitepaper published in 2020 by Chubb, a global insurance provider, the estimated non-weather water damage losses pile up to USD 1.2B globally each year. More leakage claims are received from high-profile businesses in recent years.
Langham Place: Requirements and Challenges
With 15 stories in height and a total area of 600,00 square feet, Langham Place is one of the most popular Hong Kong shopping malls located in Mongkok – the city’s busiest district. There is direct access to a grade-A 60-story office tower and a 5-star hotel inside the shopping mall.
The mall owns 16 passenger lifts and one cargo lift to support the huge amount of daily visitors. Water leakage precaution is essential for these carriers because of their contribution to the mall’s operation and because any water leakage incident can result in serious damage. In less serious cases, they may result in lift suspension, causing inconvenience and incurring repair costs. In serious cases, it can result in human injuries leading to huge compensation and a damaged reputation.
Leakage sensing is necessary for the mall’s server room. Hundreds of business units in the mall rely on stable computer servers and network connections to operate. Once a water leak happens in the server room, the mall will have to bear the loss from business interruption and compensation.
Moreover, considering the mall’s sheer size, minor water leakage is very difficult to be noticeable until it is too late. Therefore, technological assistance is necessary for tracking even a minute leakage.
Solution: Wise Ally’s Water Leakage Sensor connected to Thinxtra’s Sigfox 0G Network in Hong Kong
Langham Place installed an IoT water leakage system for their lift pits and server room in view of the requirements and challenges. The system consists of water sensing devices; an off-the-shelf or customized IoT end-device solutions provider connected via Thinxtra’s Sigfox 0G Network.
The IoT water leakage device fits well with the demand of a shopping mall because of its non-disruptive, easily installed and quickly-responsive features.
Langham Place operates from Monday to Sunday with busy human traffic. The sensors provided by Wise Ally can be placed directly on certain locations and can be monitored via mobile APP. This greatly minimizes the time, manpower and procedures on both installation and monitoring. Most importantly, it causes minimal disruption to the mall’s daily operation.
Besides, each water leakage rope sensor is entirely battery-powered with AA batteries and can be individual wall mounted. This self-contained characteristic avoids the lethal danger of electrocution even if the sensor is flooded by water.
Taking the form of a rope, the sensor allows an extension from 3m to 10m to cover a wide range of area. It can be placed in any limited space area which normal users cannot access. It can monitor the most hidden area and eliminate any chance of overlooking.
Moreover, the sensor is instantly responsive to any abnormalities. Once leaks are detected, it will immediately send a signal to the server and can also make an audible alert as an option. Data on water leakage status and battery level are available for users too for user action.
Unlike other connectivity solution that require users to have their own gateway, Sigfox can be adopted with a simple subscription. This greatly boosts the cost-effectiveness of the entire sensing system and makes it much more easy to adopt. Furthermore, Wise Ally’s world class manufacturing standard ensures the sensors are built in the highest quality.
A version of this case study originally appeared on Thinxtra.