What is I‑Pro 1?

I‑Pro 1 is a smart seis­mic pro­tec­tion active con­trol sys­tem for exist­ing build­ings. It reduces the time and inva­sive­ness of the intervention.

Is I‑Pro 1 a TMD?

No, I‑Pro 1 is an active con­trol system.

Instead, Tuned Mass Dampers (TMD) are pas­sive mechan­i­cal devices.

How does I‑Pro 1 work?

I‑Pro 1 is installed on the build­ing roof to improve its struc­tur­al per­for­mance dur­ing an earth­quake. After installing I‑Pro 1, and con­nect­ing it with sen­sors and the cen­tral con­trol unit, it starts work­ing. Depend­ing on the size and the num­ber of build­ing floors, the num­ber of devices to be installed to obtain the desired seis­mic improve­ment will adapt accord­ing­ly. This allows for improve­ments in all build­ing lim­it states (SLO, SLD, SLV, SLC).

Dur­ing an earth­quake, the cen­tral unit records move­ment by sen­sors and thanks to the con­trol algo­rithms, com­putes in real­time the forces need­ed to min­i­mize struc­ture oscil­la­tions and avoid a poten­tial collapse.

What does it mean that I‑Pro 1 is an active seismic protection technology?

I‑Pro 1 is an active con­trol sys­tem that exerts forces on the build­ing accord­ing to the com­mands defined by the cen­tral unit which records the struc­ture move­ments thanks to motion sen­sors; that’s how I‑Pro 1 reduces the struc­ture’s move­ment dur­ing an earth­quake to help avoid collapse.

What does it mean that I‑Pro 1 is a one-size-fits-all technology?

I‑Pro 1 is a stan­dard prod­uct and does not require ad hoc design to be applied. It’s suit­able for dif­fer­ent build­ing types, the only vari­able is the num­ber of devices to be installed depend­ing on the size in plan, the num­ber of floors of the build­ing and the seis­mic improve­ment desired.

What are the advantages of using I‑Pro 1 for a structural engineer or a design Studio?

Thanks to I‑Pro 1 time inter­ven­tion and inva­sive­ness are dras­ti­cal­ly reduced; this allows to reduce the logis­ti­cal and eco­nom­ic dis­com­fort’s for own­ers, who will not have to evac­u­ate the build­ing dur­ing the construction.

Is I‑Pro 1 a magnetorheological fluid device?

No, I‑Pro 1 is an active device moved by elec­tro-hydraulic actu­a­tors oper­at­ing with min­er­al oil.

What are the advantages of using I‑Pro 1 for the end user?

The advan­tages deriv­ing to I‑Pro 1 adop­tion to the end cus­tomer are:

  • Inva­sive­ness reduc­tion of the seis­mic improve­ment intervention.
  • Inter­ven­tion reduc­tion time.
  • Inter­ven­tions are only on the exte­ri­or of the building.

Is I‑Pro 1 maintanance scheduled?

I‑Pro 1 car­ries out a week­ly “self-check” to ver­i­fy that the device’s per­for­mance has not decreased or degrad­ed; so, if it’s nec­es­sary, it’s pos­si­ble to sched­ule time­ly main­te­nance. This approach is unus­able for a pas­sive sys­tem, which can be ver­i­fied with a qual­i­ty test only, (on 2% up to 20% of the com­po­nents pro­duced in a batch of devices accord­ing to UNI EN 15129: 2018). This means that it’s pos­si­ble to detect any faults dur­ing the replace­ment and the dis­miss­ing phases.

There­fore, the device’s per­for­mance and the main­te­nance needs can be con­stant­ly checked remote­ly. In any case, ordi­nary sys­tem’s main­te­nance of the sys­tem is scheduled.

The use and main­te­nance book­let and the tech­ni­cal files are deliv­ered to the cus­tomer togeth­er which is a CE marked device; these doc­u­ments explain activ­i­ties and com­po­nents nec­es­sary to car­ry out rou­tine main­te­nance. The main­te­nance must be car­ried out by ISAAC cer­ti­fied technicians.

All this guar­an­tees, com­pared to the use of pas­sive inter­ven­tions or sim­ple local rein­force­ments, a h24 check of the prod­uct and its func­tion­ing, as well as a con­stant ver­i­fi­ca­tion of seis­mic safe­ty. All this guar­an­tees max­i­mum secu­ri­ty to the own­ers and users of the properties.

How is the functionality of the device guaranteed over time? What happens if the earthquake occurs, for example, 30 years after installation?

There is a use­full mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing prac­tice named FMEA risk analy­sis for iden­ti­fy­ing the Per­for­mance Lev­els and Safe Integri­ty Levels.

This analy­sis allows to iden­ti­fy any risks which a device is sub­ject to, so as to iden­ti­fy a reli­a­bil­i­ty index. If the defined secur­ty lev­el is not guar­an­teed, it’s pos­si­ble to obtain it by mechan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal and hydraulic redundancies.

What would happen if I‑Pro 1 was not periodically maintained?

I‑Pro 1 car­ries out a week­ly self-check to guar­an­tee that the device’s per­for­mance does not decline over time; this check allows to define rapid main­te­nance in case of noti­fi­ca­tion. This means that even with­out sched­uled ordi­nary main­te­nance, devices sta­tus can be checked remote­ly at any time.

For old buildings with unknowing characteristics could I‑Pro 1 lead to a more rapid structural collapse during an earthquake?

The con­trol algo­rithms allows to opti­mize I‑Pro 1 per­for­mance in accor­dance to the struc­ture and the seis­mic improve­ment desired; This means that an improve­ment result is always achievable.

A build­ing sim­pli­fied lin­ear mod­el obtained through struc­ture dynam­ic field tests is suf­fi­cient to the analy­sis. There­fore if the project and the FEM mod­el used by the design office in charge of seis­mic improve­ment, did not exact­ly reflect the behav­ior of the build­ing, this would not cre­ate any prob­lems for the cor­rect func­tion­ing of the technology.

ISAAC will be able to per­form non-lin­ear dynam­ic sim­u­la­tions of the build­ing sub­ject­ed to an earth­quake and simul­ta­ne­ous­ly with the con­trol forces pro­duced by I‑Pro 1. It will thus be pos­si­ble to ver­i­fy the devi­a­tion dynam­ic para­me­ters between the FEM mod­el of the build­ing and the para­me­ters mea­sured in site, as well as the reduc­tion of the loads on the struc­tur­al ele­ments (moment, shear, com­pres­sion loads, …).

Is I‑Pro 1 a certified system?

Yes, I‑Pro 1 is cer­ti­fied with CE mark­ing accord­ing to the Machin­ery Direc­tive and SIL safe­ty cer­tifi­cate (EN 61508).

Is I‑Pro 1 suitable in all seismic areas?

Yes, I‑Pro 1 is suit­able in all seis­mic areas. Con­sid­er­ing this: by chang­ing the appli­ca­tion area, and con­se­quent­ly the elas­tic spec­trum defined, it is nec­es­sary to install a num­ber of greater or less­er devices accord­ing to the min­i­mum risk class to be achieved.

How are I‑Pro 1 devices firm to the slab?

If the roof slab can­not bear the devices ver­ti­cal load, and to ensure a cor­rect dis­tri­b­u­tion of the hor­i­zon­tal forces on the pil­lars, we sug­gest to design a frame where devices are firmed and anchor them to the pil­lar heads.

Is I‑Pro 1 suitable for masonry buildings?

I‑Pro 1 has been devel­oped to be applied to rein­forced con­crete and steel build­ings; no stud­ies have yet been car­ried out for I‑pro 1 appli­ca­tion to mason­ry structures.