iot water leak detection in student housing use case

Thriving students need a smart city

How smart city technology ensures good student housing

Introduction to the smart city of Lund

With about 40,000 students, the city of Lund is home to one of Sweden’s and Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Such a large university requires amounts of supporting structure to host and maintain all of these students. In addition, extensive and high-quality housing, stable modes of transportation, and not the least, a top modern digital infrastructure is required for students to thrive in the challenging climate. 

Lund is also a Smart City. In fact, one of Sweden’s smartest cities to date, and new IoT projects are continuously emerging. Traffic optimization, sustainability projects, and new innovative meeting areas are some of the many current projects in the city. Looking at housing, while many new apartments are being built to last and stay attractive to students, older student housing faces infrastructural challenges.

iot student smart city lund water leak detection

Use case

Water damages to housing

In 2018, about 200 international students living in the residential area of Pålsjöäng had to leave their homes after an investigation revealed that water and dampness had severely damaged 17 apartments in the building. In addition, due to ventilation issues, some students had to keep their kitchen fans on for entire days to keep fresh air coming in. Not only did the students eventually have to seek new alternatives in a foreign country, but they were also thrown back into a highly competitive market in a small town with few options to start with.

How it could have been avoided

This case clearly shows why it is wise to look at modern smart city technological solutions for new and older apartments. But, unfortunately, water damages will likely remain a constant issue in apartments for long into the future.

Thankfully, mitigation solutions are here today.

Water leak detection is one of the staple solutions of IoT, and this technology has saved hundreds of real-estate owners from unnecessary damages and costs. Sensors can send alerts through an IoT platform whenever a leak is detected, or apartments reach alarming moisture levels. Further, scenarios can be set up to turn off the water supply, activate HVAC systems, and more. 

water damages on wall iot water leak detection

Cost of damages

Let us take a look at the costs of these events:

  • The average cost to repair water damage lies somewhere between $3,000 – $7,500
  • The monthly rent for an apartment intended for a student is approximately $400 in Sweden. 
  • The monthly maintenance costs for an apartment ranges from $50 – $1,000.


If we estimate the cost of repairing each apartment at Pålsjöäng to be $3,000 (although it might be considerably higher), add monthly maintenance costs (let us say $300 a month as student apartments are notoriously non-lucrative), and subtract the average monthly rent of $400 for each apartment, we can see that it will take quite some time for the real estate owners to earn back those expenses.

Assuming that the property owner would remedy the damages within a month, the costs would look something like this:

  • Costs due to water damage: 17 x $3,000 = $51,000
  • Costs due to lost rent: 17 x $400 = $6,800
  • Total amount lost: $51,000 + $6,800 = $57,800$


Not only could the cost of $57,800 have been avoided if the property owner had detected the water leaks sooner, but the property owner would not have needed its tenants to leave their homes, causing a bad reputation in return.

Sensative’s smart city solution

As Sensative offers a highly versatile platform and capable multi-sensors, a complete solution can easily be bought, installed, and maintained. With our Strips MS +Drip sensors for LoRaWAN, any signs of water leaks can be monitored in real-time through the Yggio platform.

In Yggio, users can get an overview of each apartment and every sensor in those apartments with sensor readings displayed in real-time. If a leak is detected, the system can send out an alarm via SMS, mail, or another service to the concerned parties to act upon immediately.

Further, by investing in IoT technology such as smart valve shutters, users can set up scenarios to cut off the water supply in the affected apartment the very second an issue is detected. 

Yggio horizontal building.2022.rev2 .1

One use case – Hundreds of opportunities

Apart from installing a smart water leak detection system, using Sensative’s versatile multi-sensors and the competent and multi-functional Yggio platform means many new use cases opening up through the investment.

With water leak detection (capacitance monitoring), Sensative’s Strips MS +Drip also comes with temperature and light (LUX) monitoring, which means that residential owners can simultaneously monitor other indoor conditions. Such data are valuable for optimizing heat distribution, renovating planning, and more.

Further, the Yggio platform is an open platform that “speaks” many different sensor languages, allowing users to connect a wide range of devices from different manufacturers, enabling them to tailor their very best unique solutions. With Yggio’s openness, users can treat their data as they wish, develop their own services, and more.

Shop for products

sensative strips drip water leak sensor

Strips MS +Drip sensors can be found directly in our webshop.

For the customer who wants to learn about IoT and try out Sensative’s MS +Drip sensors together with the Yggio platform, we offer a “Starter Kit for Water Leak risk management” for monitoring water leaks, temperature, doors/windows, and more. A powerful starter kit that works excellent in any commercial buildings.

If you are interested in buying our solutions in this case or need help tailoring a solution for your specific needs, visit our webshop or contact our sales team to evaluate your possibilities and requirements. We are here to help.

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