Use of digital image processing in the monitoring of deformations in building structures

  • Klaudius Henke
  • Robert Pawlowski
  • Peter Schregle
  • Stefan Winter
Original Paper


Digital image processing was applied to develop a simple, robust and economical measuring system for detecting deformations in building structures. Selected points of the structure are captured by electronic cameras at regular intervals and their positions are measured in the digital image. The target points, in this case light-emitting diodes (LEDs), as well as the cameras used for measuring operate in the infrared range, which means that the quality of the images is not affected by the lighting conditions. Tests in the laboratory showed that using this technique it is possible to track targets over distances typical for building structures within a matter of millimeters. The practical applicability of the method was verified in a pilot project, for which the gym of the Staffelsee High School in Murnau in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen was chosen. The wide-span timber roof structure of the building was equipped with a system based on digital image processing gauging the movement of three points on each of the four main beams. Reference measurements can be taken with a built-in laser gauge. To be able to observe the correlation between weather conditions and deformation, the system is complemented by a weather station with snow-cushions on the roof of the building. Furthermore, the monitoring system is connected to multiple alarming devices.


Monitoring Deformations Roof structures Building structures Digital image processing 



This research project „Continuous Monitoring of Wide-Span Timber Roof Structures on the Basis of Digital Image Processing” was funded by the research initiative Forschungsinitiative Zukunft Bau, Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung, Bonn. It was supported by the District Administrator’s Office Landratsamt Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Impuls Imaging GmbH and Sommer GmbH & Co. KG. We wish to thank Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Kreuzinger for his encouragement and advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaudius Henke
    • 1
  • Robert Pawlowski
    • 2
  • Peter Schregle
    • 3
  • Stefan Winter
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Holzbau und BaukonstruktionTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Baukonstruktion, Baustatik und HolzbauHochschule Karlsruhe - Technik und WirtschaftKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Impuls Imaging GmbHTürkheimGermany

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