March 29th 2023

Sleeping Digital Twins: Awakening the Whole-Life Potential of your Existing Building Model

Sleeping Digital Twins: Awakening the Whole-Life Potential of your Existing Building Model

Take a look at the buildings around you and there is a good chance that an existing 3D design, compliance or BIM model already exists for each and every one of them. However, did you know that these models typically remain nothing more than a snapshot in time and are rarely utilised to their full potential throughout the building’s remaining lifecycle? 

Well, we’re here to put an end to it.

At IES, we refer to these existing models (many which have been created in our very own VE software, but not exclusively) as Sleeping Digital Twins. Often created during the design/refurbishment phase, or for compliance with building regulations (e.g. Part L) or other voluntary standards (such as LEED and BREEAM), these models represent a massive untapped resource, not only for the AEC industry, but also for the people that own, operate and occupy the buildings across their lifetimes.

What if we told you that these dormant models could be re-awakened into fully-fledged, accurate and reliable performance digital twins that are useable across a building’s entire lifecycle? Providing a virtual replica which leverages real data and a powerful simulation engine to help you understand the current performance of your building(s), simulate future outcomes and monitor the impact of changes over time.

Well we’re here to offer exactly that. Using a tried and tested a six-step process, IES can re-awaken your static model as an intelligent performance digital twin that can help improve your building across its entire lifecycle. Whether your goal is to be able to monitor and optimise the performance of your building in real-time; to create a roadmap to zero-carbon and simulate the impact of future ‘what-if’ scenarios and technologies; to assess the integration of renewables and community energy schemes; or to pursue NABERS Energy Ratings and Design for Performance (DfP) (amongst many other possible objectives) then we can help you achieve it. Giving you the ability to analyse a range of performance metrics so you can move forward knowing you have the insights to make better decisions for your building at every step.

We recently supported one of Ireland’s leading life, investment and pensions companies, Irish Life, by awakening four Sleeping Digital Twins across their building portfolio. Now, the digital twins are being used to roadmap their pathway to zero-carbon. You can read more about the project in our case study where you’ll also find examples of our decarbonisation dashboards and an interactive city model.

Keep an eye out for future posts where we’ll provide more detail on the steps involved in awakening your Sleeping Digital Twin, as well as the various applications and outcomes which can be achieved thereafter.

Get in touch for your free model audit

Do you have access to an existing 3D design, compliance or BIM model for your building? Then you could have an incredibly valuable digital asset – or Sleeping Digital Twin – ready to be wakened up to its full potential.

Our team are ready to examine your existing energy model and start you on your journey to creating a live digital twin. Fill out the form on our website and we will be in touch to assess your model and objectives.

To find out more, visit