April 12th 2023

The Six Steps to Awakening your Sleeping Digital Twin

The Six Steps to Awakening your Sleeping Digital Twin

We recently shared details of our newly launched Sleeping Digital Twin initiative, which aims to evolve the many dormant 3D design, compliance and BIM models that exist for the majority of our current building stock into digital twins which are useable across the building lifecycle. With at least 80% of buildings that will exist in 2050 already constructed, these sleeping digital twins harness enormous potential to allow us to better understand, monitor and improve the performance of our existing building stock as we work to meet both short-term energy reduction targets and longer term net-zero carbon goals across the built environment.

While the concept is a simple one (to extract hidden value from your existing, unused building models) you may be wondering exactly how we achieve this. So, today we’re sharing the six-step approach our team employs to awaken your Sleeping Digital Twin to its full potential.

Step 1: Awaken your Model
First of all, our team examine the current model and what is required to awaken it. This allows us to identify any initial fixes which may be required to the model and upgrades will be made as required to support the process.

Step 2: Energy Audit
Next, an energy audit is conducted of your building(s) so that any unregulated loads or information about the building in operation can be incorporated. It is no secret that most standard compliance models overlook a number of key unregulated loads (which can amount to as much as 50% of total energy use in some building types) and that occupant behaviours can deviate significantly from original design intent. Therefore, this step is crucial to ensuring the model represents the actual building as closely as possible.

Step 3: Data Gathering
Data (including historical data) will then be gathered from the building including energy use or sensors data from building management systems (BMS), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, energy bills, etc. Using our iSCAN data analytics platform we can centralise any time-series data from across these different systems, sensors and historic files in one platform to provide a single pane view across your building data; using our physics based simulation and machine learning/AI capabilities to fill any missing data gaps.

Step 4: Model Calibration
Next, the model is calibrated with the unregulated loads, operational and historical data to transform it into a highly accurate digital twin that closely replicates the actual building. This provides a baseline which truly reflects your building’s current performance and can provide the basis for ongoing monitoring & verification and virtual testing of building improvements/upgrades.

Step 5: Live Connection
Finally, a live connection is established between the digital twin and the BMS and/or IoT sensors within your building(s). This ensures that your digital twin is continuously fed with the most up to date data to provide real-time insights on how your building is currently performing, and allowing you to track any changes in terms of operation/occupant behaviours, faults, etc. that may occur over time.

Step 6: Digital Twin Awakened
At this stage, your model is fully awake! You now have a highly intelligent performance digital twin at your fingertips, tracking and optimising the operational performance of your building(s) in real time and using physics simulations to provide actionable intelligence to continuously maintain and improve your building(s) over their lifetime. Not only can this allow you to identify and target near-term energy, carbon and cost savings within your building to reap the immediate benefits, but you can also simulate and compare the impact of longer-term net-zero strategies, including retrofit upgrades and renewable installations, so that you can roadmap your path to zero carbon and make decisions with confidence in the predicted outcomes.

Get in touch for your free model audit
If you have access to an existing 3D design, compliance or BIM model for your building and would like to explore its potential as a digital twin, complete the form on our website and our team will be in touch to assess your model and objectives.

To find out more, visit https://www.iesve.com/sleeping-digital-twin