April 27th 2023

Sleeping Digital Twins: Why NOW is the time to wake up your existing building models

Sleeping Digital Twins: Why NOW is the time to wake up your existing building models

In the first two blogs of our series we introduced you to the Sleeping Digital Twin concept and explained our stepped process to awakening the potential of your existing digital building models as fully fledged Performance Digital Twins. There are millions of these valuable digital assets across the globe, currently tucked away in archives, that represent a massive untapped resource. Read on to find out just some of the benefits of awakening your Sleeping Digital Twin, and why now is the time to do it.

Net-Zero Roadmaps

With pressure mounting to reach net-zero and help mitigate the most serious impacts of climate change, those in charge of managing and operating buildings need to be putting together clear, robust strategies for achieving their net-zero commitments. By awakening Sleeping Digital Twins, we can exploit their currently wasted potential 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.

With a complete performance Digital Twin, it becomes possible to create a detailed Net-Zero Roadmap to help you understand the performance of your building, community, portfolio or city - now and into the future – simulating the impact of various net-zero interventions over time. With solutions firmly rooted in science, we’ll help you identify exactly what actions need to be taken to meet your targets for 2030, 2050 and beyond, tracking your progress along the way. Providing a dynamic approach that is reactive and able to adapt to any unforeseen challenges as they arise.

Read how we have been supporting the net-zero ambitions of one of Ireland’s largest pensions company, having recently created four calibrated digital twins of commercial buildings within their portfolio, using our Sleeping Digital Twin process. 

Occupant Comfort & Health and Wellbeing

Whilst optimising energy efficiency and reaching net-zero is paramount, equally crucial is ensuring the comfort, health and well-being of building occupants.

Another benefit of awakening your Sleeping Digital Twin is the opportunities this presents to balance energy use with occupant needs, using your performance digital twin to monitor and implement changes to improve air quality, comfort and ventilation. For companies this can generate an estimated $7,500 per person, per year in productivity. In fact, better indoor air quality can lead to productivity improvements of 8-11%, so in organisations where 90% of typical overheads are spent on employees, minor improvements in productivity can substantially impact turnover and profit.

Read here to find out how IES Digital Twin technology has been deployed as part of a European funded R&D project to optimise energy, comfort, wellbeing and productivity in a selection of buildings.

Undertake Measurement and Verification

A Measurement & Verification (M&V) process ensures all systems are performing as specified and identifies any anomalies in equipment, operations procedures or user habits in the years after construction completion.

Your digital model once awakened into a performance digital twin can act as an invaluable asset, allowing you to undertake M&V at regular periods throughout a building’s lifecycle so you can ensure that optimal operation is continuously achieved as the building’s profile changes. This can help reduce energy costs, assist with refurbishment and, over time, document and improve the efficiencies of energy conservation measures.

Recording actual performance over the course of occupancy, and comparing that data with the estimated performance seen in design makes M&V an extremely valuable process.  It can be applied to a variety of metrics including water use and indoor environmental quality.

Read this case study to see how this government building reawakened its existing compliance model or sleeping digital twin and is now using it to continually monitor performance and test the impact of design and operational changes over time.

These are just a few of the benefits of awakening your Sleeping Digital Twins. There are many others that will be covered along the way in this blog series, including the ability to carry out ventilation monitoring for safer workplaces post COVID-19, being able to assess how you could integrate renewables and community energy, and pursue operational and whole life performance ratings such as those established by NABERS, RIBA, CIBSE, LETI, and many more.

Once awoken, your performance digital twin opens up a world of opportunity to maximise the performance of your buildings over their entire lifecycle, de risking decision making and providing you with a concrete net-zero strategy to reduce carbon emissions over time and meet your targets, in turn cutting energy costs and improving occupant health and wellbeing.

With pressure mounting to reach net-zero and continually rising energy costs, there is no time like the present.

Get in touch for your free model audit

Our team are ready to examine your existing 3D design, compliance or BIM model and start you on your journey to creating a live digital twin. Complete the form on our website and we will be in touch to assess your model and provide you with a FREE model audit.

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