Evolving Digital Twins to optimize whole Life performance of new buildings

Project Status: In Progress (April 2020 - Sept 2022)

Project Summary

Current performance modelling of buildings during design stage is developed for compliance (energy performance regulations, environmental rating, etc.) purposes only. These models cannot reliably predict real operational performance of the buildings. The eDigiT2Life project vision is to develop an innovative methodology to evolve the compliance model created at design stage to a calibrated model at the handover and commissioning stage through to a fully blown Digital Twin (DT) of the building for its operational lifecycle. The modelling process from its initial stage will be developed anticipating the enhanced sensing and metering infrastructure (based on stationary, mobile and wearable IoT devices) of future buildings, enabling streamlined and automated calibration of initial compliance models.
The key objectives of eDigiT2Life are to:

  • Develop fortified design stage dynamic simulation model (DSM) of buildings that anticipate enhanced sensing and metering infrastructure during building operation.
  • Develop a methodology to calibrate the design stage compliance models of buildings to be used during handover, commissioning and initial operation phase of buildings (i.e. post occupancy evaluation).
  • Develop the analysis capabilities of the operational DT as an evolution of the calibrated DSM.
  • Develop the back-end (ICT software and hardware architecture including field, edge and cloud interconnections) and front-end (including immersive dashboards and innovative lab interfaces) of the operational DT.
  • Develop energy services based on the functionalities of the DT that include energy, comfort and flexibility optimization, predictive maintenance and M&V (Measuring & Verification) and incorporate the functionality of hosting 3rd party energy or non-energy services (e.g. energy trading, electric vehicles charging, space optimisation).
  • Trial the methodology and assess the business model's effectiveness in two newly constructed buildings under different phases of construction; engaging with end-users, building designers and contractors, the construction oriented business generally, the local and the academic community.

IES' Role

IES will develop and trial an operational DT for buildings, evolving from compliance building models. Two feedback loops will be established to inform the design stage of buildings (including all stakeholders) on the technical innovations and novel business operations specifications that are required, regarding modelling and equipment, to add value and optimise whole-life performance of future buildings. The project innovates both in the technical methodology to evolve the operational DT of buildings and in the business model utilised to commercialise its adoption and proliferation.

Test Sites

  • University of Glasgow