Awaken your Sleeping Digital Twin

Bring your existing energy model back to life as a Performance Digital Twin

It’s time to wake up to the power of Performance Digital Twins.

Do you have an existing design model from a legacy project? Then you might just have an incredibly valuable digital asset simply waiting to be awoken at your fingertips.

3D design and BIM models already exist for a large proportion of the existing building stock. However, typically these remain nothing more than a snapshot in time. Often created during the design/refurbishment phase, or for compliance purposes (such as Part L, BER, LEED or BREEAM), they are discarded once the building is handed over, representing a massive loss of potential to building owners once their buildings enter the operation phase.

At IES, we refer to these existing models - many created in our very own dynamic simulation modelling software for new build or retrofit, the VE - as Sleeping Digital Twins. A massive untapped resource for the buildings sector, these dormant models can be re-awoken into fully-fledged, accurate and reliable performance digital twins. Opening up the potential to optimise the performance of your buildings in real time, evaluate future ‘what-if’ scenarios and technologies, and perform a variety of analyses around energy, health and wellbeing, comfort, costs, decarbonisation and more. Providing a powerful tool to help you make better decisions for your buildings throughout their lifecycle.

The Steps to Awakening your Sleeping Digital Twin

Step 1: Awaken your Model

We examine the current model and what is required to awaken it. Upgrades are made to the existing model where required.

Step 2: Energy Audit

An energy audit is conducted of your building(s) so that any unregulated loads or information about the building in operation can be incorporated.

Step 3: Data Gathering

Data (including historical data) will be gathered from the building including energy use or sensors data from BMS, IoT devices, energy bills, etc.

Step 4: Model Calibration

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.

Step 5: Live Connection

A live connection is established between the digital twin and the BMS and/or IoT sensors within your building(s).

Step 6: Digital Twin Awakened

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

Make Better Decisions with your Performance Digital Twin

Once awoken, your performance digital twin opens up a world of opportunity to maximise the performance of your buildings over their entire lifecycle and de risk decision making.

  • Create a roadmap to zero-carbon targets
  • Improve the comfort, health and wellbeing of building occupants
  • Undertake Measurement and Verification
  • COVID 19: Ventilation monitoring for safer workplaces
  • Integrate renewables and community energy
  • Pursue NABERS Energy Ratings and Design for Performance (DfP)
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The Performance Digital Twin in Action: University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow and IES partnership started in early 2019 when IES was engaged through the University’s £1bn Smart Campus Initiative to develop a Digital Twin of the Western Campus and three of the most intensely used student buildings.

About the Project

  • Living lab collaboration between university estates team, academic staff, students and IES
  • Roadmapping to support 2030 net-zero campus target
  • Live command centre to manage campus buildings more efficiently
  • Integrated analysis of local energy system
  • Public dashboards to educate & engage occupants

Campus Level Digital Twins

  • Supports masterplanning level analysis of the entire campus
  • Analyse and identify where to optimise current campus performance 
  • Predict future scenarios for planning and expansion
  • Monitor and verify progress towards net-zero across the campus

Building Level Digital Twins

  • Detailed calibrated model at the building level
  • Hone in on specific areas requiring attention, e.g. highest areas of energy consumption, comfort issues, etc.
  • Focus time and effort where it will have the biggest impact
  • Simulate and understand what operational and retrofit measures will return the best outcomes

Actionable Intelligence

The University’s performance digital twin supplements their building data with highly accurate physics enabled simulations to provide actionable intelligence at the building level.

Example Building
Scenario 1: Operational Improvements 

  • Adjusting start / stop times, closing certain floors after a specified time and implementing a temperature set-back outside occupied hours.
  • Energy Reduction Compared to Baseline: 10% - 15%
  • Carbon Savings: 151,000kgCO2e

Scenario 2: Basic Electrical Retrofit 

  • Replacing all lighting fixtures with LEDs, implementing power management software and installing energy efficient equipment.
  • Energy Reduction Compared to Baseline: 9%
  • Carbon Savings: 123,000kgCO2e

Scenario 3: Deep Retrofit 

  • Upgrading to highly efficient building services equipment and optimisation of new HVAC control strategies. 
  • Energy Reduction Compared to Baseline: 23%

Educating Building Users

  • Public dashboards connected to the digital twin display live updates on how the building(s) are performing
  • Communicates progress towards the university’s net-zero target
  • Helps building users make better decisions by educating them on actions they can take to support energy/carbon reductions, e.g. by tolerating a high/low temperature for a short period, opening a window, etc. and how they are contributing to a bigger cause in doing so
  • Maximises energy/carbon saving opportunities and reduces comfort complaints

Roadmapping the Future

  • Understand when targets will be met and where action needs to be accelerated
  • Implement operational changes, retrofit measures and renewables with confidence in the simulated outcomes
  • Measurement & verification tools ensure progress remains on track

Digitisation and Upskilling across the AEC market

Why not take advantage of our industry leading Sleeping Digital Twin approach and highly skilled consultants to upskill your staff in the creation of Performance Digital Twins. Learn live on your own projects, or engage with distance or face-to-face training. All supported by our award winning ICL Digital Twin technology.

Learn More

Awaken your Sleeping Digital Twin Today

Our team are ready to examine your existing energy model and start you on your journey to creating a live digital twin.

Contact Us