Current trends of urbanisation suggest that two-thirds of the people on the planet will be living in urban centers by 2050. Improving the energy efficiency of a building stock is a crucial first step in creating a zero carbon city or community because buildings are responsible for around 40% of global final energy use and around one-third of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Any building is part of a complex network of services for energy, water and waste management, transport and telecommunications.
We at NxtGen Houses strongly believe in the power of digitalization. Building Information Modeling (B.I.M.) enables us to construct an asset digitally before stepping on site, so that we can build faster, safer, and greener with less disruption.
What Is a Digital Twin?
A digital twin can be defined as a realistic digital representation of a real-world asset or group of assets in the built environment. What distinguishes a digital twin from any other digital model is its connection to its physical twin.
As sensors become smaller and more affordable, the ability to gather, process and communicate information increases. Sensors connected to the physical product collect and send data back to the digital twin. The process of collecting and managing 3D information of all building-components and installation facilities into a virtual building design can be used to minimize failure costs, but more than that it can help analyzing user-data over a long period. The use of sensors for clean air, moisture, temperature or signaling the need for inspection and maintenance truly improves the quality of living and reduces costs. Their interaction helps to optimize the performance of the product through a maintenance regime. All the (technical) data is stored in one place, a virtual place.
The most successful digital twin starts with a mindset. Where digital twin thinking brings value is in the idea that a holistic approach to managing digital representations of physical assets as a whole is far more valuable than the sum of its constituent parts. Although digital twins should be able to show value relatively quickly their real benefits become apparent over time.
We use digital twin technologies to help us understand the options available to drive a transformation in energy consumption and carbon emissions in the built environment.
Creating Zero Carbon Communities: The Role of Digital Twins – Navigant Research – (2019)
Digital twins for the built environment. An introduction to the opportunities, benefits, challenges and risks – The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – (2019)