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Digital Twins Fueling Performance Enhancements in the AEC Industry  

Digital twins are ushering the AEC industry into a new era of smart construction. From enabling real-time monitoring and analysis of construction progress to facilitating seamless collaboration between stakeholders, digital twins are bringing performance enhancements throughout the project lifecycle. By creating 3D models of physical assets and systems, digital twins enable real-time monitoring, analysis, and optimization, leading to improved operational efficiency and enhanced decision-making.

With sustainable construction on the agenda, firms are now turning to digital twins as a powerful tool to optimize resource usage, minimize waste, and enhance energy efficiency. With access to accurate data, performance enhancements can be applied to make the structure more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and economically efficient.

Performance enhancements with digital twins

Digital twins offer several key components that make them invaluable in the AEC sector. They empower operators to simulate various scenarios and test design hypotheses in real-time analysis, facilitating a better understanding of performance, including energy consumption and distribution. 

 By running a comprehensive analysis of energy consumption patterns, we can identify areas of inefficiency, wastage, and opportunities for optimization. This then allows the implementation of strategies to reduce energy consumption, such as optimizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, improving insulation, implementing smart lighting controls, and managing peak demand efficiently. 

An example of this can be found in the University of Glasgow, where architects created digital twins of three buildings to improve performance. BIM models of two buildings – The James McCune Smith Learning Hub (JMS) and Advanced Research Centre (ARC) were converted into energy models ensuring compliance with industry standards. These models included data on energy usage patterns, unregulated loads, building management systems, and design profiles, providing a comprehensive understanding of energy consumption for effective optimization. 

For the third building, which is a 55-year-old library, they created a geometry model and carried out an energy audit to create a thermal template that featured information like energy flow, domestic water consumption, and more. This information was used to create a digital twin, and three scenarios were tested for better performance- 

  • During low occupancy, they adjusted start/stop times and closed upper floors
  • Conducted a basic electrical retrofit
  • Upgraded HVAC equipment

They achieved a remarkable 15% reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions, the electrical retrofit resulted in a 9% reduction, while the HVAC upgrades delivered an impressive 23% reduction.

Digital Tools for sustainable construction

Creating a digital twin is just one sustainable approach to construction. Firms can employ a variety of tools and practices to further decarbonize construction and achieve net zero. A complete digital transformation will bring significantly positive results for the business, and impact social and environmental elements as well. 

With time, the industry can move on from sustainable designs to regenerative designs, ones that are inspired by nature and feature restorative elements. Regenerative design involves creating structures that mimic the resilience and efficiency found in natural systems, integrating elements such as green roofs, living walls, renewable energy systems, and water conservation strategies. This way, the AEC industry can foster a harmonious relationship with nature, leading to the creation of thriving, regenerative spaces with both societal and environmental benefits.

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Indovance Inc is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. We focus on the unique needs of each project or client, addressing real challenges and guaranteeing a well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free process.

Collaborating with customers worldwide, we harness our enormous engineering talent pool and state-of-the-art technology to develop bespoke business solutions. By aligning with your culture and processes, we create an unbreakable partnership to deliver long-term engineering and business strategies. With over 700 full-time employees and more than 500 customers in the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia, we are poised for the next level of success.

Indovance acts as a catalyst, Empowering You for positive change and supporting you to Do More.

For more queries regarding any of the topics mentioned above, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com, or contact us at +1-919-238-4044.

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