VIDEO DEMO | Using digital twins to manage buildings

Dan Drogman, CEO of Smart Spaces, joins Paul Unger to walk through his firm’s digital twin software and discuss the evolution of the technology.

Deployed in the newest smart buildings such as London’s 22 Bishopsgate, Smart Spaces combines every operational part of a building in one platform to give landlords and occupiers control and insight.

Hot takes

  • Successful retrofits of existing buildings are “more achievable than you think”, Drogman says. A building developed in the last decade can get close to the level of sophistication seen in new, leading building by deploying digital twin software.
  • Smart Spaces has seen a 400% increase in enquiries since the start of the pandemic. While asset managers previously might have balked at the thought of investing in a digital twin, the combination of costs going down and the need for better management of buildings, post-Covid, have shifted the conversation. The ability to rationalise a lot of systems in a building in a single platform is now worth the cost.
  • Some central London offices using Smart Spaces have 12 times better air quality inside than outside because of the city’s pollution, despite reduced traffic in lockdown. Ensuring high air quality standards – and monitoring it – will be even more important as lockdown eases and traffic returns.
  • Monitoring CO2 levels can reduce wasted energy. The risk of Covid has led some to run their air handling units at 100% to clear the air as much as possible. But, by monitoring CO2 levels, a landlord can find the sweet spot where the system is used as little as possible while maintaining fresh air.
  • The future of managing real estate effectively will be occupancy data: understanding how the office is, and has historically been, used. That will lead to more efficiency and safety around layouts and optimising space for occupiers. Gathering those insights, Drogman says, is possible with minimal personal data.
  • Automation is the next step for digital twin technology. The last five years have been about getting data into the system, while the next few will be about using that data to improve the performance of buildings through complex algorithms. Rudimentary ones exist, but the goal is to have a system that can pinpoint anomalies that can be solved to save energy.

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