IES’s Chris Brown recently featured in January’s edition of Health Estates Journal with an article discussing how the use of appropriate ‘digital tools’ can provide comprehensive data on current performance and good evidence of the need of funding, when NHS trusts are seeking monies for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. Below is an extract, with the full article available in print or online from the Health Estates Journal website.
Applicants need to provide details on current performance and measures that could improve this to demonstrate to the government how the funding will be used to decarbonise. Digital tools such as ‘digital twins’ can be used to provide the above, helping to de-risk the investment and provide decision support information. Digital twins are virtual models of buildings, the most sophisticated of which use physics-based simulation and building data to create models that respond as their real-world counterparts would. A digital twin can be created of a building or an entire healthcare estate, and used to gain insights into how a building is performing. This data can then be used in the application process to highlight where changes need to be made to improve energy efficiency and prevent energy wastage.
Data is gathered from the Building Management System (BMS), smart meters, and manual readings, as well as other sources, enabling accurate analysis of the building’s performance to be relayed to the digital twin. Reliable data is essential to make informed decisions and set realistic improvement targets. However, a significant number of NHS buildings do not have a BMS system in place, or have archaic systems that need updating.
A basic level digital twin can be created at the application stage from data gathered, enabling high-level analysis which creates a more robust bid. For example, instead of simply suggesting that the funding will be used for a heat pump, digital tools can be used to determine the optimum size of this, and the potential savings it could unlock.
With 29 years of experience and over 1.5 million buildings modelled, our expertise in building performance and energy modelling can help whether you have secured funding, or are looking to develop a robust funding application in time for deadlines. You can find more information on our services for successful funding applications here.