January 22nd 2024

Zero Carbon Industry 2024

Zero Carbon Industry 2024

The European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's (eceee) Zero Carbon Industry is taking place fron 30th - 31st January 2024 in Antwerp, Belgium. The aim of the conference is to offer a platform for intense and fruitful discussion and information exchange on industrial decarbonisation and energy efficiency.

Ben Pettitt, IES' Sector Lead for Real Estate, is presenting on 'Sleeping Digital Twins: Exploring the appetite, benefits and challenges of whole-life performance modelling' on Wednesday 31st January from 11:00 - 12:00 as part of Panel 1: Processes and technologies to meet future challenges. The abstract for the presentation is available below:

Take a look at the buildings around you and there is a good chance that an existing 3D design, energy compliance or BIM model already exists for almost each and every one of them. While these models are often created during the design or refurbishment phase of a building’s lifecycle, or to show compliance with building regulations, codes, or other voluntary standards, rarely are they utilised to their full potential throughout the building’s remaining lifecycle.

IES recently produced a collaborative industry paper inspired by the theory that these existing digital design models, also referred to as Sleeping Digital Twins, harness significant untapped potential to improve the performance of our current building stock. By extending the useful life of these models into operation as part of a whole-life performance modelling approach, and integrating real operational data, therein lies an opportunity to transform these underutilised digital assets into live digital twins capable of supporting improved performance outcomes across the building lifecycle.

Whole-life performance modelling has a crucial role to play in decarbonising the world’s buildings. After all, if we are not accurately predicting and measuring the performance of our buildings throughout their lifecycle, it is impossible to know how energy and carbon-efficient they truly are, or how they can be improved. With many science-based targets now requiring significant emissions reductions by as soon as 2030, it is important that all built environment stakeholders, both on the AEC consultant and client side, have a clear understanding of the value and need to embed better performance modelling practices at every project stage. Such practices, underpinned by appropriate digital tools and data-sharing protocols, can go a long way not only in reducing the carbon impact of buildings, but also in delivering improved outcomes across a whole range of metrics encompassing (but not limited to) energy efficiency, cost, and comfort.

The performance gap that exists between the design intent and in-use performance of buildings is an issue that those working in the AEC industry know all too well, and the incorporation of performance evaluation and the tracking, measurement, and monitoring of key performance metrics across the building lifecycle is an approach that is now advocated by many different professional industry bodies, methodologies and standards. Slowly, mindsets are shifting away from a “design for compliance” approach to one of “design for performance,” with post-occupancy evaluations, operational modelling methodologies, such as CIBSE TM54 and TM63, and in-use performance ratings, such as NABERS, gradually coming to the fore. However, in spite of guidance which is readily available, approaches largely remain siloed, with each stakeholder group still typically focusing on their own part of a building’s lifecycle.

This presentation will review the findings of the collaborative white paper which addressed these issues by drawing together viewpoints from a range of leading industry bodies, AEC consultants and building owners/occupiers, together with the results from an industry-wide survey. The session will address the various challenges – technical, legal or otherwise – which are currently preventing the many Sleeping Digital Twins in existence in the world today from being utilised beyond the design stage and put forward recommendations for a best practice approach for reinstating these models as part of a whole-life performance workflow. We will also outline the benefits which can be unlocked through the improved digitisation of building performance, and the crucial role this can play in the race to decarbonise.

For more information on the Zero Carbon Industry conference and to view the full agenda, visit: https://www.eceee.org/industry/