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LTU karta med sensorer

Digital twins for sustainable facility management

Published: 2 March 2022

My research project aims to deepen the understanding of how our decision-making from the design phase and forward affects the circularity of a construction. I plan to develop a digital twin of the campus to study and analyze how its spaces are utilized compared to the actual building from the standpoint of standardized circular feedback and sustainable facility management. I hope that the holistic approach to the sustainability challenges using digitalization will deepen our understanding and decision-making.

It is essential to understand and expand our knowledge of circularity in construction projects. Circularity is the concept of efficient usage of our resources throughout the life cycle of construction projects. Through increased understanding of how buildings are being utilized and how decisions made affect their performance, it would open the possibility for developing optimized designs that are performance efficient and built with a purpose from the early stages. As for later stages, it could be used to analyze the changes in a building’s utilization and support the making of correct decisions. The learning from each project will then be used as feedback for the new upcoming projects, reducing the occurred performance gap. A performance gap is a difference between the planned performance of construction and its actual performance.

A digital twin is a virtual replica that reflects the physical building. To accomplish this, sensors have been placed at critical locations to produce data about the performance of campus buildings. The produced data will include movement flow, occupancy, noise, energy usage, temperature, etc. This data is then put together with a BIM model of the campus to generate the digital twin. It would then be possible to conduct complex analyses such as spatial analysis and simulations utilizing technologies such as machine learning.

Together with the sensor data, I also plan to collect data through a survey. The purpose is that the results from the survey should be able to contribute to the understanding of collected sensor data and understand how students decide which premises to use (informal learning environments). The survey questions will be about the premises’ convenience, usability, utilization, well-being, available service, etc.

Keywords: Digital Twins, Sustainability, Circularity, Performance

Raafat Hussamadin

Raafat Hussamadin, PhD Student

Organisation: Construction Management and Building Technology , Industrialized and sustainable construction, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering