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All buildings have potential. A true digital transformation of buildings requires a comprehensive combination of integrated systems, connected workflows and human engagement. This approach enables unlocking actionable insights to make buildings more resilient, flexible and intelligent. More than ever before, owners need their buildings to work harder and smarter so that they can realize increased asset and portfolio value. With next generation Digital Twin technology, this is possible.
Next Generation Digital Twin Technology
Historically, digital representations of buildings created using drafting software such as AutoCad or Revit were sufficiently considered “Digital Twins” of buildings. The data captured in these Digital Twins reflects a point in time, until manually updated. Today and moving forward, static data is no longer enough. Buildings, and their owners and operators, need actionable intelligence to proactively and autonomously optimize in an ongoing and evolutionary manner. In order to do so, next generation Digital Twins must represent and provide the connectivity and interoperability between the most important operations systems in a building.
Cohesion’s Digital Twin Actively Improves Critical Building Operations to Increase Asset Value
Cohesion’s patents-pending Digital Twin enables autonomous actions that optimize building systems without human intervention. The digital twin monitors operations to establish a baseline, then it analyzes patterns to recognize faults, leading to proactively optimize operations in focus areas such as indoor air quality and HVAC demand responsiveness.
Automate System and Device Commissioning and Fault Detection
Initial and ongoing commissioning and fault detection are crucial for smooth and efficient building operations. Avoiding system and device failures/outages, as well as, ensuring efficient and proactive reporting reduces capital, labor and energy costs while helping buildings achieve their sustainability goals.
Cohesion’s Digital Twin optimizes continuous commissioning by ensuring that validated systems are consistently performing to design standards, and that anomalous or negatively trending system performances or utility consumption rates are identified. With Cohesion, the behavior of systems and devices defined in the Digital Twin are modeled with rules that are established as parameters for normal operation. This digital commissioning sets standards that can be monitored and observed by the Digital Twin. Faults are detected when system or device performance falls outside what is set as normal operation. As building system and device issues are identified, service requests are automatically generated, and guidance is issued to help with maintenance planning and budgeting.
System and device-initiated service requests trigger human intervention at the earliest moment of anomalous behavior. This alleviates risk of other costly negative consequences of system or device failure, such as further damage to the asset itself, damage to downstream or connected devices, increased utility consumption and even negative impact to tenants due to offline systems causing discomfort or inconvenience.
Furthermore, compliance reporting is automated, reducing the manual demands of staff to perform ongoing certification reporting. Performance reporting feeds to dynamic LEED or WELL dashboards on video signage to reinforce or improve building-wide conservation initiatives.
Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Indoor air quality critically impacts the health and productivity of building occupants and poor indoor air quality has severe consequences. Immediate symptoms of poor IAQ include irritation of eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches dizziness and fatigue. Longer term effects include respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer. Poor IAQ also impairs concentration, reduces human energy levels and even affects mood. Primary causes of poor IAQ include high levels of CO2, radon and contaminants, all of which can be tracked and reduced through intervention.
Cohesion’s Digital Twin monitors real time pollutant data from IAQ sensors and combines it with occupancy data through access control integrations to direct corrective actions. These actions include turning on ventilation devices and increasing the rate of air flow in targeted HVAC zones. Improving IAQ not only benefits the health and wellbeing of the building occupants (tenants, operators, visitors, etc.), but also increases productivity, resulting in improved building experience and tenant retention.
Optimize HVAC Demand Responsiveness
Inefficient HVAC operations negatively impacts all building stakeholders. It decreases tenant comfort, productivity and satisfaction, it reduces operational efficiency of facilities management teams and it drives up energy usage and costs.
Cohesion’s Digital Twin provides autonomous direction to the BAS/mechanical system to maintain building temperature. Since Cohesion also monitors building and space occupancy, it triggers heating or cooling of spaces within the building by anticipating their utilization. It even considers factors such as duration of occupancy and outside temperature, when initiating HVAC to achieve optimal comfort.
By optimizing HVAC demand responsiveness, Cohesion delivers several benefits. First, it improves tenant comfort and productivity. This increases tenant satisfaction by eliminating a frequent source of friction between management and tenants, as HVAC adjustments are the most frequent service requests. Second, it reduces energy costs since the heating and cooling of the building is based upon patterns of occupancy, rather than solely scheduled operations, as well as, by matching mechanical output to predicted and actual temperatures. And lastly, it increases building operations efficiency by empowering building engineering staff to focus on less contentious issues and more on preventative maintenance or even supporting additional buildings.
Cohesion unlocks actionable intelligence and forges the path toward autonomous buildings with benefits for all stakeholders. By focusing in the areas of indoor air quality, system and device digital commissioning and fault detection and HVAC demand responsiveness, Cohesion’s Digital Twin enhances tenant experiences, reduces costs and helps buildings exceed sustainability goals. As a result, portfolio owners benefit from increased asset values.
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Written by Cohesion's Digital Twin Gurus
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VP of Engineering
Senior Product Manager - Building Automation Engineer
Chief Technology & Product Officer
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