Digital twin of buildings (BIM): optimize your installations

The digital twin in the building sector has become essential for infrastructure management. Integrated with our IoT platform, it generates an accurate virtual replica of buildings, facilitating real-time data collection, analysis, and simulation. 
This IoT-based approach is transforming the way buildings are designed, constructed, managed, and maintained, enabling optimized energy performance, proactive maintenance management, and improved occupant experience.
The digital twin for buildings represents a major step forward in the creation of intelligent, sustainable buildings. 


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What is a digital twin in the building sector?

A digital twin in the building sector is a real-time virtual representation of a physical building, created using data collected from IoT sensors. 
This technology, often associated with the concept of Building Information Modelling (BIM), exploits IoT data to create a dynamic model that simulates the characteristics of the infrastructure in a digital environment. 
The digital twins of a building enable optimized management of construction, operation, and maintenance. This process provides an in-depth understanding of every aspect of the building, from its conception onwards, facilitating informed decision-making and the implementation of strong actions such as energy efficiency and improving occupant comfort. 
This digital representation is a powerful tool that enables building managers to monitor, simulate, and optimize the operation and maintenance of their infrastructure.

Digital twin models (or levels) for buildings

In the field of BIM (Building Information Modeling), the different levels of digital twins allow a variety of applications and functionalities adapted to the management of buildings and infrastructures. These levels reflect the level of autonomy in the management of data and operations:


  • The descriptive twin: This level of digital twin is the foundation, providing a digital replica of the building. This detailed and accurate representation of the physical building provides key information about its structure, components, and systems. It provides a static and visual view of the building, often created from 3D models and design data.

  • The information twin: This level goes beyond the visual representation by incorporating historical operational data about the building. This data may relate to energy use, maintenance cycles, materials used, or technical specifications, providing a more in-depth understanding of the building's performance.

  • The predictive twin: This model uses analysis algorithms to predict future building behavior, such as maintenance requirements or variations in energy consumption, enabling more effective planning of operations and proactive management of resources.

  • The complete twin: This encompasses all aspects of the building, combining descriptive, informative, and, predictive data to provide a comprehensive and dynamic representation of the building. It combines elements of the descriptive, informative, and predictive twins to provide a complete view of the building.

  • The autonomous twin: This last level represents the ultimate evolution of the digital twins, capable of making decisions and carrying out actions in an autonomous way. 

By leveraging our IoT platform, every level of a digital twin for the building can be fed with real-time data, providing more accurate and efficient management of your buildings' lifecycle, from design through to operation and maintenance.

To find out more about the different types of digital twins, read our article on the concept and applications of digital twins! 


The benefits of the digital twin in the building industry

Like the digital twin for industry, the adoption of the digital twin in the building sector is revolutionising the way in which infrastructures are managed and operated.


  • Simplified operation and maintenance:  Digital twins enable real-time monitoring and analysis of buildings, simplifying day-to-day operations and preventive maintenance planning, reducing downtime and optimizing operational costs.

  • Transparency: The digital twin provides complete visibility of all building-related data, such as energy performance, space utilization, or maintenance requirements. This transparency makes the information accessible to all stakeholders (managers, technicians, etc.), which promotes effective communication and coordination. Better Decision Making: With access to real-time payment data in our IoT platform, decision-makers can rely on reliable information to make informed decisions about renovations, energy efficiency improvements, and infrastructure investments while minimizing risk.

  • Improved ROI: By optimizing operations, extending the life of the equipment, and reducing maintenance costs, digital twins help to improve the return on investment of construction and renovation projects. What's more, the savings achieved through more efficient use of resources and reduced downtime help to maximize profits.

  • More added value: IoT enhances the experience of occupants and maximizes the use of space, adding value to buildings in terms of comfort, safety, and services.

  • Accelerating the Digital Transition: By opting for the IoT, building industry players are accelerating their transition to more intelligent management and operating processes. As a result, they remain competitive in a constantly evolving market.

The digital twin, supported by our IoT platform, is transforming the building sector, enabling smarter, more sustainable, and more efficient infrastructure management.


Examples of digital twins in the building sector

Digital twins in the building sector are used in many contexts, such as :


  • Intelligent workspace management: By deploying IoT sensors in your premises, our IoT platform collects data on office occupancy, temperature and lighting. This information is then analysed to adjust space configuration, improve occupant comfort and reduce energy costs.

  • Predictive equipment maintenance:  The digital twin combined with prediction enables potential breakdowns to be anticipated and equipment maintenance to be planned with greater precision. Kuzzle IoT uses scenarios to identify signs of failure so that corrective action can be taken before problems arise. Read our case study on equipment monitoring for SNCF.

  • Optimising energy consumption : The digital twin applied to the building can monitor and analyse energy consumption in real time and identify inefficiencies. As a result, managers can automatically make adjustments to reduce consumption. This approach not only meets the requirements of the new environmental decree, but also delivers long-term energy savings.

  • Indoor air quality management: The digital twins monitor air quality in buildings in real-time, providing data on CO2 levels, humidity, temperature, and the presence of harmful particles directly into our IoT platform. By setting up alerts, technical teams are warned if thresholds are exceeded, so that they can take immediate corrective action to ensure the well-being of occupants. Read our Noisy le Grand case study on managing indoor air quality.

  • Security and emergency management: By setting up scenarios, a digital twin can play out emergency scenarios, such as fires or floods. By analyzing the results, managers can improve their response to emergencies, improving occupant safety and minimizing potential damage.

The digital twin plays a key role in innovation in the building sector, offering advanced solutions for managing the working environment, safety, and operational efficiency.


The types of data processed by a digital twin in the building industry

As part of a BIM digital twin, several types of data are collected and analyzed to ensure efficient infrastructure management:


  • Maintenance data: This includes maintenance histories, inspection reports, and interventions on equipment. It enables the health of installations to be monitored and preventive maintenance to be planned, minimizing the risk of failure and extending the life of the equipment.

  • Environmental data: This includes information on environmental conditions in and around the building, such as indoor air quality, temperature, humidity, natural light, and outdoor weather conditions. This information is crucial for ensuring occupant comfort and adopting more sustainable energy management strategies, for example by adjusting heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems according to actual needs.

  • Operational data: This includes energy consumption, HVAC system performance, and the condition and operation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installations. This data can be used to optimize energy use and reduce operating costs by managing resources more efficiently.

By processing and analyzing these types of data, the digital twin provides a global and detailed view of the infrastructure, facilitating proactive and informed building management. This helps to improve operational efficiency and the comfort of occupants, as well as enhance the sustainability of infrastructures in the face of environmental and energy challenges.


Key facts

By creating virtual replicas of physical structures, digital twins pave the way for smarter buildings, capable of optimized energy management, effective predictive maintenance, and continuous improvement in occupant comfort.
With our IoT platform, building managers can not only anticipate future challenges but also introduce sustainable practices, significantly reducing their environmental footprint. With Kuzzle IoT, for Smart Building, optimise the management of your connected buildings. 


Would you like to set up a digital twins project for your building? 



Alicia Thermos

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