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Digital Twins Inform Decarbonization Efforts

Digital Twin Consortium’s white paper guides strategies for building owners and stakeholders

Published: Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 12:01

(Digital Twin Consortium: Boston) -- The Digital Twin Consortium (DTC) has announced the publication of a white paper, “Decarbonizing the Built World: A Call to Action.” It outlines how building owners and their community of stakeholders can reduce carbon emissions using performance-based digital twins. By doing so, building owners, operators, and stakeholders can ensure optimal building performance and sustainability, and contribute to net-zero goals.

“This introductory white paper from our Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operations Working Group (AECO) describes how digital twins can help building stakeholders assess building performance and sustainability to tackle embodied and operational carbon emissions,” says Dan Isaacs, GM and CTO of DTC. “Five supporting user guides, which provide practical detail on implementing digital twins for building performance and sustainability, will follow.”

Buildings account for 40 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. (usually reported as carbon dioxide or carbon equivalents), according to the Building Green blog, Energy Use by Buildings and the Built Environment. “Companies in every industry have committed to decarbonization initiatives, but the community of stakeholders involved in the building life cycle has not fully and unreservedly accepted its responsibility for reducing the impact of carbon emissions on the environment,” says white paper co-author John Turner, CEO of Gafcon Digital.

“Digital twins can deliver data-driven information that can lead to significant energy, carbon, capital, and operational savings,” says co-author Don McLean, CEO of IES.

“Building performance and sustainability optimization must start early in conceptual planning,” says co-author Craig Stevenson, president of AUROS Group. “A digital-twin approach is key to decarbonizing the built environment. There must be a total shift to a regenerative, circular, low-carbon mindset with continuous improvements and interventions to decarbonize buildings.”

“Building owners, operators, and stakeholders can also leverage digital twins as part of corporate compliance and validation of environmental, social, and governance [ESG] initiatives,” says co-author Anil Sawhney of RICS. “Companies know that ESG initiatives can significantly impact their bottom lines. Digital twins can help companies accelerate decarbonization strategies to reduce global warming and climate change.”

DTC AECO practitioners wrote the white paper. For more information and a complete list of the authors, download “Decarbonizing the Built World: A Call to Action.”

DTC will publish a series of user guides that owners or occupiers can use to decarbonize new or existing buildings throughout their life cycle.


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