Sustainable Cities

How Aden Group is using virtual twins to make buildings greener, healthier and safer

Facility management (FM) accounts for 80% of a building’s total cost, Aden co-founder François Amman said; initial construction accounts for only 20%. Although developers and owners rarely consider efficient operations during the design and building phases, Amman said sees that paradigm changing.

Environmental regulations and market forces are pressuring building owners to reach more efficient energy and utility usage and improve their operational strategies and systems. We have been innovating with digitalization to address this change, by developing virtual twin operating models using the connected and integrated 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

François Amman Aden Group > Dassault Systèmes
François Amman
Co-Founder & Co-President, Aden

Creating a 3D virtual twin during the conception phase of a construction project allows Aden to fine-tune the building’s operations prior to construction. “We can specify, optimize and maintain very efficient and productive systems and operations, while understanding exactly how it impacts energy consumption and maintenance productivity for the whole life of the building,” Amman said. “For existing buildings, we retrofit.”

Virtual twin analysis and facilities management on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can cut energy use in buildings by 20% to 80%; this helps those buildings powered by fossil-fuel-driven power plants save money and reduce their CO2 footprints.

“For poorly built or badly managed situations, the savings can be even higher,” Amman said. Water use, too, can be reduced by similar amounts. “You can create huge value by digitalizing, linking and optimizing the many aspects of a building’s daily operations. Instead of putting every component in its own box – energy usage, asset performance, space management, employee and visitor comfort – we use the platform to get a comprehensive view of what is happening in the building, backed by hard numbers and data.”

Aden Group collects, analyzes and manages the many aspects of a building’s daily operations via a virtual twin. (Image © Aden Group)

Virtual twins allow operators to monitor the performance of all equipment, including elevators, pumps and other technical assets, while tracking energy consumption, temperatures, airflow and waste output.

“Lifelike 3D simulations comprehensively reveal the often hidden or unknown reality of buildings,” Amman said. “This lets us accurately predict and plan maintenance; because when data equals intelligence, it points to requirements.”

In short, he said: “Bringing advanced simulation to facilities construction and management is a game-changer.”