Sustainability boosting urban transformation
A digital twin is a data-driven computer model that creates a virtual representation of something that is, or will be, in the physical world. Ideas can be developed and tested to see their impacts prior to production of a physical product, and then once they’re in the real world they can be improved by feeding back data into the twin for a cycle of continuous improvement. All of this drives sustainable innovation by eliminating the need for physical prototypes that require natural resources.
In the infrastructure and cities section, digital twins can be of buildings, energy systems or even entire cities. This helps private and public organizations improve the quality of life for citizens in both their personal living spaces as well as the planet at large.
While digital twins bring tremendous value to the infrastructure & cities sector, there is an even-more evolved technology: the virtual twin.
A digital twin is a mathematical representation of a real-world object or system. A virtual twin goes further by encapsulating an entire system of systems, including the environment in which the physical object exists. In infrastructure & cities, this can mean, for example, having a virtual twin of a building from the construction phase to operations to ongoing improvement.
As sustainability regulations multiply and urban populations continue to grow, cities face complex challenges that require precise planning and development to optimize the quality of life of inhabitants. At the same time, cities and their infrastructures are becoming smarter by leveraging data from sensors.
Innovative ideas on how to sustainably grow cities and to protect and revolutionize our planet – from individual buildings to sources for water and energy to our entire ecosystem – are accelerated by virtual twins. Having a holistic view of all processes, products, services and usages along with the ability to digitally test new products, facilities and production and operation methods holds tremendous potential to improve the world we live in.
Virtual twins can benefit the Infrastructure & Cities sector through:
As ecosystems and projects are growing in complexity and scale, a virtual twin can:
Analyze data from individuals and censors to understand how people are living, working and operating in each unique area
Optimize infrastructure with less construction waste throughout the lifecycle of a building: from construction to use through end of life
Build cities that put sustainability and resilience at its core of all activities that take place within, including mobility solutions
There is an urgent need to cut carbon emissions and build more sustainably.
One way is through the use of recycled materials and reused modules. In this multifamily unit, standard designed and manufactured modules have been reused and can be quickly assembled on-site.
Today, such housing can be imagined and constructed in the virtual world to find the best standard solutions.
Created with T Brand Studio, the brand marketing unit of The New York Times.
In the European Union, construction makes up around 40 percent of CO2 emissions and nearly a third of all waste; only 40 percent of construction waste is recycled or reused.
This means that reuse and recycling in construction represent a massive opportunity to decarbonize emissions.
Thanks to life-cycle assessment, designers can compute in advance the cost and environmental benefits of using reusable building components to reduce waste.
Reusing hardwood flooring, windows, architectural moldings, doors, plumbing and electrical fixtures or even products coming from different industries (containers, wind wings) provides designers with an inspiring and sustainable source of decor.
To have a true circular economy, we need to do it in scale.
Recycling steel, wood, glass, cement, stone and brick can reduce or eliminate the need for new mining, manufacturing or processing.
Today, with the help of software like Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, designers, architects and engineers can work in concert to imagine new solutions for greener construction, testing and assessing materials’ recycling and reuse possibilities before they’re executed on the ground.
By creating virtual representations these forward-looking builders are already imagining — and creating blueprints for the greener homes of the future.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are worldwide guidelines to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Virtual Twin Experiences in the infrastructure & cities sector, powered by Dassault Systèmes, can generate economic growth and tackle climate change through Goal 6, Goal 7, Goal 9, Goal 11 and Goal 15. These goals drive long-term regulations to create greater access to water and sanitations, affordable and clean energy, innovative infrastructure that is resilient and inclusive and protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, while reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss.
Rennes metropole, France, is using the virtual twin experience to address downstream current climate impacts, upstream prediction of new ones, manage and transform its landscape, all according to public development policies with operational needs and consultation with local citizens.
The ModeliScale project uses the virtual twin experience from Dassault Systèmes to manage and predict complex systems of electricity production, management inside a city.
Arup and Dassault Systèmes are taking part in Hong Kong’s plan to unify data representations and systems in order to improve the way the city functions and, therefore, the quality of life of its inhabitants.
The Aurora project aims at reducing the footprint of architectural structures at several levels of scale:
during the shaping phase (macro), while using non-toxic materials from plants (micro).