Microsoft rolls out digital twin for Singapore office

Microsoft has rolled out a digital twin of its new regional headquarters at Frasers Tower in Singapore, offering a living blueprint for the future of smart buildings. The project has been carried out in collaboration with Bentley Systems and Schneider Electric.

“The workplace of the future is about embracing innovation into the very fabric of our space, so that we create multiple touchpoints of connectivity, are intentionally inclusive and accessible, while being very mindful of sustainability and the environment,” says Ricky Kapur, vice president for sales, marketing and operations for Microsoft in Asia Pacific.

“At Frasers Tower in Singapore, we worked closely with Bentley Systems and Schneider Electric to implement sensors and telemetry to create a connected workplace, that allows us to adjust the space based on usage, therefore improving energy efficiency.”

Data from the building is collected using a mix of 179 Bluetooth beacons in meeting rooms and 900 sensors for lighting, air quality and temperature by Schneider Electric. The platform generates nearly 2,100 data points, which are connected to the cloud using Microsoft Azure, enabling the holistic management of the environment.

The sensors enable monitoring of facilities usage, energy and utilities. They optimise space utilisation, air conditioning and lighting adjustments. All these provide a comfortable and productive space for employees, while increasing overall energy efficiency. Open, interoperable technology also allows activity detection-enabled lighting and room sensors to reflect room bookings on Microsoft’s Smart Building CampusLink app.

Microsoft’s regional headquarters in Asia Pacific is the first Microsoft office outside of Redmond, Washington, to implement Smart Building CampusLink

Smart Building CampusLink is an application that is fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office 365, taking navigation to the next level by enabling employees to find directions, determine room occupancy and book facilities in real-time.

Built on Azure App Services and powered by Azure Data Lake and Office 365 Graph API, Microsoft’s regional headquarters in Asia Pacific is the first Microsoft office outside of Redmond, Washington, to implement Smart Building CampusLink.

The sensors could potentially also monitor carbon dioxide levels in the air that negatively affect work performance and neural activity, noise levels and energy usage, which can result in savings of up to 25%, as experienced at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond.

“Smart sensors allow us to collect meaningful data in real time, which enables us to optimize various aspects of our spaces, making them more comfortable, while reducing energy consumption in a sustainable and economical manner,” says Damien Dhellemmes, cluster president, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, for Schneider Electric. “Our partnership with Microsoft offers a real model on how connected devices combined with contextualized sensor processing can deliver smart building systems that do not intrude on the privacy of individuals, and can be applied beyond offices, to buildings, malls and even homes of the future.”

Data-driven blueprint

The data from sensors enable the virtual replication of the physical world by modelling the relationships between people, places and devices in a spatial intelligence graph. The operational insights achieved through the digital blueprint allows for management and measurement, creating uniquely relevant experiences by correlating data across the physical and digital worlds.

“Digital twins are redefining how we manage infrastructure, from individual equipment installations to large facilities and entire cities,” says Kaushik Chakraborty, vice president and regional executive for Asia South at Bentley Systems. “While smart buildings were developed to better manage energy consumption, we have come to realise additional strategic roles of dynamically allocating space, increasing utilisation, reducing costs, improving competitiveness, and enhancing collaboration and productivity.

“With Bentley’s OpenCities Planner and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Power BI, we have developed a virtual digital twin model of their regional headquarters in Singapore, correlating the data collected across the digital and physical worlds to build domain-specific solutions and unlock new efficiencies, improvements, and opportunities for the modern workplace,”.

Sustainability and inclusivity

In a world where we can expect more than 40 billion devices generating nearly 80 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2025, organisations and industries will need to adopt new technologies and build capabilities that will enable them to flourish in an innovation-led, cloud first, artificial intelligence focused future.

Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions for Microsoft, which has created a blueprint for organisations to adopt the culture, physical spaces and technologies for a future-ready workplace. Spread across 12,500 sq m and six floors, the new Microsoft office at Frasers Tower brings 1,400 people together in an environment that allows the digital and physical worlds to exist in harmony.

Microsoft has ensured that the new office is inclusive by making it accessible for everyone, regardless of how they communicate, see, hear, or move. Microsoft follows a  global standard of accessibility for every Microsoft office and in Singapore, they comply to the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore’s Accessibility code in the built environment (2013).

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  1. This interesting article doesn’t mention the role of the BIM in this digital twin. Is this just a smart building but not a full twin? In my book, a DT involves the model as well as the smart tech and facilitates O&M efficiency as well as space use and energy economy.

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