University of Liverpool digital twin helps decarbonise HVAC

University of Liverpool digital twin - photo of the university campus
Image: University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool has made a five-figure operational cost saving thanks to using a digital twin as part of a refurbishment project.

The University of Liverpool is using digital twin technology from Glasgow-based climate technology firm IES to evaluate in real time the impact of an on-going HVAC refurbishment of one of its campus buildings. It has achieved operational cost savings of £25,000 and energy consumption reductions of 23%. 

The IES Live tool connects live operational data from a building to a calibrated digital twin. Aimed at facilities managers, it gives teams a single-pane view of live operational performance metrics via the cloud.

The University of Liverpool used the digital twin to test various refurbishment scenarios and identify those that would be most effective in generating energy, carbon and cost savings. Once the selected improvements had been made to the building, the digital twin was upgraded by connecting live data from the BMS and energy meters, enabling the model to be calibrated to match measured data on an hourly basis. The updated model highlighted additional interventions to optimise operational performance and move towards decarbonisation.

The university’s FM team is now using this operational performance digital twin to continually monitor and improve the building.

More twins

The university plans to continue collaborating with IES to create digital twins for three more buildings in the next phase of work.

Tony Small, head of engineering services at the University of Liverpool, said: “Working with IES on this project has given us detailed insight into the impact of our refurbishment work and will enable us to continually monitor and update our operational systems to ensure that the building is operating efficiently.

"With building use, occupants and settings altering frequently, having access to this level of data means we can make informed decisions on improvements and ensure optimum performance doesn’t come at the expense of occupant comfort.”

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