National/International Technology & Innovation

Virtual Building Service a Game Changer

Brussels – Property developers, building owners and facilities managers all appreciate knowing in advance how buildings perform. Well-designed spaces and smooth people flows translate into better user experiences, higher rents and faster ROIs.

However, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between higher occupancy rates and efficiency. A building that holds the maximum amount of people might be attractive financially but can easily result in bottlenecks such as queues.

A digital replica of the premises could be the answer. Virtual Building Service, an innovation activity promoted by EIT Digital as part of its Digital Industry Action Line, will make it easier for developers, owners and architects to use realistic digital simulation to test and optimize people flow and building occupancy. KONE and IBM are both partners in the initiative, with the former acting both as business owner and activity leader.

The simulator will be a new feature that enhances KONE’s People Flow consultancy and planning service. Simulation data will be collected in real time by sensors or, in the case of a new facility, from previous studies and knowledge gathering.

Tarmo Kekki, of IBM, sees the simulator as a fresh way to visualise and improve people’s experience in high rise buildings.

The simulation capability will develop over time. The goal for 2018 is to add new features to the simulator for people flow planning and consulting. Later on, the simulator will be connected to sensors providing real-time data about the building’s condition, therefore creating a proper “digital twin” against which to compare the real-life version. This will allow KONE to test new services that will be offered across the building’s lifecycle.

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