Digital Twins, AI, blockchain, and crypto are buzzwords we hear quite frequently in today’s high-tech world. However, understanding their impact on specific sectors like the smart building industry can be a challenging task. In a recent interview with Nicolas Waern, a prominent figure in the smart building controls industry and CEO of Winniio, we learned about the critical role these technologies play in shaping the future of smart buildings.
Stepping into the World of Smart Building Controls
Nicolas started his journey in the industry through Go-ioT, gaining invaluable insights into BACnet and IoT. His experience as a management consultant for ventilation companies allowed him to deeply understand heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. His passion for AI and digital twins helped him drive his entrepreneurial spirit, leading to the inception of his own company, Winniio.
The Role of Digital Twins in Smart Buildings
Nicolas emphasised that not everyone should be deeply involved in the technicalities of AI and digital twins. However, they should find it easy to communicate their requirements, whether they are a real estate owner, tenant, integrator, or vendor. This thought process led to his concept of “Invite to Innovate,” where the collaboration arena is a 3D model or a digital twin of the building in question. This innovative process allows the stakeholders to communicate their issues effectively and visualize the solutions in a 3D model.
A digital twin, according to Nicolas, is a digital representation of a real-world entity. In the context of smart buildings, it could represent a building or a product within it. The digital twin should be 3D and must be fed with real-time data. The data feed provides context and meaning, ensuring a realistic representation of the building.
Changing the Dynamics of Vendor Selection with Digital Twins
Nicolas believes that digital twins can revolutionize the way building owners select vendors. By demonstrating their solution’s capabilities using the digital twin and real-time data from the building, vendors can convince owners of their solution’s effectiveness.
Application of Digital Twins in Practice
Nicolas, with his company Winio, black-boxed everything from the technical asset manager to the real estate owner. They created 3D models of buildings, deployed sensors measuring CO2, temperature, humidity, and created solutions that understood the context of the building and could actuate down on the radiators. This process helped reduce energy consumption, simplify asset maintenance, and enhance wellbeing and productivity.
An exciting development in the application of digital twins is the automatic integration of deployed sensors into the 3D model. Once turned on, these sensors find their way into the model, lighting it up like a Christmas tree.
Digital Twins in Full Production
Digital twins have been implemented in two schools in Sweden, demonstrating their practical application. This technology is being utilized to scale up AI for smart building systems, showcasing the potential of digital twins in the real world.
Nicolas also shared about another project he is involved with that is an innovative way to tackle the Carbon problem.
DCarbon Solutions is a company that is focused on creating a global decentralized storage and computing platform using blockchain technology to record energy savings. They offer opportunities for people to participate in this platform and be rewarded with passive monthly income in the form of Net Zero tokens (NZT). There are three ways to get involved: installing a server and connecting it to the internet to earn NZT rewards, buying a sensor and plugging it into solar installations to mine hybrid carbon credits and RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates), and receiving recommendations on how to save energy and mint fractional carbon credits that can be sold on a global market. The more energy you save, the more money you can earn.
Nicolas is clearly one of the leaders and innovators that lends hope to solving the worlds energy and carbon problems.
The advent of technologies like digital twins, AI, and blockchain is radically transforming the smart buildings industry. Nicolas Waern’s insightful interview provides a sneak peek into the future of this industry, highlighting the pivotal role digital twins and innovative decarbonization strategies that will play in shaping it. By improving communication between stakeholders, enhancing the capabilities of building control systems, and making buildings more sustainable, these technological advancements promise an exciting future for smart buildings.