Research Portal

May 18, 2023

Campus Sustainability Fund selects College of Built Environments researchers for 2022-2023 work

The Campus Sustainability Fund selected College of Built Environments PhD student Daniel Dimitrov, along with Associate Dean for Research Carrie Sturts Dossick, to receive funding for the project described below.

Energy, Information, and the New Work of Building Operations in the Digital Age

Amount Awarded: $19,833
Funding Received: 2022-2023

Project Summary:

The built environment industry is in the midst of a data revolution paired with a drive for sustainable campus operations. Innovation, information, communication access, and integration provide an opportunity to utilize this abundance of data to reach sustainable goals and benchmarks. Digital twin and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices are emerging ICT (information and communication technology) with the potential to reduce buildings’ energy consumption if strategically used, maintained, and operated. However, transitions to use digital twin supported operations will need organizational changes in the ways work is done in order to best utilize this data-rich technology. Using new technology in the old operational ways will not change energy consumption.

This research seeks to understand how the facility and sustainability management groups at the University of Washington will need to change and adapt in order to leverage digital twin technologies to achieve lower energy consumption and better performing built environments in the university campus setting. In this research, we propose to develop a framework detailing how the existing work of facility strategists and operators will change with the implementation of a digital twin based system, and what new work will be introduced for the facility management team in terms of energy management practices. We intend for this framework to help guide UW facility managers and sustainability strategists in the technology adoption process in order to ease the transition period and most optimally utilize technological systems to their highest potential sustainable output.