New Virtual Building Service to revolutionise the sector for property developers and building oweners

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Virtual Building Service

The 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 simulations to test and optimise people flow and building occupancy

KONE and IBM are both partners in the initiative, with IBM acting as business owner and activity leader.

The service will make it easier for the industry to design buildings that are financially attractive while maximizing spaces to make the most of the areas.

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 from previous studies and knowledge gathering.

Traditionally KONE, one of the largest elevator and escalator manufacturers worldwide, has focused on vertical efficiency, i.e. people moving from floor to floor.

KONE’s Head of People Flow Optimisation Juha-Matti Kuusinen said:

“Our simulation capability is much improved. We can, for example, simulate people flow in the lobby of an office building; understand how that might look along with the waiting times for the elevators.

“Not only can we calculate a building’s efficiency, but we can also benchmark it with similar buildings and conclude if the building is performing very well or if there’s room for improvement.

“We realised, however, that if you don’t design end-to-end people flow, including the horizontal people flow, it is difficult for our customers to judge whether their buildings are really efficient.

“This is why we started to explore the optimisation of the total people flow, combining both the horizontal and vertical dimensions.”

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

The simulation will develop over time and the goal for 2018 will be to add new features to the simulator for people flow planning and consulting.

In the near future, the simulator will be connected to sensors providing real-time data about the building’s condition, creating a “digital twin” which can be used to compare the real-life version.

This will allow KONE to test new services that will be offered across the building’s life cycle.

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