Unlocking a new era of smart buildings through the digital twin

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Digital twin technology offers owners and operators a powerful data solution that de-risks handover and commissioning, and provides asset management efficiencies that save time and money. It promises to make buildings more sustainable, whilst helping attract and retain occupants.

Digital twins not only enable a better understanding of how our buildings and cities are functioning, but also help to make our environments safer, healthier, and ultimately more liveable.

HISTORY OF DIGITAL TWINS

1985-2002 (18 years)
Information Mirroring* Model
  • Powerful modelling and analysis
  • R&D and engineering focus
1985-2002 (18 years)
2003-2014 (12 years)
Simulation and 3D Printing
  • Digital design, virtual assembly, and simulation
  • 3D printing mainstream
2003-2014 (12 years)
2015-2017 (3 years)
Connected IoT Assets
  • Unified physical and virtual data
  • Rapid feedback across design, manufacturing, and operations
2015-2017 (3 years)
2018- (the future is NOW)
Model Any Physical Environment
  • Humans and device collaboration
  • Spatial awareness and intelligence
  • Mixed Reality experience
2018- (the future is NOW)

Download full image here
*Dr. Michael Grieves and John Vickers, University of Michigan

Despite the current hype today, a digital twin is not a new innovation. Dynamic, virtual replicas of physical assets were first used by NASA, however they have now found value in many other industries, such as aviation, oil & gas, manufacturing and now real estate.

Digital twins are solving a fundamental data problem.

For the owners of real estate, a huge pain point is the management of their data.

Every day, the built world produces staggering amounts of data; from the occupants that walk the corridors, to the equipment that powers and measures operations. Sadly, most of this valuable information goes to waste, lost in fragmented digital languages that are locked away in proprietary systems. The mismanagement of building data is having a negative impact on bottom line performance and owners are losing insurmountable untapped value.

The real estate industry has historically struggled to embrace technological innovations. Major providers have fallen short in their ability to be agnostic or remain adaptable for future needs. This means owners have minimal data ownership — their information is poorly structured and siloed in individual buildings systems, and they face the threat of cyber breach or great financial cost every time they introduce a new technology at scale.

Digital twins provide an intuitive way to store, organise, and access the big data generated by complex real estate and infrastructure assets. Digital twins are a digital representation of a physical asset or collection of physical assets, overlaid with real-time data about how those assets are performing. These scalable, dynamic models are 2D or 3D digital, geometrically accurate visualisation of buildings and infrastructure networks. They also provide continuously updated information on a project’s status or live building operational data and facilitates machine learning capabilities. As such, the digital twin becomes a cohesive “single source of truth” for the real asset.

Different, not better

However, a digital twin is far more than a tool for data storage or simply a building information model (BIM). The addition of live data means that users can see the real-world elements of not only the asset — in this case, a building — but also how it and its users interact. For example, what is the occupancy of a given floor and adjusting the HVAC system accordingly. It can also learn from these scenarios and start to predict future scenarios.

Willow: Redefining the digital twin for the built world

WillowTwin™ is a ground-breaking software solution that deploys digital twins for the built world to collect, organise, and analyse data at scale. 

The WillowTwin™ platform brings together three main streams of project information into an easy-to-use, searchable platform that can scale to an entire portfolio. This includes:

  • Spatial information from the 3D models or 2D drawings developed during the design and construction stages or existing building records.
  • Static information about all equipment that is important to the owner’s operations team (such as manufacturer, model and serial numbers, warranty information, expected cost of replacement), as well as PDFs of the owner’s manual and maintenance instructions, warranties and other associate documentation.
  • Live data from base building systems such as the building management system (BMS), lighting control, access control, CCTV, and other IoT sensor networks.

By harnessing real-time data, the platform adds value by optimising the performance to drive savings through actionable insights and predictive maintenance. Owners can also use the platform to glean insights about how occupants behave and automatically predict such needs as environmental comfort, effectively driving increase in occupant retention and revenue.

Willow’s origins were in the Design and Construction of complex projects. We were an early adopter in the creation and use of BIM and it was a natural progression to move from BIM to Twin. Once a BIM model is generated, it becomes compelling to enrich this model with static and live data to create a digital twin. This includes the asset register, maintenance logs, warranties and O&M manuals ⁠— as well as live data from the base building systems.

What are the benefits?

Digital twins are capable of driving uplift in the value of real assets a number of ways. It is estimated that there is the opportunity for a 15-20% reduction in variable operating costs for office buildings. This is made possible through big data analytics, improved visibility for facility managers, optimised enforcement of warranties, predictive maintenance, automated compliance with fire and safety regulations and energy optimisation algorithms, as well as a reduction in key machinery downtime.

Additionally, an estimated 10-15% improvement in occupant retention for office and industrial assets can be achieved. This is made possible through enhanced occupant feedback on building performance, customisable features per building, more timely processing of occupant service requests, improved visibility on the performance of facility managers and big data analytics about space utilisation, use patterns, occupation growth, merger/acquisition and key personnel changes in relation to the office and industrial occupants.

Willow’s vision is to allow third-party software developers to innovate new applications on the WillowTwin™ platform and to make these applications available to all Willow-enabled buildings. 

Driving industry change

At a very minimum, the digital twin validates, prepares and visualises information for owners and operators of buildings and infrastructure networks who want to make well-informed, data-driven decisions for their properties and portfolios.

But the real paradigm shift that the digital twin brings to our industry comes with the owner’s ability to do incredibly powerful things with their data with relative ease. Owners will be enabled to evaluate multiple options and reveal ways to optimise business operations in real-time and implement new workflows and processes into their organisations. This improves efficiency and enables best-in-class solutions across their entire portfolio that drive better, smarter outcomes for staff and customers around the globe.

How entire groups of people live, learn, commute and interact with their world can be better understood, visualised, and communicated. The digital twin equips building owners not only with the tools they need to delight the people who use their space and to gain the insights they need to run a better business, but empowers them to create a safer, smarter, more connected built world.

About Willow
Willow is the digital twin for the built world. Our mission is to empower every person and organisation to connect with the built world in a whole new way. For more, visit www.willowinc.com

For media enquiries, email us at [email protected]

Close Menu

Contact us

Sydney Light Rail

  • Sector: Light Rail
  • Size/scale:
    12 KM Span 19 stations
  • Architect: Grimshaw
  • Owner/Operator: Transport for NSW
  • Engaged by: Grimshaw
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecture

477 Collins Street

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    55,000 sqm (592,015 sqft)
  • Architect: Grimshaw
  • Owner/Operator: Mirvac
  • Engaged by: Mirvac
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

100 Queens Street

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    34,900 sqm (375,660 sqft)
  • Architect: Kirsten Thompson Architects
  • Owner/Operator: GPT Group
  • Engaged by: GPT Group
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

32 Smith Street

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    26,000 sqm (279,861 sqft)
  • Architect: Fender Katsalidis
  • Owner/Operator: GPT
  • Engaged by: GPT
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

567 Collins Street

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    55,000 sqm (592,015 sqft)
  • Architect: COX and Spowers
  • Developer: Investa
  • Owner/Operator: Investa
  • Engaged by: Investa
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering, WillowTwin™

Barrack Place, 151 Clarence Street

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    20,000 sqm (236,806 sqft)
  • Architect: Architectus
  • Contractor: Built
  • Developer: Investa
  • Owner/Operator: Investa
  • Engaged by: Investa
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering, WillowTwin™

Sydney Metro Martin Place

  • Sector: Commercial / Rail
  • Size/scale:
    20,000 sqm (236,806 sqft)
  • Architect: JPW, Grimshaw and Tzannes
  • Developer: Macquarie Group
  • Owner/Operator: Macquarie Group / Transport for NSW
  • Engaged by: Savills / Macquarie Group
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

Tempo Drummoyne

  • Sector: Residential
  • Size/scale:
    4,000 sqm (43,055 sqft)
  • Architect: FKM
  • Developer: EG Funds
  • Engaged by: FKM
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecture

Corporate Connect Stages 2 & 3

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    30,000 sqm (322,917 sqft)
  • Architect: WMK
  • Contractor: Taylor Construction
  • Developer: Goodman
  • Owner/Operator: Goodman
  • Engaged by: Taylor Construction
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecture

Top Golf (various locations)

  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Size/scale:
    572,250-726,790 sqm (6,159,647-7,823,102 sqft)
  • Contractor: Arco Murray
  • Owner/Operator: Top Golf
  • Engaged by: Arco Murray
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

Summer Hill

  • Sector: Residential
  • Size/scale:
    24,789 sqm (266,826 sqft)
  • Architect: HASSELL
  • Developer: EG Funds
  • Engaged by: HASSELL
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecture

Global Switch Ultimo

  • Sector: Data Centre
  • Size/scale:
    40,000 sqm (430,556 sqft)
  • Architect: DEM
  • Owner/Operator: Global Switch
  • Engaged by: Global Switch
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

Pittsburgh International Airport

  • Sector: Aviation
  • Size/scale:
    58,714 sqm (631,992 sqft)
  • Architect: Gensler / Luis Videl & Architects
  • Owner/Operator: Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Engaged by: Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

60 Martin Place

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    40,000 sqm (430, 556 sqft)
  • Architect: HASSELL
  • Contractor: Lendlease
  • Developer: Investa
  • Owner/Operator: Investa
  • Engaged by: Investa
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering, WillowTwin™ platform

480 Hay Street /
The Westin Hotel Perth

  • Sector: Hospitality, Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    48,000 sqm (516,667 sqft)
  • Architect: HASSELL
  • Contractor: BCG
  • Owner/Operator:
    Westin (Marriott Hotels)
  • Engaged by: HASSELL
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecture

The Sandstones Precinct

  • Sector: Hospitality, Conference
  • Size/scale:
    30,000 sqm (322,917 sqft)
  • Architect: MAKE Architects
  • Contractor: Built
  • Owner/Operator:
    Pontiac Land Group
  • Developer: Pontiac Land Group
  • Engaged by: Pontiac Land Group
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecture

The Star Sovereign Resort

  • Sector: Hospitality
  • Size/scale:
    148,644 sqm (1.6 million sqft)
  • Architect: HBA (Design)
  • Contractor: Built
  • Owner/Operator:
    The Star Entertainment
  • Engaged by: The Star Entertainment
  • Willow’s role: Digital Architecuture (Lead Consultant)

The Ribbon

  • Sector: Hospitality, Residential (Serviced apartments)
  • Size/scale:
    54,800 sqm (589,862 sqft)
  • Architect: HASSELL (Design Architect)
  • Contractor: Grocon
  • Developer: Grocon
  • Owner/Operator: Greaton/W Hotel (Marriot Hotels)
  • Engaged by: Grocon
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering, Digital Architecture

Waterloo Road Campus

  • Sector: Commercial
  • Size/scale:
    120,773 sqm (1,229,990 sqft)
  • Architect: Architectus
  • Contractor: John Holland Group
  • Developer: John Holland Group
  • Owner/Operator: John Holland Group
  • Engaged by: John Holland Group
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering

Queens Plaza Park

  • Sector: Commercial Multi-Family
  • Size/scale:
    92,903 sqm (1 million sqft)
  • Architect: Handel Architects
  • Developer: Durst Organisation
  • Owner/Operator: Durst Organisation
  • Engaged by: Durst Organisation
  • Willow’s role: Digital Engineering, WillowTwin™ platform

Contact us

Rani Adam

Chief Innovation Engineer

As Chief Innovation Engineer at Willow, Rani oversees the technical development and engineering on a global scale. His experience to date, having produced technology for a spectrum of sectors, is both visionary and practical. In creation of technology for e-commerce, rail, fintech, infrastructure and commercial real estate applications, Rani enables effortless user experiences. His experience in complex backend design has allowed for B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-customer), and P2P (peer-to-peer) interactivity and economy. In addition to realising universal applications for technology (spanning web and mobile), Rani is responsible for leading Willow’s Software Engineering Teams through complex and specialised project conditions.

Rachel Ebalan-Ramirez

General Manager, Manila

As the GM/Principal of the Manila Studio, Rachel leads the overall operations and general management of the branch office to ensure all activities are aligned with the company business objectives.

She serves as a key part of the Operations Executive Group with input into the strategies formulated for operational growth, practice improvements, efficient resourcing and project delivery, culture development, and structure across the whole business.

Rachel oversees all Manila-based Shared-Services Teams and manages the execution of an effective and collaborative approach in providing support to the global company operations.

Vanessa Iezzi

Head of People & Culture

Passionate about creating great workplaces and developing people, Vanessa is responsible for establishing the key foundations to scale Willow’s culture globally.

This includes overseeing global recruitment, talent mapping, people development frameworks, and driving engagement with Willow’s values throughout the organisation.

Justin Gurney

Principal/Regional Head of WillowDigital

Justin is inspired by Willow’s vision and drive to transform the property industry. Justin made the decision to join Willow as Principal and Regional Head of WillowDigital in order to work on the delivery of iconic projects through smart technology. He is responsible for the delivery of complex and large-scale projects in the hotel, commercial office, and high-rise residential sectors while bringing to Willow over 25 years of experience in architecture and construction.

Dr. Michael Easson, AM FRICS FAICD

Chairman and Co-Founder

As Chairman, Michael guides Willow’s vision and strategic direction, provides corporate governance oversight and assists the company in fostering strategic long-term relationships. Michael’s experience in infrastructure and property is extensive across the private and public sectors, with over 35 years experience in real estate development and investment.

Adam Geha

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Adam is responsible for guiding Willow’s capital raising activities and regularly reviewing financial strategy and performance.

In addition to his role with Willow, Adam is the CEO and Co-founder of EG Funds Management, where he has led and supervised over USD 1.8 billion in commercial property investment and development for over 20 years.

Lee Fogarty

Principal & Head of Pre-Contracts

Lee takes a hands-on approach to managing and growing Willow’s international operations both as an architect and practice director.

Lee has been involved in a large number of projects from design phase into construction and operation. He knows how to harness the latest technologies to build buildings in the virtual world creating streamlined documentation that facilitates more cost and time efficient projects. In the future, Lee believes we will move completely away from 2D drawings into the 3D virtual world resulting in streamlined and more effective construction and procurement methods.

Shaun Klann

President - USA & Europe

Shaun leads the United States and European operations of Willow. With a background combining engineering, strategic consulting, and property development, Shaun has come to be recognised as one of North America’s most sought after smart building experts.

Shaun is our lead spokesperson for growth in the US and Europe.

Will Sessions

Chief Information Officer

Will Sessions is the Chief Information Officer at Willow. In this role, he oversees all aspects of IT operations, infrastructure, applications, and architecture within the business. He also manages the strategic technological roadmaps, not to mention new technologies, initiatives, trends, cloud technologies, data analytics and information workflow.

Will’s technical background is grounded in the infrastructure space including network, computer server, security, and virtualisation before moving into new Cloud technologies.

Prior to joining Willow in 2017, he held consulting and strategic roles at companies such as Versent, SunRice, and CIMIC.

Download our eBook

We respect your time and privacy. This document is packed with valuable content. Could you share just a little information before downloading?

Tom White

Chief of Staff

Tom is Willow’s Chief of Staff. He delivers a full range of services across the business, developing business and project plans for initiatives that cut across the organization, including new offerings, partnership opportunities, improvements to internal operations whilst developing new programs to support the strategic direction of the organization.

Sallyann Allman

Business Development Director

As Business Development Director, Sallyann leads Willow’s new business development strategy and customer engagement.

Daniel Isserow

Chief Finance Officer

An experienced finance professional with 8 years investment banking experience together with 4 years working in the Big 4, Daniel brings the fiscal discipline required to successfully grow the business and ensure its operational efficiency. Daniel is responsible for the areas of Finance, Legal, HR, and IT across the business.

Daniel is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Taxation from UNSW.

Daniel Kalnins

Global Head of Digital

As the Global Head of Digital, Daniel is responsible for the technical and strategic direction of the Digital Engineering Services Team. He is also a member of the Senior Executive Team in helping shape the path of the current and future business focus.

Gerard Francis

Managing Director and Chief Operations Officer

As Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Gerard is the co-head of the Executive Team (with the CEO) and manages the day-to-day operations of the organisation, its people and resources.

Gerard is responsible for implementing the strategy approved by the board ensuring that the organisation structure and processes meet the strategic and cultural needs of the organisation.

Gerard has utilised this depth of knowledge and leadership to provide strong governance, strategic direction and operational stability as Willow enters a new phase of growth and maturity.

Dale Brett

Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder

Dale Brett is the Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Willow, Australia’s fastest growing provider of smart technology for the built world. With a personal drive to solve complex and real-world problems with technological solutions, Dale leads the technology, product, and innovation at Willow.

In the last two years alone, Dale has led the ideation and implementation of groundbreaking technologies such as the WillowTwin™ Technology Platform, the Marketplace, and the WillowRail Operations to name a few. The technology is now being utilised by the world’s largest real estate owners, including Microsoft, AXA, and Investa Property Group. The common goal being, to make the world more sustainable, connected, intuitive, and innovative.

Joshua Ridley

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

As CEO, Joshua oversees the strategic direction, growth, and management of the company. He is passionate about culture, people, and growing a global company that has a positive impact on our world.

Joshua has built a reputation for his strong leadership and innovation with some of the largest and most admired owners of infrastructure and real estate including the Durst Organisation and Macquarie. He believes in building a global network of strong partners and has spearheaded partnerships with leading organisations such as Microsoft, thyssenkrupp, and Strukton Rail.

He has overseen the development of over $10B of projects through Design and Construction in a senior leadership capacity, and has partnered with preeminent architects, including KPF, Foster & Partners, Perkins Will, and Grimshaw. In Australia, he has worked on major projects with companies including Investa, GPT, Mirvac, Grocon, Brookfield, Multiplex, John Holland, CPB, Pontiac, Star, and NSW Government.

Joshua is our lead corporate spokesperson, covering the history of Willow, our vision for the built world, client engagements and breaking stories.

Download our brochure

We respect your time and privacy. This document is packed with valuable content. Could you share just a little information before downloading?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website by personalising content and advertising, and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our website with our affiliates and partners. By clicking ACCEPT, you consent to our use of cookies. You can change your mind at any time by taking the steps set out in our Privacy Policy, where you can also learn more about how we use your cookies.