Why every building benefits from a digital twin

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Hands up if you’ve ever experienced the frustration of flying blind with reporting because up-to-date information has been hard to track down. Maybe you’ve had to had to try and track down some crucial piece of paperwork last seen in the office of someone who has left the company… how much time did it waste?

It’s bad enough when the document in question involves some aspect of HR or financials – but it’s even worse when it relates to an essential part of your whole office building like the specifications for the electrical systems.

Buildings are an enormously complex collections of parts, and every single element has its own set of paperwork, from specifications, supplier and certification information through to warranties, maintenance details and sometimes a trouble-shooting guide.

Why design may not deliver in operations

Paperwork being mislaid or not properly collated as a comprehensive set of documentation is a factor that can mean buildings do not perform as they should, as the Shergold and Weir “Building Confidence” report noted.

The report highlighted the need for better documentation practices at the design and construction phase, and better handover of all relevant documentation to building owners and managers.

The digital building manual suggested by Shergold and Weir idea also aims to ensure improved accountability, traceability and transparency.

There is some progress towards this with the use of digital Building Information Modelling [BIM], which can capture all the essential design, specification and deliver information in a digital model.

What BIM does not generally do, however, is capture the actual day-to-day operation of a building. For example, it might show the expected energy use of a chiller, but it won’t show whether the chiller is using that amount of energy once a building is occupied.

Buildings need to evolve with the times

That information really matters, because the whole property industry is increasingly moving towards high-performance, energy-efficient buildings. On a big picture level, there has been an intergovernmental commitment to low-carbon, low-emissions and energy efficient buildings to achieve a net zero built environment. You can read more about that in ASBEC’s Low Carbon, High Performance report here.

On the individual building scale, the value of a building and its attractiveness to tenants is increasingly tied to its NABERS rating, which is based on actual energy use, not predicted use.

Nowadays, a project team will often commit to delivering a building that is designed to perform at a specific NABERS Star rating, particularly when the asset is for a state or federal department that has an energy-efficiency requirement for its office space.

Modelling during the detail design phase is used to predict performance, measurement during the commissioning phase proves the modelling, and monitoring and verification afterwards during occupancy show whether it got achieved.

But these are often entirely separate processes, using separate digital platforms and packages, which is both inefficient and can result in what building energy experts call a “performance gap” — where buildings just don’t perform as they were designed to.

Taming the digital babble

With so many separate systems and human complications including occupants, it can be a real headache finding out whether a problem is caused by the design, a defect, the tenants, the FM or malfunctioning equipment.

At the same time, there’s a growing number of devices and systems being added into smart buildings – apps that summon lifts, software platforms that monitor and report on any solar PV installed in the building and functional devices like IoT-enabled audio-visual and communications systems.

Across a portfolio that challenge is multiplied by the number of packages, platforms and individual providers such as Siemens, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Phillips and others who are associated with each specific system or piece of equipment. Each has its own language, data location and data protocols.

And the different sources don’t necessarily integrate or speak to each other. It’s almost like a deconstructed data sandwich where every part is in a different kitchen.

Fit for the future

“A Digital Twin is the way asset owners can drive digital transformation of their buildings,” Willow CEO and Co-Founder Joshua Ridley says.

“They bring together all the essential elements of the built world, including occupants and day-to-day conditions, in a dynamic, secure and integration-ready way.”

The twin is the foundational information architecture, and completion and commissioning is just the beginning. As the building comes to physical life, the twin continues to accrue, manage and synthesise data from building systems in a way that allows asset owners and managers to have an immediate and up-to-date source of information.

This detailed level of integrated insight helps with strategic decision-making that can improve building operation and add value, for example, what adjustments can be made to improve tenant comfort or save on energy use.

Unlike traditional building documentation and management processes, where information can be scattered between different departments or individuals, a Digital Twin combines it all together in one secure, cloud-hosted place.

Which also means details can be accessed by any authorised person, any time, day or night from anywhere in the world.

So, for example, if there’s a spike in the air conditioning system’s energy use that is nothing to do with weather conditions, but the person who knows all about the system is away at a conference, they can access all the relevant data and details from wherever they happen to be and help address the issue promptly.

It also means no-one needs to scurry around looking for the right files and information before decisions can be made about maintenance or repair.

Ridley says that making building documentation and operational information smart is essential.

There are multiple layers of benefit for all key stakeholders – owners, asset managers, facility managers and even occupants, and we’ll be exploring those in the near future.

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 PR@willowinc.com

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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

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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

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

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

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™

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

Dale Brett

Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder

Dale 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.

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

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

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

Joshua Ridley

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Joshua oversees the strategic direction, growth, and management of Willow. 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.

Gerard Francis

CEO WillowRail, Global Head of Infrastructure

Gerard oversees the strategic direction, growth, and management of WillowRail and Willow’s Infrastructure operations.

With a wealth of experience in the Infrastructure space, Gerard has utilised his depth of knowledge and leadership to provide strong governance, strategic direction and operational stability as Willow enters a new phase of growth and maturity.

Scott Smith

Global Head of Microsoft Partnership

Scott is responsible for building out the Willow partnership with Microsoft, identifying and executing on the significant opportunity for both organisations resulting from the unprecedented computing power available via the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

Adrian Fisk

Chief Financial Officer & Global Head of Partnerships

Adrian’s responsibilities include strategic direction, financial performance, partnership management, and processes across Willow’s global network of offices.

Tess Hattingh

Chief Operating Officer

Tess has an overarching role across many facets of the Willow business, from company strategy to HR, Marketing, and Operations.

With over 20 years’ experience, Tess ensures the wheels are oiled and the Willow way is upheld.

Toni Trumbull

Client Director

Toni works closely with our Real Estate customers to explore new digital strategies designed to create value for their business. As part of this role, her responsibility is to communicate the customer voice back to the Willow team to ensure complete alignment and success.
 
Toni has over 15 years experience in the management and operations of commercial assets for large institutions as well as having a strong passion for science and technology and how it applies to the built world. This passion and the critical role data plays in the digitisation of Real Estate has led Toni to undertake a Masters in Data Science, complimenting her degree in Property Economics.

Catherine Harding

Legal Counsel

Catherine provides legal guidance and support across company activities and oversees compliance with regulatory and industry requirements. She is the in-house Counsel for both Willow and EG.

Catherine has extensive experience in international and domestic public policy development, and communications.

Mary Carroll-Coelho

Customer Success Manager

Mary actively works with and listens to our customers. Together, they define the future partnership between Willow and their company. She defines the key problems to solve; often describing her work as, “helping our partners figure out if they want socks or warm feet.” What the real issue is and how data can help us solve it.

Mary has spent the last ten years working in architecture, construction technology, and education. She has overseen the construction of designs ranging from 5,000 sf to 1,400 ac. She has worked with leaders in the design industry including KieranTimberlake Architects and Atelier Jean Nouvel. As a manager in the Construction Innovation Studio at the We Company, Mary has worked across the globe and understands the benefit and need for data in the real estate industry.

Experience

Experience provides a seamless, intuitive and enjoyable mobile experience that incorporates the latest in emerging building technologies including smart access control for doors, lifts and lockers all controlled via your smart phone. The app is a powerful tool to attract and retain tenant engagement whilst providing powerful analytics and insights.

Time Machine

Time Machine is a native Willow application that enables users to compare & analyse live data, troubleshoot faults, and discover insightful trends across an entire portfolio.

Command Platform

Command Platform is a single interface for all operational aspects of your digital twin, including operational performance, live information from edge devices and inputs from third-party applications.

Live Data

Live Data is a SaaS feature of Willow. It aggregates data in real time from all devices at a portfolio or infrastructure network-wide level and enables a connection-friendly data set for third parties to read and leverage data via the Willow App Store.

Cube

Cube is a fully secure, supported plug and play device that enables all the benefits and value of Willow’s solution for your building or infrastructure network/vehicle. Installing a Cube creates an environment where apps from any language and framework can run securely on the edge, whilst streaming live data to the cloud.

Twin Creator

Twin Creator provides insights into digital twin creation. By
tracking spatial data, asset data and live data inputs, it allows
users to validate the progress of the twin visually and intuitively.
Through the Twin Creator, head contractors and owners can
better manage their stakeholders and supply chain deliverables,
reducing defects and data loss.

Contact us

Help us improve the Willow App Store. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Daniel Kalnins

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.

Contact us

Help us improve the Willow App Store. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Rachel Ebalan-Ramirez

General Manager, Manila

Rachel leads the overall operations and general management of the Manila 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.

Andrew Phelan

Vice President Operations, North America

Andrew oversees the delivery and implementation of Willow’s solutions to all customers across the region.

Justin Gurney

Global Program Manager

Justin is responsible for the management and delivery of all contracted projects across all regions. He is inspired by Willow’s vision and drive to transform the property industry and brings to Willow over 25 years of experience in architecture and construction.

Dr. Michael Easson, AM FRICS FAICD

Director and Co-Founder

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 leads the proposals and commercial engagement frameworks company wide. He specializes in contractual negotiations and strategic leadership of the digital delivery of building information modeling driving architectural procurement, facility handover and building operations.

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.

Shaun Klann

President, Global Head of Real Estate

Shaun leads the United States and European operations of Willow as well as managing the company’s Real Estate operations. 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.

Rani Adam

Chief Innovation Engineer

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.

Nicholas Moore

Chairman

Nicholas is the former Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Group Limited. He retired after 33 years at Macquarie, and 10 years as CEO from 2008 – 2018.

Nicholas has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from UNSW. He was admitted as a solicitor and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He is Chairman of Screen Australia, the Sydney Opera House Trust, The Centre for Independent Studies, The Smith Family, Willow Technology Corporation, National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC), a Member (and former Chair) of the University of NSW Business School Advisory Council, and the former Chair of the PCYC.

Sallyann Aitken

Business Development Director

Sallyann leads Willow’s new business development strategy and customer engagement.

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