Project 7: Optimising energy consumption and indoor environmental parameters for occupants’ dynamic usage of buildings using IoT and Digital Twin technologies

PhD Candidate
De-Graft Joe Opoku
Chair SupervisorCo-SupervisorCo-Supervisor
Prof. Srinath PereraDr Robert Osei-KyeiDr Whitney Bevan

Most studies on buildings’ energy consumption optimisation have considered the building as a static object neglecting its constant interactions with occupants’ behaviour. However, the interactions between buildings and occupants’ behaviour present the structure as a dynamic object. Therefore, identifying the building as a static object cannot provide the real and optimum solution to reduce buildings’ energy consumption. For this reason, most studies have experienced gaps between the predicted and actual energy consumptions in buildings.

This project aims to optimise energy consumption and indoor environmental parameters (heat, light, sound) for occupants’ dynamic building usage using IoT devices and digital twin technologies. The library is a significant structure within educational buildings, but no study has focused on this area. Most studies on energy consumption optimisation have focused on housing instead. The library was selected as a case study for this research because of its constant interaction with its occupants. Further, the library has several energy use categories which include heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC), lighting, computers, photocopiers and lifts, which makes the library a high energy-consuming building.

This study has several benefits. Firstly, this study will optimise energy consumption which will help to reduce carbon emissions in the library building. Secondly, this study would help reduce energy bills arising from the library building and improve the usage and performance of the library building. Thirdly, this study would present a digital model of the library building, which can be used to monitor and maintain the library building. The resulting digital model arising from the study could be employed in facilities management. The outcomes of this study include a digital twin with the capability to visually and dynamically simulate heating, lighting and sound parameters, and management procedures for buildings’ energy optimisation.