TWIN - Digital twins for sustainable buildings

Digital building twins have hardly been used in practice due to an often unfavourable cost-benefit ratio. The aim of the TWIN project is to bring together use cases of digital building twins with a high ecological and economic impact in order to prepare application scenarios with great implementation potential.

Short Description



Starting point / motivation

Digital twins can be used within the entire life cycle of a building and therefore hold strong potential for achieving important objectives of the "European Green Deal". While digital twins have already been successfully applied in many industrial domains, in the construction and real estate industry, their application has primarily been confined to research and demonstration projects.

These previous investigations ranged from topics such as energy management at the level of single buildings or districts, to the optimization of construction site logistics, as well as using model-based services. So far, the results gained have corroborated their potential for the construction and real estate industries, but in spite of this, digital twins have hardly been used in practice.

Besides technological challenges, the specific and often challenging regulatory conditions in the construction and real estate industry hinder the application of digital twins. Additionally, creating and maintaining a digital twin can be resource intensive, which often leads to an unfavourable outcome in the trade-off between effort and benefit.

Contents and goals

The project TWIN is preparing a subsequent lighthouse project for the implementation of digital twin approaches, with the aim of illustrating and demonstrating the added value of digital building twins via real world demonstrators, and thus to catalyse and direct the application of digital twins in future building projects.

Based on the outcome of TWIN, the envisioned lighthouse project is to be funded as a so-called "lead project" by the FFG and will cover research, development, and demonstrations (R&D/D).

The project aims for holistic use cases of digital building twins spanning the entire building lifecycle, and will account for ecological impact, the economic interests of stakeholders, as well as specific regulatory conditions and challenges of the construction and real estate industry in Austria.


In its preparatory phase, TWIN will perform an integrative characterization and evaluation of potential digital twin use cases with regard to their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Industry stakeholders will be actively integrated in this assessment to allow identification of the ecologically and economically most promising use cases for further development and demonstration in the lighthouse project.

After the assessment, four to five resulting use cases will be bundled for subsequent implementation, examination, and demonstration in the follow-up project. Utilizing a gap analysis, TWIN will identify existing technological gaps and derive the R&D/D needs to be addressed in the follow-up project. In order to guarantee the continuity of the digital twin over different life cycle phases, open systems, and standards (e.g., IFC) are used.

Expected results

Within TWIN the results, namely the identified use cases, their ecological and economical assessment as well as the identified R&D/D gaps, will be published in the form of a roadmap, which forms the basis for the planned lighthouse project.

The main project result of TWIN is a concept for the submission of the lighthouse project as well as specifically developed R&D/D actions, required for the realization of two to three demonstrators.

Two locations for the implementation of the demonstrators have already been identified: the Inffeldgasse campus of Graz University of Technology and the technology center in Aspern, Vienna's Urban Lakeside. The concepts developed in TWIN will form the basis for the implementation and realization of the envisioned lighthouse project.

Project Partners

Project management

Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Michael Monsberger, Graz University of Technology - Institute of Building Physics, Services, and Construction

Project or cooperation partners

  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • buildingSMART Austria
  • Pro2Future GmbH
  • Siemens AG Österreich

Contact Address

Graz University of Technology
Institute of Building Physics, Services, and Construction
Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Michael Monsberger
Lessingstrasse 25/III
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 873 6255