How Can Digital Twins Support the Net Zero Vision?


Net Zero relates to decarbonisation efforts to tackle climate change by not adding new emissions to the atmosphere. Reaching Net Zero depends on datafication and digitisation as data on carbon emissions collected across assets’ lifecycle are important for neutralising them. This study aims to understand how technological ecosystems such as Digital Twins – that connect physical and digital artefacts – can support a Net Zero vision in the built environment, in an industry-agnostic way to transfer any relevant lessons from other sectors. The method is a systematic literature review that structures new knowledge on the topic. The study showed that environment sustainability has been an overused idea in scientific literature, yet rarely operationalised. A scarcity of studies utilising the potential of digital twins for Net Zero was found. The emergent themes are overreliance on technocratic solutions at the expense of systems thinking, proliferation of renewable sources and misunderstandings regarding visualisation necessity, and showing pathways for future DT system design for Net Zero.

In 2022 International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE). Advances in Information Technology in Civil and Building Engineering, published by Springer
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Associate Professor in Management of Engineering Projects

Researcher and consultant at the intersection of management and digital economy