Warrington Borough Council has developed a digital twin of the town’s buildings and energy systems.
It has taken the step, working with climate technology firm IES and community energy consultancy Pure Leapfrog, to help identify energy, carbon and cost-efficiency measures to reach its net zero targets.
The digital twin includes data from the council, the energy performance certificate data and local distribution network operators, with information from each of the borough’s 29 areas individually modelled in IES’s Intelligence Community Design (iCD) tool. This analyses and monitors how a community may evolve over time and tracks the environmental impact of changes such as the installation of renewable energy systems and changes to the massing and form of buildings.
It is hosted on the company’s Intelligent Community Information (iCIM) platform.
Warrington has been using the tool to create bespoke strategies for each area towards net zero, taking into account factors such as construction materials and energy capacity.
It has already used it to demonstrate annual savings up to 2,500 tonnes of CO2 for two neighbourhoods in the borough, which would take them to net zero with only a very small amount of carbon offsetting.
Sharing and pathways
The council’s cabinet member for sustainability and climate change, Cllr Janet Henshaw, said: “A shared central database and interconnected tools have allowed data and analysis to be easily shared between key stakeholders within this project, laying out some pathways for potential future decarbonisation.
“Using the model to full effect will allow the council to see various possible optimisation scenarios and understand the potential return on investment for associated decarbonisation initiatives.”