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Digital Ecosystem to enable Circular Buildings – The Circular Twin Framework Proposal

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2024, 1120500
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d12.0500
Stefan Schützenhofer1 , Sophia Pibal2, Anastasia Wieser3, Matteo Bosco3, Maria Fellner4, Valentinas Petrinas5, Iva Kovacic1
1 Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
2 AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Vienna, Austria
3 TU Wien, Wien, Austria
4 IBO, Wien, Austria
5 TU Wien, Vienna, Austria


Implementing Circular Economy principles in the built environment is of utmost importance to reduce raw material extraction and generated waste. A transition is essential, especially as it is responsible for about 40% - 60% of global raw material extraction and 33% of total waste in the European Union. This paper shows the methodological approach to generate a digital Building model to enable Circular Economy in the early design stage, by coupling Generative Design methods, enabling automated variant generation of Digital building models, to Building Information Modelling-objects, and assessment-algorithms to evaluate the environmental impact and circularity. By visualizing the assessments of the generated variants of (so-called) Circular Twins in a Virtual Reality environment, including user interaction with a voice-controlled virtual Agent, the digital Circular Twin ecosystem enables the early implementation of the goals of the circular economy and sustainability in Architecture, Engineering and Construction.

Keywords: Digital Twin, BIM, Circular Economy, Sustainability; Sustainable Building; Circular Building; Virtual Reality

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