Brooklyn Navy Yard and Manhattan ( By Gerald Trudell/

Digital twin platform enlisted to cut energy footprint in Brooklyn Navy Yard

When the New York City-area Brooklyn Navy Yard is renovated, digital twin technology will help with reducing carbon emissions.

As part of the New York City 2030 District, a private/public partnership to spur sustainable innovation and progress in Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, Cityzenith will develop digital twins for a group of buildings, systems and infrastructure in the 225-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard. The project will start with Building 77, a 1 million square-foot warehouse that was recently renovated for commercial use.

With SmartWorldOS, Cityzenith’s platform for designing, building and managing complex, large-scale building projects, city planners will have access to digital twin technology providing more than a billion geo-tagged smart data layers and annotation and visualization tools for custom reports and analysis.

The project will automate real-time energy monitoring, onsite renewable power generation and buying carbon offsets in a “comprehensive and accurate solution using digital twin technology’s ability to aggregate, visualize and analyze 3D (space) + 4D (time) data and correlate efficiencies,” Cityzenith founder and CEO Michael Jansen said.

The ultimate goal will be to reduce the energy footprint, which Jansen said can be achieved through green building retrofits. Although this can be an expensive and tedious process, he noted that investing 10 cents per square foot on retrofits will yield $3-$5 in savings per square foot, with the dividends coming in just three to five years.

“Today, many property owners turn to green building retrofit consulting services which are labor-intensive, costly, and not risk-free,” a Cityzenith blog post stated. “The Brooklyn Navy Yard digital twin project will seek to automate these currently manual services in a single easy-to-use solution that is more comprehensive, more accurate, and much less expensive.”

With cities producing more than three quarters of the global carbon footprint – and buildings accounting for 50-70% of that – an increasing number of governments, including the state of California, New York and Washington, D.C., have set green building mandates.

“It's a huge global problem as we seek a more efficient and sustainable model for our urban planning, and construction must catch up with the pace of emissions reduction in other industries such as manufacturing,” Jansen said. “Fortunately, digital twin technology is accelerating to provide much-needed solutions to these issues.”

The company has pledged to donate its SmartWorldOS digital twin platform to 100 cities to help them meet their carbon reduction commitments. 

According to a recent report from ABI Research, more than 500 digital twins are expected to be deployed in urban areas by 2026 – and city planners can expect to save $280 billion by 2030.

About the Author

Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of capital-area news outlets. He can be reached at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.


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