ESTP announces the creation of a "Digital twins of construction and infrastructure in their environment" Research Chair

07/07/2021

ESTP is joining forces with Egis, Bouygues Construction, Schneider Electric, BRGM, SNCF Réseau and Arts et Métiers to form an unprecedented alliance of stakeholders who are among the leaders on their respective markets right across the construction projects value chain and lifecycle of buildings and infrastructure. This is the first chair on the subject of Digital Twinning in the construction sector in France.

Their partnership will not only pave the way for joint progress on subjects at the interface of their respective activities thanks to a shared vision of digital twins, but also provide clarification of the challenges of the digital transition, particularly in terms of research activities, as a means of improving performance in the construction sector and contributing to environmental issues. For the ambition of this Research Chair is to drive forward the sector’s digitization by overcoming critical technological hurdles and unlocking optimization solutions for more sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

The digital twin: a platform of sustainable services for efficient and responsible local areas and buildings

The construction trades must keep pace with the times by optimizing engineering approaches, operational processes and the lifecycle of infrastructure. In response to these new requirements, the digital twin represents a solution for centralizing, organizing and securing a project’s datasets, rallying a project’s stakeholders around a collaborative venture and spearheading the development of services tailored to end users’ needs.
By combining simulation, artificial intelligence and data, it simulates the behavior of projects in a dynamic fashion, reflecting the reality on the ground. In this way, the digital twin allows real-time management of buildings, showcases the interactions between systems and objects and enables optimization of the impact that buildings have on their environment through their construction and operation.
Designed like a platform of sustainable services, this digital model is a genuine decision support tool.

It contributes to the construction sector’s transformation by addressing 4 pressing issues of our time: managing and monitoring the decarbonization of the sector and its environment, maximizing the performance of buildings with account taken of users’ expectations, ensuring the sustainability of constructions and rolling out lasting improvements across cities.

A chair with a brand-new format, for the sake of constructability

The purpose of the "Digital twins of construction and infrastructure in their environment" Chair is to uphold a holistic and shared vision of the subject – from knowledge to applications in practice – which fosters a shared industrial and scientific output.

Through this close partnership, it will be possible to fund innovation and research programs aimed at achieving a high international profile.

6 key research and study themes have been defined:

  • organization of datasets used and sourced from the digital twin during the building’s life cycle;
  • digital continuity applied to digital twins: interoperability of models and data;
  • architecture of digital twins: link between the physical building and the DT;
  • the digital twin as an enhanced decision support tool (Artificial Intelligence and simulation)
  • contribution of digital twins to the energy and green transition
  • governance of digital twins: data protection and cybersecurity

"In light of society’s main challenges, we need to reinvent how we build by comparing perspectives and expertise from all links of the sector’s value chain. This is what drives us and brings us together around this Chair initiative."
Martine Jauroyon, Business Transformation and CSR Director, Egis Group

"The partnerships in connection with Bouygues Construction’s innovation policy that we have forged with such research organizations as MIT, Stanford, the Cambridge Service Alliance, Centrale Lille and now ESTP and Arts et Métiers are a tremendous collective opportunity in terms of R&D to swiftly roll out the digital and green transition of the construction sector."
Thiébault Clément, R&D Director, Bouygues Construction

"This Chair forms part of a policy to significantly develop research activities by strengthening teams and launching several new chairs over the coming year. A momentum which will help to build more bridges between researchers and professionals, scale up partnerships with businesses and promote research and training initiatives."
Joël Cuny, Chief Executive, ESTP

"This Chair will contribute to our digital development strategy and particularly data management regarding the urban subsurface and its interfaces with buildings. This will accelerate the development of our cluster on digital twins and geo-environmental data in Orléans."
Philippe Freyssinet, Strategy and Research Director, BRGM

"The Digital Twins Chair embodies our ambition to contribute to the whole life cycle of buildings and infrastructure for greater efficiency and an improved environmental footprint. We are committing to this partnership between ESTP researchers and our software publishing activity to advance interoperability, collaboration and decarbonization. We aspire to help facilitate adoption of the digital twin. Through our 3D activities of electricity grids, 6D BIM activities using RIB Software and management of 7D BIM maintenance and operations by Planon Software."
Marc Nézet, Senior Vice President Energy Management Software Transformation, Schneider Electric

"This chair is in perfect harmony with the strategy of SNCF Réseau to transform design, modernization and operation of our railway network thanks to the Digital Twin.
This collaboration will allow us to go even further in decision support and real-time management, in order to answer the societal challenges that we face."

Patrick Offroy, Asset Management Technical Director, SNCF Réseau

"This alliance is an opportunity to broaden the expertise of the Arts et Métiers laboratories in the field of digital twins to encompass construction and sustainable cities with ESTP and leading industrial partners. The Chair’s deliverables will also inform Arts et Métiers’ training activities to empower our young engineers in the technologies of the future."
Laurent Champaney, President, Arts et métiers