Brooklyn Navy Yard to site Cityzenith’s digital twin pilot

SEP 09, 2021

Crowdfunded digital twin startup Cityzenith will pilot a smart cities technology platform at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

On Thursday, Chicago-based, crowdfunded smart city startup Cityzenith announced that its digital twin building technology platform, SmartWorldOS, will be piloted at New York’s Brooklyn Navy Yard. The yard will also site Cityzenith’s “Clean Cities – Clean Future” initiative to promote SmartWorldOS as a solution to other major global cities seeking to reach carbon emission targets.

The City of New York is working with Cityzenith, green buildings initiative NYC 2030 District, and energy resilience and security company Agile Fractal Grid (AFG) to transform the 225-acre Navy Yard’s energy footprint by visualizing, analyzing and optimizing its usage using a virtual replica (i.e., a digital twin).

“We are honored to start [SmartWorldOS] with New York. Cities produce more than 75 percent of global carbon emissions, and buildings account for 50-70 percent of that – possibly 80 percent in Manhattan – making them the planet’s biggest polluter,” said Cityzenith Founder and CEO Michael Jansen.

Jansen explained that fewer than 100,000 (1.7 percent) of the 5.9 million commercial office buildings in the United States, spanning 100 billion square feet, are designated “green,” and only 500 (0.008 percent) are net zero. Cityzenith believes that bumping this number higher will require simultaneous strategies, including real time energy monitoring, onsite renewable power generation, and buying carbon offsets.

“The Navy Yard project will automate these into one easy-use, comprehensive, and accurate solution using Digital Twin technology’s unparalleled ability to aggregate, visualize, and analyze 3D (space) + 4D (time) data and correlate efficiencies,” Jansen said, adding that an investment of just $0.10 per ft² on retrofits unlocks $3–$5 per ft² in savings, with a payback period of 3 to 5 years.

“We are proud to partner Cityzenith to develop the Digital Twin for Brooklyn Navy Yard Bldg.77, a one million ft² warehouse (equivalent to 21 football fields) recently renovated for commercial and manufacturing use. NYC 2030 District, a non-profit partnership, will work with CZ, Brooklyn Navy Yard, CUNY Building Performance Lab, Buildee and others,” said NYC 2030 District Chair Haim Gross. “The Digital Twin, to be produced for a group of Navy Yard buildings, systems and infrastructure, will provide…the capability to comprehensively monitor building performance and plan energy sustainability and climate resilience projects.”

Following a successful pilot project in Brooklyn, Cityzenith and AFC plan to expand the Digital Twin program into a nationwide roll out, which AFG CEO John Reynolds said will “transform energy security and infrastructure.” According to a Cityzenith announcement, Phoenix and other U.S. cities are planning to join Clean Cities – Clean Future, which has a reported sales pipeline of $11 million for 2021-2022.

Since launching in 2019, major customers of Cityzenith’s SmartWorldOS platform have included Cushman & Wakefield, WS Atkins, the U.S. Government, CBRE, Foster + Partners, Lamina Tower, JLL, Lendlease, Safely Back, and the U.K. Rail Network.