SPHERE: BIM Digital Twin Platform


An EU-funded project that aims to provide a BIM-based Digital Twin Platform to optimise the building lifecycle, reduce costs and improve energy efficiency.

The quality of construction works has a direct impact on the quality of life of Europeans: in the EU, the construction industry is responsible for approximately 40% of final energy consumption and generates 36% of greenhouse gases in Europe. To build a low-carbon, climate-resilient future, decarbonising Europe's building stock is key. Therefore, a sustainable construction sector plays a crucial role for reaching the EU's long term 80-95% greenhouse gas emission reduction objective.

To address this need for a more sustainable construction process, SPHERE’s platform will help boost a building’s energy performance throughout its lifecycle – from design to end of life - by allowing better design, construction and performance while reducing time, costs and the environmental impact of the construction process. We will achieve this through the generation of a synchronized, building-centred Digital Twin platform based on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions (IDDS).

For the duration of the project, we will provide a demonstration in 2 new buildings and 2 renovation residential buildings in Finland, Austria and Italy. By integrating the platform into the operations of SME contractors, large construction firms and end-users, we will be able to accurately evaluate performance, obtain real-time feedback and powerful exploitation. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up to date with our progress and news!


Through SPHERE project, an enhanced ICT platform, supported by the appropriate suite of tools, concepts and innovations, will be developed aiming at two over-arching General Objectives:

  1. SPHERE will achieve this through the generation of an ICT infrastructure/environment based on a unique synchronized Building-centred Digital Twin Environment, which integrates all necessary innovative strategies, concepts, components, materials and respective data based on, but not limited to, BIM - Building Information Modelling- models of the residential building from design to operation & maintenance and validated in four demo-sites. This system of systems will be capable of aggregate all data relevant to the asset through all the Lifecycle Phases of the residential building, hence improving the productivity by more time-efficient, economic and environmental decision taking. And enable by performance based procurement manufactures to offer early in the design process prefabricated HVAC, roof and façade modular systems integrating the value chain and reducing costs and construction time.
  2. Seamless and efficient updating and synchronization of SPHERE Digital Twin platform: SPHERE will define the right procedures to keep the unique centralised model updated, based on existing solutions such latest developments in Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions (IDDS). This will enable future standardisation of Building BIM-based models that can fully communicate with other software tools as well as other building digital twins (e.g.: residential complex) in order to search for common goals. With this, SPHERE aims to provide a platform and digital twin methodology that is useful right from planning/design phase to demolition, going through a long lifecycle, where the analysis of any refurbishment and/or expansion actions can be analysed in a virtual environment from a multi-dimensional point of view, prior to physical implementation and consequent expenses.

Scientific and Technical Objectives (STOs):
  • STO 1 / Development and Implementation of the Digital Twin System of Systems Architecture and Ontology and its related processes

    and stakeholders.

  • STO 2 / To integrate Circular economy criteria into the decision taking processes including Manufacturing.
  • STO 3 / Development & integration of Technology System Applications to integrate Design & Construction Phases and smart tenders.
  • STO 4 / Development and integration of Technology System Applications for the Operational Phase in Digital Twins Instances
  • STO 5 / To demonstrate the Digital Twin Environment and its technologies and tools, by deploying SPHERE’s PaaS and its SaaS Apps

    (Tools) along the stakeholders involved into the operations of 2 New Buildings and 2 Renovation Pilot Residential buildings in 3
    different climate zones.

  • STO 6 / Scalability and Replication: To use project activities as a vehicle to attain the maximum post-project uptake of the SPHERE

    project foreground and its impact on the widest possible audience of EU workers and contractors, construction professionals
    and the general public.

Key information

Start date: November 2018
End date: November 2022
Source of funding: EU Horizon 2020  
EU / H2020 Grant Agreement No.: 820805

People involved