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BeamUP, an Israeli startup that makes digital twins for enterprise building management, has launched with a $15M round of seed investment led by Israel-based StageOne Ventures and U.S.-based Ibex Investors and included prominent angels, such as CEO of Workday Chano Fernandez. The company generates digital models of facilities to reduce system and infrastructure design time. This simplifies the work around security, IT, IoT, electrical and HVAC, which account for around 40% of construction costs.

The company focuses on reducing the complexity of generating a highly accurate initial digital twin and accurately updating and maintaining it over time. The tools can also help reduce the work required to plan for redesigns, compliance changes, expanded uses and ongoing maintenance and management.

The company was founded by Stephane Levy, who has an extensive entrepreneurial background in the construction and real estate industry. He started BeamUP to address the challenges he dealt with regarding the lack of insight into facility performance, the slow and manual design process and the disjointed, localized storing of documents, resulting in compliance breaches, lost data and wasted data resources.

Improving understanding

Facilities management teams typically manage more than 30% of the world’s commercial real estate square footage (currently 16.5 billion square feet of real estate in the United States alone) and are unique for their global scale, compliance and cybersecurity needs, critical risks of downtime and the requirement to standardize.

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But teams have typically managed these facilities using locally stored PDFs and spreadsheets, making it difficult for executives to understand what assets they have in each building and where they are located, let alone if they are compliant with regional building codes or meeting ESG goals. BeamUP provides an innovative approach to designing and managing these systems for global oversight and actionable data to control costs, reduce risks and ensure compliance, security and sustainability. 

BeamUP uses AI to help simplify data management aspects of facility design and streamline integration into applications like AWS IoT TwinMaker. The company provides an end-to-end lifecycle management platform — from design through maintenance & operation. This can help drive analytics insights into performance, compliance and efficiency. For example, executives can quickly assess which building types have the most compliance issues, differences in energy consumption across regions and the connection between device types and failure rates. 

“Our cloud platform creates a network of an organization’s digital twin buildings and moves the enterprise beyond managing each of their facilities as a separate, isolated entity,” said Stephane Levy, CEO and founder of BeamUP. Once all the dots are connected with structured and accessible macro-level data, the platform will drive analytics insights into performance, compliance and efficiency.

Automating context with AI

BuildUP has also developed tools to convert 2D floorplans into 3D models using AI and ML technology. This is important since most building data is stored as 2D floor plans and lacks structured semantic data and context. The tools also automate the infrastructure design and simulation process to improve security, electrical and HVAC systems. These tools also simplify continuous updates to the twin as buildings evolve because of routine maintenance, refurbishments, upgrades and changing requirements. In addition, a compliance engine automatically assesses the systems, infrastructure and assets within the twin for conformity to enterprises’ internal standards, along with codes and regulations. 

The tool supports popular formats, including RVT and IRF for BIM data, DWG for CAD and PDF formats converted into semantic-rich models using AI and ML models. 

“BeamUP’s twin integrates into an enterprise’s design, build and operate workflows which are historically linear, static and disjointed,” Levy said.

Even though there is widespread recognition that legacy processes are untenable, some people in the industry have an apprehension that new methods can carry even greater risk. The company targets tech companies who are not only willing to adopt change but are on the active lookout for new tech and processes. 

Competitors include companies such as Avvir, Swapp, SiteAware, Buildots, OnSiteIQ, OpenSpace and Indus.ai. Levy says a significant differentiator is support for enterprise clients’ complete end-to-end design and management requirements. 

Also, the company has focused on working with enterprises to capture a unique dataset of enterprise floor plans for AI training, which are challenging to obtain. BuildUP has already captured hundreds of thousands of live floor plans. 

The company is also developing graph databases of design and facility data to train AI models using graph neural network models (GNN). “This is a major hook for enterprises since it moves beyond rule-based design and compliance standards which are challenging to document and maintain over time,” said Levy.

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