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Using Yanzi with Building models.

Keeping virtual assets ("digital twins") up to date can induce a lot of work. Yanzi promotes the use of building models to make the change management process easy and cost efficient.

What is a building model?

A building model is an electronic representation of a building. It contains information about floors, rooms, and furniture. Additional information is also available, such as conference room names, floor levels, and wall material information.

These models are typically created by the building architect as part of initial construction and is later managed by the building owner. It is common for this model to exist as a set of files for the AutoCAD software by Autodesk.

In recent years it has become increasingly common for companies to manage their models through a service platform such as Micello (a subdivision of Here Technologies) or Pythagoras PIM.

What are the benefits of having a model?

Apart from the value of having accurate schematics of the building, many use their models already as parts of asset tracking or service desk systems as a natural way of protecting the value of their building through data.

We started to work with models at Yanzi after we noticed that customers and partners were spending more work on setting up and updating their configurations than they spent on installing sensors.

For one customer, more than 60% of costs were associated with configuring their IoT system. Switching to models eliminated most of that cost.

How to use building models in Yanzi.

Step 0: Acquire model

Yanzi supports an open standard for model exchange based on GeoJSON. Several model management companies support exporting their model to this format. Also, it can be ordered directly from Yanzi. Contact us to get advice on how to acquire a suitable model.

Step 1: Model upload

The model will be delivered as a set of files, typically one per floor. They will have the file extension ".json".

At installation, just upload the files as floorplans in Yanzi Lifecycle.

Step 2: Planning

When planning a site using the planner functionality in Yanzi Lifecycle, the tool will use information from the model to simulate wireless coverage. Additionally, the model unlocks powerful automation where the tool automatically places sensors on desks according to your liking.

Step 3: Sensor installation

Yanzi will automatically create the asset hierarchy ("digital twin") while the installation is taking place. This is based entirely on the model. We only create assets for the spaces where you are installing sensors. Should you desire additional assets, then you may create these in the configuration assistant that will be covered later.

Yanzi will create the following hierarchy of assets:

Text Only
Building (building)
 -> Floor (floor)
  -> Area-Group (areaGroup)
   -> Area (area, conferenceRoom, etc)
    -> Furniture (chair, desk, etc)
  • The names of these assets will be copied from the name available in the model file.
  • If a level is missing (some models do not have area groups or floors), then Yanzi will create it and include all children in it. The name will be something like "Automatically Created Area Group".
  • The id's in the model file will be available in the geoJson property on the Yanzi Asset. That enables you to associate Yanzi assets with third party systems that also use the same model.

Step 4: Installation complete, system is up and running.

Good times!

Step 5: Change Management

Buildings always change. And thanks to the model, that will be easy to manage.

When there has been a change to the building, the first thing to do is to update the building model. This is usually handled by the company that issued it.

The updated files can be uploaded to yanzi by clicking the update button in the floorplan manager.


Uploading a new file will not change your asset configuration. To perform the changes,

approve them in the configuration assistant.

Once the file is uploaded you can see a summary of required actions in the Configuration assistant. The assistant will show you a list of suggested changes, and provide actions that you may take to amend the situation.

Such actions include removing sensors that are no longer required or to move a sensor to its new location. If any new assets are required, these will automatically be created in the assistant.

The assistant will also notify you of assets that can be removed after a change and allows you to conveniently delete them.