Digital twins are fast-emerging as a crucial model for the construction industry, but what is it and how can it deliver long term value?
Building Information Modelling (BIM), asset management and lifecycle information management have given the construction industry access to a wealth of data-rich technologies that reduce planning and build times, whilst also improving the health, longevity and safety of a build.
We now have the ability focus on more effective scenario planning and modelling across the entire spectrum, from design to handover and beyond. At a time when safety, economies of scale, supply and demand and waste reduction are serious priorities for the industry, the need for a single source of truth – providing a deeper understanding of an asset – is more important than ever.
While data helps with planning and project management, it can also be used for mirroring a build. Having a digital duplicate or ‘digital twin’ running alongside a project gives you a permanent representation of the true physical status of a building.
This gives key stakeholders the ability to gain a deeper understanding of a development, not just from a design or engineering perspective, but also of building performance and condition.
A digital twin for value-add and compliance
The relationship with the physical asset, and its ability to instantaneously reflect any changes, is where the digital twin proves invaluable. Especially when it comes to having a multi-dimensional view of a property that’s not just a specific engineering model. For any architects, specifiers or managers wanting to analyse the asset in more detail, a digital twin lets them view it as a whole or deep dive to assess any faults or adjustments that need to be made.
A digital twin adds value across the entire lifecycle. It increases efficiencies throughout the design and construction process, whilst also improving safety and compliance standards.
The incoming Building Safety Bill will mean the digitalisation of all projects, assets and processes throughout the life of a building. As part of this, there will be a requirement for consistent monitoring and reporting with a clear and traceable chain. A digital twin supports that transparency of information and also…
The ability to drill down and get a multi-dimensional picture of an asset to identify any potential safety issues or flaws adds another layer of rigour to the health and safety process. Not only that, but it can also lead to cost-savings in the long term and eliminate the risk of having to carry out complex retrofits or renovations further down the build process.
Lowers carbon emissions
A digital twin gives architects and designers a clearer picture as to where they can increase energy efficiencies and make a building more sustainable. In addition, it gives them the opportunity to discover more ways to save energy during the development stage.
Moreover, the ability to access a single source of truth means more accurate materials ordering, which, in turn, leads to a reduction in construction traffic and volume of deliveries, therefore generating less waste and emissions.
Increase the value of your asset
Having a clear history and access to unlimited data and analysis via an asset’s digital twin makes valuation a lot easier. In this respect, it can be viewed as similar to a car log book. This information makes the asset a more attractive proposition to buyers or leaseholders.
The digital twin concept is rapidly gaining momentum across the industry and proving its worth as a model that can deliver significant benefits to projects, at scale. The city of Las Vegas has announced that it is using a digital twin to evaluate how it can reduce emissions and drive down costs for building owners.
At a time when the industry needs to be more resource-efficient, reduce its carbon emissions and improve on safety reporting, can you afford not to embrace a more digital future?
Zutec for a single source of truth
From BIM to handover, we have a range of solutions that can help you improve all aspects of project and asset management.
For more information on how Zutec can improve compliance and reporting, get in touch or request a live demo today.
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