There will be a Digital Twin era in the construction industry. The Digital Twin is rapidly evolving, recognized, and used on construction projects.
FREMONT, CA: Data has always been an important component in keeping projects on track during the design, bidding, and construction phases. Creating a Digital Twin from data provides a competitive advantage to project stakeholders by allowing them to make informed decisions based on real-time data accessible at any time and from any location.
Digital Twins can be an important facilitator as the construction industry tries to keep up with the demand for new facilities and layouts after COVID-19.
The application of such technology, which provides a digital representation of real-world systems and components, is critical for an industry that has been slow to adopt digital technology.
The Construction Industry's Digital Twin
Virtual depiction of a physical asset, process, or system that includes engineering data to help us understand, model, and analyze its performance is a digital twin. The value of the digital twin stems from its connection to the physical asset and its ability to reflect any changes instantly.
Over the last 20 years, the construction industry has lagged in digitalization, specifically in utilizing data and analytics and artificial intelligence. This Digital Twin concept is new to the construction industry, but it has numerous uses and will set a new trend in managing building projects.
A Digital Twin of a physical object can accelerate and automate traditional design, manufacturing, and operating processes. As a result, it can serve as the foundation for prefabrication and increase industrialized efficiency.
A digital twin aggregates data into a single, verifiable environment that anyone can access. The idea is that there is a golden thread that binds the entire process, from the initial design to item selection, specification, production, delivery to site, installation, and operation.
When used in conjunction with a cloud service, the digital twin allows all stakeholders to analyze a project from the beginning. The digital twin grows into a live model updated as the design and planning process progresses, allowing greater visibility. Users can visualize the project plan in its proposed surroundings when geospatial data is integrated with mixed or augmented reality tools.
For large construction projects, details such as road slopes and drainage can be analyzed for any potential issues during the design stage, and fixes can be made and synced instantly. In addition, lighting, traffic flow, accessibility, and even wind speed and direction can be evaluated to gain insight and provide a detailed image of how the built model will look and behave. These insights allow project teams to make data-driven decisions that produce predictable key performance indicator outcomes.