Digital twins are essential tools to enable the digital transformation of the AEC industry. Discover why and how it is possible.
In a rapidly changing technological landscape, we are getting closer every day to the so-called digital transformation. Changes in consumer habits, personal and business life are at the core of all technology dynamics, marked by continuous innovations in all sectors.
To enhance their technological processes, many organizations are adopting future-oriented asset lifecycle management solutions that centralize all data into a single model and help bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds: digital twins.
But how can a digital twin be implemented in a construction project? In this article, I will explain how this implementation can become straightforward through a digital twin software that you can start using immediately for free.
Understanding Digital Twins and Digital Transformation
If digital transformation refers to the integration of the latest technologies into all aspects of business processes, the underlying concept of digital twins is to create a virtual replica, entirely faithful to a physical object, so that this digital model can provide all perspectives and essential data on product usage.
In this regard, the digital twin, among modern technologies, represents the significant leap with which companies can develop, assess, and successfully achieve their goals. Let’s delve into its role below.
The role of Digital Twins in the AEC industry digital transformation
Digital transformation in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector is revolutionizing our ability to design, build, and manage infrastructure, making projects more efficient and sustainable. In this context, the digital twin emerges as one of the most innovative and transformative technologies.
The digital twin of any object is a virtual replica, a graphical representation that also contains detailed data and information about the current state of the object in question. Its role in the AEC sector is fundamental because it provides a complete real-time overview of every aspect of a project, from design to construction and maintenance.
One of the main challenges the AEC sector has continously faced is the lack of communication and coordination between different phases of a project’s lifecycle. This is where the digital twin comes into play, acting as a bridge between the design and construction processes. It enables professionals to share data and information more effectively, anticipating potential issues, reducing costs, and improving overall work quality.
Furthermore, the digital twin assumes great value in the maintenance and post-construction management phase. It provides advanced tools for performance monitoring and preventive maintenance, ensuring that infrastructure remains at peak performance and safe for use.
Advantages of Digital Twins in the Digital Transformation of the construction industry
In the context of the digital transformation for the construction industry, digital twins represent a groundbreaking development. This technology offers several advantages, including:
- More accurate and sophisticated design: Through virtual models that faithfully replicate construction in all its facets, it’s possible to identify and resolve potential design issues before they become costly errors during construction. This not only reduces costs but also improves the quality of the final result;
- Full control of project progress during construction: Thanks to the constant flow of data accessible through the digital twin, you can have unprecedented control and visibility, essential for staying on schedule and within budget;
- Improved maintenance management: Detailed real-time information provided by the digital twin allows for operational efficiency optimization, enhanced preventive maintenance, and extended building lifespan;
- Greater information consistency and knowledge sharing, reducing errors and promoting a more synergistic workflow.
3 Tips for implementing Digital Twins in a construction project
Implementing digital twins within a construction project may seem complex, but with the right strategy, it can bring significant benefits. Here are 3 tips to help you manage digital twins effectively in your construction projects:
- Identify project objectives: To optimize digital twin creation and avoid wasting time, it’s essential to identify specific project objectives before starting the creation process. This allows you to choose relevant data to collect within the digital twin;
- Data integration: The success of a digital twin relies on the quality of the data it collects and manages. Ensure you have a robust plan for collecting and integrating data from various sources, such as sensors, IoT devices, design software, and monitoring data. Data consistency and accuracy are crucial for an accurate representation of the construction project;
- Involve all construction professionals: Creating a digital twin requires the involvement of a wide range of professionals, from architects to structural and MEP engineers. Make sure to engage and keep all team members updated from the beginning to ensure that all necessary information and data are incorporated into the digital twin and to identify any gaps in existing data.
To easily manage all these aspects, you can start using a digital twin software for free, which allows all professionals involved in the project to collaborate and share real-time information, simplifying the digital twin creation process. Moreover, this type of tool offers a range of functions that allow you to address the essential activities of the BIM process without the need for BIM authoring software.