An example of a digital twin is a BIM model augmented with real data, making the model dynamic. Discover all the details of 5 practical examples.
The creation of a digital twin, a virtual replica of a physical real-world asset, is revolutionizing the AEC sector. The ability to manage a real asset with technology ensures the resolution of ever-growing challenges, both in the design and execution fields.
More and more companies aiming to excel in the industry are investing in the use of a digital twin software, capable of creating virtual replicas of assets for control, monitoring, and management throughout their lifecycle. I recommend using this software immediately and continuing to read this article to discover the main examples of digital twins and how they can revolutionize your way of working.
What is a Digital Twin?
Before delving into the applications and examples of digital twins in the construction field, it’s essential to focus on the definition of a “virtual twin.”
The digital twin is nothing but a digital representation of a real-world object. It collects information throughout the life cycle of the asset, uses simulation to guide decision-making processes, and undergoes continuous updates to ensure:
- Efficient monitoring;
- Optimization of planning and maintenance;
- Effective management;
- Risk reduction and increased safety;
- Faster results.
Digital Twin examples in the construction industry
In the construction field, digital twins are crucial as they allow solving some of the major construction challenges such as rework, inaccurate estimates, and poor site management.
The primary practical examples of digital twins in the AEC sector include:
- BIM Digital Twins;
- Digital Twins for smart buildings;
- Digital Twins for smart cities;
- Digital Twins for predictive maintenance;
- Digital Twins for site monitoring.
Digital Twin technology: Use cases for creating Smart Buildings
Smart tools, sensors, and IoT devices allow real-time data collection, which, when combined with a digital twin, brings smart buildings to life.
Real-time data collected and automatically analyzed enable the automated management of HVAC systems, lighting, intrusion detection, and generate notifications and alerts in critical situations.
Digital Twin Technology: Use cases for creating Smart Cities
The creation and collaboration of multiple digital twins of buildings, infrastructure, territories, and green areas are driving urban modeling. More and more cities, provinces, and countries leverage digital twins to create “smart cities.”
An entire city is digitized for planning purposes, including population growth and climate change modeling.
Digital Twin for Predictive Maintenance
Based on real-time data collected and analyzed, immediate actions can be taken to improve the structure’s performance or implement predictive maintenance strategies.
Sensors associated with equipment, specifically components, assess every aspect of operation. If a component fails, the damage is recorded, allowing digital twins to predict with great precision when the next failure will occur and enabling operators to take preemptive action.
Digital Twin for Site Monitoring
Through the creation of digital twins of construction sites and facilities, you can:
- Simulate processes in the virtual world to understand if they may impact worker safety in the real world;
- Create training scenarios for operators.
Additionally, simulations help predict potential bottlenecks and estimate construction timelines accurately.
Revolutionizing Construction Projects with Digital Twin Technology
With its ability to provide real-time data and predictive analytics, digital twin technology can be used to gain insights into previously hidden aspects such as safety standards and cost optimization, and completely revolutionize the AEC industry.
Therefore, I recommend using a digital twin software as soon as possible, allowing you to replicate physical systems within a virtual environment and create simulations of devices, products, processes, and services. With this tool, you can optimize the efficiency of the construction process, design choices, information exchange, and collaboration, creating better, safer, and more durable assets in less time.