A Digital Twin in real estate is the digital representation of a physical building. Discover how to efficiently and accurately manage real estate assets using this technology!
The real estate industry is undergoing a digital revolution, and the adoption of innovative technologies is changing the way we conceive, construct, and manage buildings. One of these technologies is the Digital Twin, which is the virtual replica of a physical object that allows for real-time monitoring, simulation, and analysis. By creating a digital twin of a building, professionals in the industry can visualize the building, optimize its performance, and simplify operations. Digital twins are not only transforming the way we design buildings or manage infrastructure but also how we interact with the built environment.
Let’s explore the benefits of this tool, the digital twin software to use, and the steps to create them!
The Role of Digital Twin in Real Estate Asset Management
The Digital Twin is the faithful digital representation of a physical asset, but what does this powerful tool mean for the real estate sector?
In the real estate industry, everything revolves around properties and their graphical and immersive representation, whether of existing properties or properties still in the design phase. The Digital Twin allows for the virtual representation of the entire ecosystem of the building, complete with all information about the property itself and its surrounding environment. It is clear how the Digital Twin has quickly become a powerful ally for all operators in this sector.
So, what information do digital twins provide about the property? The information provided by Digital Twins can include:
- Data from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems;
- Interior and environmental drawings of the building;
- Data about the property’s management system;
- Information about the building’s security system;
- Data from sensors and IoT devices;
- Information about user interactions with the building.
Benefits of Digital Twin in the Real Estate Sector
Within the real estate sector, from commercial aspects to management, many roles benefit from implementing the Digital Twin for their functions. But, more specifically, what are the main benefits that this powerful tool brings to this sphere of the construction industry? Let’s explore the top 4 benefits:
- Enhanced customer experience: The Digital Twin, through immersive, realistic, and informative experiences, allows users to see and explore every detail of the property. This helps to answer questions and address potential doubts about the property.
- Reduced operational costs: Having access to a digital twin of a property means being able to plan virtual tours with complete realism and detail whenever and wherever desired.
- Improved asset management: Digital Twins, integrated with sensors and IoT devices, provide a constantly updated and real-time representation of properties. This significantly enhances property management by providing up-to-date data and information for effective predictive maintenance.
- Facilitates decision-making processes: Throughout the real estate process, clear and transparent communication channels are necessary between buyers, sellers, brokers, building owners, construction teams, facility managers, etc. The Digital Twin represents a central source of truth that enhances collaboration and information sharing throughout the process.
Creating a Suitable Digital Twin for the Real Estate Sector
In the real estate sector, creating a digital twin involves integrating:
- A 3D model created with specific BIM software to digitize modeled entities;
- The Internet of Things (IoT), which involves real-world objects acquiring their digital identity;
- Data analysis, a system that allows for the analysis of data integrated into the model from sensors and IoT devices.
The operational cycle for creating a Digital Twin in the real estate sector consists of three phases:
- Data collection: Data collection for generating a digital twin can occur through various sources, including:
- Integrated sensors that transmit operational data from equipment (e.g., HVAC units) to operators monitoring the system remotely;
- Wireless sensor networks that collect data on temperature, humidity, lighting, etc.;
- Digitalized construction systems such as smart thermostats, plugs, elevator controls, etc.;
- Other cloud services.
- Simulation: Based on the data collected from physical properties, corresponding virtual simulations are created. These are 3D digital models of the property corresponding to the real physical asset. These simulations can be of two types:
- Present-based: Simulate real-time behavior on the physical model;
- Future-based: Use collected data to predict how the digital twin, and consequently the real physical asset, will behave in digitally simulated situations.
- Optimization: Finally, based on the simulation results, construction and real estate professionals can make modifications to the physical asset. They already know how the building will behave if an element is added or removed, can eliminate factors causing deterioration, and replace energy-intensive systems with more sustainable alternatives.
The Digital Twin in the real estate sector is, therefore, a powerful tool that not only efficiently manages properties but also streamlines marketing efforts, saving time and costs. I recommend trying out a software for digital twin management and experience how creating a digital twin of assets and properties can help you in real estate asset management and maintenance.