Perhaps some of you have heard of this term- “Digital Twin”. What is it? Well, in layman’s terms, Digital Twin is a digital/virtual replica of a physical entity.
Does it always refer to a BIM model? No.
Although BIM is an important component of a Digital Twin, the notion is considerably larger. A BIM Model’s job is to duplicate the physical asset as well as its attributes according to the Level of Detail. There are several significant distinctions, though. A Digital Twin is linked to the actual world by a “digital thread.”
A Digital Twin is a digital replica of a building that uses technology such as sensors, drones, lasers, and other wireless technologies to capture real-world data and construct high-fidelity mockups of the structure. The “twin” collects data from a variety of sources, including analytics, algorithms, and artificial intelligence, to acquire continual insights about the project’s performance, operation, or efficiency, whether completed or in process.
A digital twin is a model that has evolved over time using a variety of technologies such as 3D modelling, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. It goes beyond simulation to assist users in comprehending what is going on in the actual environment. The strongest benefit for doing simulations and analyzing possible situations before investing resources in a new project is real-time reporting.
What includes in Digital Twin?
Now that we have a better understanding of what a Digital Twin is, we can apply it to the built world. In building, a digital twin generates an identical clone of a physical thing; it captures a single step of the construction cycle, resulting in a large amount of data crammed into each one. The following information is included in this document:
- BIM models
- 2D models and drawings
- Construction documents (i.e., submittals, change orders, RFIs, etc.)
- Operational data collected by the embedded sensors
- Data from Artificial Intelligence
Application of Digital Twin
The requirement to monitor and track the development of the asset lifespan as technology capabilities improve has pushed various study topics in the design and built environment. Many of the Digital Twin’s applications fall under the BIM umbrella, but with the addition of the Digital Twin, the degree of detail and precision has grown.
In the design and constructed environment, digital twins have a lot of potentials. It can virtually reproduce a building before it is built, allowing for better design options. The digital twin can be used for building alterations, operations, and facility upkeep once the project is done.
The term “digital twin” refers to a notion that has grown in popularity as new technologies have become available. It’s been called a “cyber-physical integration” in several research. The goal is to make data communication more efficient, precise, and intelligent.
The Digital Twin is made up of three basic components:
- Physical Entity
- The Data (Digital Thread)
- Virtual Model
In the design and constructed environment, the digital twin has a lot of potentials. It can virtually reproduce a building before it is built, allowing for better design options. The digital twin can be used for building alterations, operations, and facility upkeep once the project is done.
Visualization, documentation, code adherence, modelling, analysis, progress monitoring, and planning may all be done with a digital twin. The digital twin idea is mostly used and benefited by professionals such as facility managers, architects, engineers, developers, builders, and owners.
- Real-time Data
The digital twin allows project teams to see how a building is working in real time, allowing them to track and improve the facility’s efficiency.
- Safety and Security
The use of a digital twin to forecast future failures in building systems such as HVAC, electrical, and others can save lives and reduce property damage. As a result, a significant amount of time, money, and costly shutdowns are saved.
With the aid of Digital Twin, high-fidelity simulation is possible. The data gathered is sensor-based and extremely precise, allowing for collision detection, pricing, and construction/deconstruction simulations, among other things.
- Prediction Data
I enable the teams to successfully manage the asset’s functioning since a digital twin is designed to contain all features of the real thing. It’s interconnected and works in tandem with simulation data. It can forecast data such as cost estimates, energy consumption, transportation congestion, and weather forecasts, among other things.
While the Digital Twin is likely to have numerous advantages in the design and construction industry in the next years, there are certain barriers to its widespread implementation. Adopting Digital Twin necessitates a complex set of technologies and software. To begin with, there is a time and financial commitment in creating and managing the Digital Twin. Second, even if we do develop the assets, it is difficult to collect and preserve the data in a consistent manner so that it can be used effectively. Third, until the twins are fully adopted, owners and contractors may be unable to comprehend and appreciate how the operation