The term “Digital Twin” is being thrown around frequently in Architecture, Engineering & Construction circles. The reason – Digital twins are causing massive disruption in the realm of Building Information Modelling (BIM).
What is a digital twin?
A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical asset such as buildings. Note that this is a dynamic model where real-time data of the asset is available. This real-time data allows stakeholders to assess the current condition of the asset and make data-driven decisions in operations and maintenance of the structure.
A digital twin includes structured data such as CAD data as well as unstructured data such as user manuals. This data can be easily shared with different facility stakeholders through digital twins.
The link between BIM & Digital twin
During the BIM process, a virtual model of a building is developed. This model is a single source of information for all the stakeholders during design, construction, and operation.
A Digital twin adds on to this. The data from BIM forms the basis for creating a digital twin. After this a digital twin collects real-time data from IoT sensors (Internet of Things), these sensors conduct real-time analysis of factors such as temperature and humidity.
By combining the real-time data with the data from the BIM model, a digital twin offers a range of benefits.
Digital Twin – benefits
- Enhanced collaboration with 3D visualization
A digital twin increases collaboration between stakeholders owing to its powerful 3D visualization capabilities.
- Well organized information & dashboards
All the relevant information about the building is well organized and can be easily accessed through dashboards. This greatly empowers facility managers to make well-informed decisions.
- Real-time monitoring of building components
With the help of IoT sensors, the condition of the various building components can be monitored in real-time.
- The ability to predict failures and identify risks
This is one of the key benefits of digital twins. With real-time data, maintenance issues can be predicted and potential problems can be identified so that they can be resolved at the earliest.
- Performance testing
The real-time data can be compared with the actual as-designed values to evaluate performance and take remedial measures, if necessary.
- Data analytics
The data from a digital twin can be continuously analyzed to understand the condition of the structure on a real-time basis. This becomes very helpful during maintenance operations.
Experts are already predicting a time when BIM and Digital Twin will become interchangeable terms. If we examine it closely, it is obvious that the digital twin is an extension of the BIM model. With the numerous benefits that digital twins offer, they are expected to integrate in a big way with BIM in the coming years. At Pinnacle Infotech, our BIM offerings include the creation of digital twins of your projects to make them efficient and resource optimized.