Digital Twins in Construction, Engineering & Architecture


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Digital Twins in Construction, Engineering & Architecture

For the AEC industry, a digital twin integrates real-time data from a built asset with its digital representation to create insights across the project lifecycle. Digital twin isn’t just the latest shiny technology. It’s solving major challenges in both design and operations.


What are the benefits of digital twin?
Digital twins give multi-dimensional views into how an asset is designed and how it’s performing, including occupant behavior, use patterns, space utilization, and traffic patterns. A digital twin offers a means to test "what-if" scenarios, including the impact of design changes, weather disruptions, and security events. It collects substantial data under one environment.


How does digital twin work?
Digital twin works by integrating a building’s system, sensor, and utility meter data with intelligent multidimensional digital models. A true digital twin possesses the operational and behavioral awareness necessary to simulate, predict, and inform decisions based on real-world conditions.



How do digital twins use BIM?
The BIM process incorporates data created during the planning and design phases. Digital twin extends data capture to the construction and operational phases of the asset—and can also inform planning and design for future projects.

Realizing the full promise of digital twin requires multidisciplinary models at the core and an integration of systems and data across workflows and between organizations. BIM is the most efficient path to the creation of an accurate, high-value digital twin.


Types of digital twins
Each type of digital twin requires a greater degree of maturity and digital transformation, offering increased value to your business.

Level 1: Descriptive twin
The descriptive twin is a visual replica with live, editable design and construction data, including 3D models and BIM.

Level 2: Informative twin
The informative twin uses increased integration with sensors and operations data for insights at any given time.

Level 3: Predictive twin
The predictive twin captures real-time data, contextual data, and analytics to identify potential issues.

Level 4: Comprehensive twin 
The comprehensive twin leverages advanced modeling and simulation for potential future scenarios as well as prescriptive analytics and recommendations. 

Level 5: Autonomous twin
The autonomous twin has the ability to learn and make decisions through artificial intelligence, while using advanced algorithms for simulation and 3D visualization.