Named one of Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017, a digital twin is one among other technologies that have become a business imperative in the era of IoT and IIoT. Bridging the gap between the physical and virtual world, the concept has become a differentiator across industries. Especially in the construction and real estate sector, technology has been catalyzing innovation and leading to the next level of productivity.

The enormous increase in the productivity of this sector has changed occupants’ expectations of building capabilities and comfort and at the same time, acted as a catalyst in bringing innovation and new opportunities to the sector. Modern buildings are getting highly automated and have versatile control systems that ensure efficient resource utilization and effectively operate in smart building infrastructures. To integrate the rapidly changing building systems and digitalization of the building lifecycle, a digital twin is a crucial technology for adoption in the modern world of construction and real estate.

Rise Of Digital Twin

Simply put, the digital twin is a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. A bridge that allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to prevent downtime, develop new opportunities, and plan for the future by using simulations. According to Gartner, it has been recorded that 13% of organizations that are implementing IoT projects are already using digital twins, and 62% are either on their way to establishing digital twin use or planning to do so. According to the report, by 2025, the digital twin market is estimated to grow to $35.8 billion at a 37.8% CAGR.

The technology is expected to drastically improve the operational efficiency of physical buildings by leveraging data from the building’s construction phase and from smart systems and sensors, and technical systems from the time it is operational.

The Benefits Of Using Digital Twin

By integrating the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and software analytics to enhance the outputs, the virtual building model or the digital twin has become a staple in modern engineering to drive innovation and improve performance. It has several benefits and applications in the built world which enhances building and asset management efficiency and offers control over the entire building lifecycle.

Connected Building Ecosystem

With Digital Twins, it’s possible to deploy a single application across a range of properties, which helps in getting a real-time, in-depth view of a large physical system. It also enables users to use, monitor, and control the asset performance and maintenance as it can be accessed from anywhere. The technology connects assets, devices, systems, and sensors to offer a unified view of the entire building ecosystem.

Better Space Management

Digital twin helps address one of the biggest problems in building management, i.e, effective utilization of space. The digital twin of a physical building helps in understanding the space utilization matrix and usage patterns using which commercial spaces can be realigned to make optimum use of both space and assets within the built environment.

Predictive Maintenance, Better Monitoring and Control

With a virtual replica of the built world, the digital twin offers an insight into the systems, assets, and components of the building. The visibility into real-time data and analysis of the same lets the building management teams exercise better control and monitoring opportunities. This also allows for predicting the required maintenance of systems based on past records and taking preventative actions for operational efficiency.

Way Forward

While the future of buildings is being written by the next generation of emerging technologies, the digital twin comes as a powerful revolution that will lead to innovation and performance in the smart building ecosystem. IDC claims that the companies that have invested in digital twin technology are already seeing a 30% improvement in cycle times of critical processes. And with the rate that the technology is exploding and making a loud presence in the building sector, all indications seem to predict that more and more companies are willing to adopt the technology to gain a competitive advantage among peers. It is not only helping the built world in improving the customer’s experience by better understanding their needs and developing enhancements in operations, and services but also helping in driving the innovation in the way the built world has been viewed and managed so far.

- By nhance

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