Looking into a digital mirror – how will digital twins reflect on construction?
Digital twins are quickly becoming the construction industry’s hottest digital transformation software in 2019, and it’s easy to see why! Creating a digital replica of a structure for future reuse has a list of benefits longer than my arm.
Unlike the manufacturing sector, the construction industry has been slow to invest in the tech which now poses alongside BIM as a process which adds substantial value to the planning stages of a building project.
If BIM adoption is anything to go by, it could take the UK and global construction market years to benefit fully from digital twins.
The digital twin revolution is prepared to help digitally transform and enhance the construction industry from its traditional processes, but is it ready for ANOTHER digital meteor to hit?
The pros & cons
Digital twins will provide construction companies with real-time data to assess, monitor and report on how a structure is coping under various conditions. Accessing a rich and diverse pool of data in a verified and continuous way is currently very rare however.
Like many other digital transformation solutions, digital twins will also continue to reduce time and costs on building projects by storing data for future re-use on similar commercial and residential developments.
SMEs continue to face an uphill battle however against purchasing and maintenance costs though and software adoptions has notoriously been very slow across the sector.
Data sharing and collaboration are two important elements of creating a digital twin which provides the foundation for widespread industry adoption. Exchanging data feeds learning opportunities to the late majority and creates a much simpler model to adopt.
Will other software benefit?
For the remainder of the Digital Construction sector, there are various opportunities to integrate other software solutions and technologies with digital twins to further advance digitalisation including:
- Virtual reality – Bentley Systems released a virtual reality app which allows users to visualise 4D construction digital twins.
- CAD – 3D modelling software will advance to help users share and store existing designs.
- IIoT – Advanced connectivity, run-time, feedback and faster systems are all factors which IIoT will solve prior to the deployment of digital twins.
- Services – Although not a software, servicing and collecting data from an asset throughout its lifecycle through to disposal will update its twin and provide real time analysis for other designers.
Bentley Systems YII2019
Bentley System’s Year in Infrastructure awards in 2019 will recognise outstanding achievements using digital twin technology to unlock project barriers including asset performance and data quality.
This is testament to how far the technology has travelled in such a short space of time and the future impacts it will have across the construction market.
As the digital twin is essentially an advancement of BIM, it has quickly latched on to projects which already have the digital foundation – or early adopters – to accommodate technology on a building project.
FMC Digital Construction Industry Report
Interested in learning more about the type of insight we provide around software, industry trends, salary information and recruitment? You can download our latest reports by clicking the links below!
- UK Digital Construction Report 2018 – Hiring, Industry & Software Trends.
- UK Digital Construction Report 2018 – Salary & Bonus Trends.