Nowadays, many industries utilize digital twins to monitor and manage their spaces and assets. Construction is an industry with tremendous use for digital twins. It helps view the construction phases in a dynamic state and offers insights into every developmental stage of the building process.
Research from Frontiers states that inaccurate data in the worldwide construction sector cost construction firms about $1.84 trillion in 2020. Digital Twin technology has become an instrumental tool in providing real-time construction solutions to long-standing complications in efficiency, productivity, and value. Digital Twins collect critical data essential in establishing construction projects and making informed decisions for the future.
Read on to understand more about digital twin architecture, digital twin benefits, and why it is revolutionizing the construction industry.
What Are Digital Twins?
Also dubbed virtual twins, data twins, or virtual models, a digital twin is a virtual representation of a real-life creation. It differs from Building Information Modeling (BIM) as it showcases the entire space rather than systems and subsystems of a building. Digital twins also provide insights on how you can best utilize space during construction. They are advanced renderings that can be used when constructing highways, bridges, and whole cities.
Digital twin software is also used in healthcare, and the automotive, engineering, and aerospace industries. This is because it has proven effective in real-time data monitoring by presenting a link between real-world objects and digital representations. Data from sensors positioned on a physical object, such as a building, is used in continuous monitoring and management.
How Are Digital Twins Changing the Construction Industry?
Technology is part of every sector worldwide, and construction is no different, aided by digital twin software. Digital twin technology for construction has been around since 2002 and has provided a positive turnaround of executions in the industry.
Digital twins for construction technologies involve robotics and drones, sensors, unique algorithms, and computing power. Such combinations have become ideal for integrating digital and physical resources to develop cheaper and more durable buildings in less time. This is opposed to earlier times when every aspect of the construction industry was localized and labor-intensive.
Utilizing digital twin software in construction provides instant access to construction information in matters such as resources, people involved, and the most appropriate tools required to complete a job. For example, you can track how effectively current materials are being used, and re-order depleted supplies automatically.
Construction progress monitoring software relies on sensors that constantly censor contemporary changes and provide updated reports in the form of pictures and measurements. These digital representations are helpful for future visualization of a finished project, analysis of architectural layouts, and simulation for planning and decision-making in the actual construction system.
The Purpose of Digital Twins in Construction
Digital construction management allows real-time data visualization, improves working conditions, and monitors where assets are located. This enhances the seamless management and reconstruction of every aspect of a physical structure through digital processes. Below are other benefits of real-time monitoring witnessed in the utilization of digital twin construction:
1. Automated Monitoring
Physical Site monitoring requires consistent observation to ensure every stage of the construction is up to par. This includes how workers operate, allocation of resources on the site, and purchasing of materials, to name a few. Virtual twin methods utilize model coordinate systems that collect data continuously to monitor the shape and progress of the project automatically.
This mitigates instances of human error in the conventional monitoring of construction processes. You can also track the progress daily or hourly with a detailed analysis that alerts managers quickly in the case of disruptions, accidents or delays.
2. Reliable Connectivity
The digital twin interface collects information and relays it in a centralized platform. This includes data such as model details, object dimensions, and working conditions, ensuring every piece of information is easily accessible. Additionally, you can incorporate specific data requests like personnel movement or progress in specific rooms based on the needs of your construction project.
3. Value Addition
The purpose of a digital twin for construction does not end when the object construction is completed. With real-time data monitoring, you can execute ongoing structural enhancements aided by the ongoing data collection of digital twin software. This is vital in future decision-making and uplifts value addition in day-to-day activities.
4. Quality Assessment
There is a large difference between digital twins and simulation as the latter replicates what could happen to a product while virtual twins replicate what’s happening in real-time. In addition, virtual twins present data in the form of images, videos, and measurements, which helps engage quality assessment throughout the construction project. For instance, image-processing algorithms can help detect cracks in a foundation so you can address the issue before it becomes a menace.
5. Enhancing Safety During Construction and Monitoring
According to CNBC, construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Digital construction management allows companies to monitor workers and activities as they operate, especially in hazardous areas. It can monitor inappropriate personnel behavior such as using unsafe materials or working in risky areas. Digital Twin software and systems have early notifications in case workers are in dangerous proximity or exposed to potential hazards.
What challenges do Digital Twins solve?
There are countless benefits of utilizing digital twins in construction, such as:
- Risk assessment
- Real-time monitoring
- Informed financial and decision making
- Lack of connectivity
- Quality assessment
- Outdated information
Is a digital twin artificial intelligence (AI)?
Yes. Artificial intelligence is utilized in digital twins in both theoretical and technical systems. It creates virtual copies of processes, locations, and assets essential to running the project.
What is the difference between CAD and a digital twin?
A computer-aided design (CAD) represents the physical identity of an object and what it will look like. On the other hand, a digital twin resembles a CAD but has the latest sensor data that controls the lifecycle management of a product.
How do civil engineers use digital twin data?
Digital twin data helps civil engineers estimate the progress of equipment and systems by analyzing virtual spaces and digital maps. They can also rely on digital twins for safety planning and more.
How do you monitor construction work progress?
Digital twins for construction help integrate the digital and physical world on a centralized platform. It aids in monitoring construction progress with higher efficiency and collaboration.
Digital twins for construction have provided a remarkable advancement for the monitoring, management, and execution of construction projects. They provide benefits such as quality assessment, automated monitoring, reliable connectivity, value addition, and enhanced safety.
Maptelligent provides actionable intelligence from innovative digital twins for your business and customers. The company engages real-time integrated understanding of your working environment and measures progress, risk, and costs involved. Contact Maptelligent to learn more about the benefits of digital twins in construction.