Over the past 50 years, the construction industry has been a slow adopter of processes and technology innovation. The industry still relies heavily on manual labor, mechanical technology, and an established operating model. Hence, construction productivity has declined in some markets since the 1990’s

Key construction technologies that are on the rise, Digital Twins and Building Information Management (BIM). These two technologies play different roles but they work together to create the digital platform for operational excellence. Gartner defines a digital twin as “a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. The implementation of a digital twin is an encapsulated software object or model that mirrors a unique physical object, process, organization, person, or other abstraction”. Data can be centralized from multiple digital twins across multiple real-world entities and their related processes, such as a power plant, city, or organization.

Digital Twins are evolving beyond virtual replicas of assets to include a virtual replica of entire organizations known as the Digital Twin of an Organization (DTO).  

According to the Gartner What to Expect When You’re Expecting Digital Twins report, there are three types of digital twins: 

  1. “Discrete digital twins — To optimize individual assets, people and other physical resources. advanced electronic drilling recorder that has predictive maintenance capability, or a PLC system 
  2. Composite digital twins — Applied to operations involving a combination of discrete digital twins and resources (for example, from external data sources). asset performance management where it monitors plant assets from multiple discrete digital twins  
  3. Digital twins of organizations (DTOs) — To maximize value across specific commercial processes such as manufacturing, or across entire business operations.” 

Advancing Building Information Management (BIM) with Digital Twins

BIM is used to create a building model while it is being built, to visualize the physical and functional aspect of the building and help architect and construct the building , not to create a living breathing model of an operational building.  

A DTO models the living model of a real-time operational building. It models how individuals interact with the building including people and process. A DTO will provide knowledge on people and processes: on the state of built subsystems, how systems are impacted by occupant behavior, and when assets (lighting, HVAC) might fail.  

Design and build is moving beyond things to including people, experiences and flexibility in mind, this is how the future of DTO is superseding BIM. BIM is a key data input to any digital twin but it will not answer operational questions like how to improve building efficiencies or reduce GHG emissions. 

At Thynkli, we build a Digital Twin of Organization (DTO) and integrate it with Building Information Management (BIM) to maximize the value of your investments and build a transparent sustainable operations fed by real- time data. Contact us today to learn how we can help you 

 To discover more about the Thynkli process using Enterprise Architecture see HERE.

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