A digital twin – created during the construction process or while the building is ‘live’ – delivers all the necessary information to your device, says Keith Gould.
Hands up if, during your onboarding process, you’ve received a series of operations & maintenance foolscap folders with a vague comment that “all the relevant information is in there”.
However, when the heating system crashes on the coldest day, that folder is unlikely to contain all the information you need. A digital twin – created during the construction process or while the building is ‘live’ – delivers all that information to your device.
Digital twins are digital replicas of physical twins, which can be residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial factories, hospitals, railways, subways, bridges or roads.
We in FM typically get involved long after the builders have left. Imagine being able to see how a building was constructed from the ground up, with every level of M&E depicted visually, allowing you to fault-find swiftly and reduce costs and downtime; or being able to see ‘behind the walls’ when a client decides they want to change the layout of a floor.
“We’re often the last to the party; this is our opportunity to deliver true change.”
A digital twin allows you to model all these changes and proposals before the first tool is picked up. It allows you, as the client, to create one complete version of your asset, so when re-tendering time comes around, you only need to send out a digital file, which captures the actual space including any below-ground structures / services.
In light of social distancing regimes, digital twins, coupled with AR and VR systems, could cut the number of visits to attend the physical asset allowing fault rectification results to be achieved with streamlined reporting functionality.
The FM world should be driving the adoption of digital twins throughout the built environment. We’re often the last to the party and, with the new BIM framework now being pushed by various bodies within that space, this is our opportunity to deliver true change.
Keith Gould is the digital FM surveyor at CU3D