Construction companies all around the globe are leaning towards augmented reality to digitalise the highly complex construction industry.
Among these technologies is the Digital Twin technology, which gives you an accurate digital view of the physical world.
This technology allows all the stakeholders, including architects, engineers, building owners, and contractors, to manage and share information more effectively, leaving little room for miscommunication.
It also helps with the decision-making process since the construction companies and all the parties can have instant access to all the information regarding the construction site.
Digital Twin technology has revolutionised the construction industry. In this article, we will show you why it is a more practical approach in this field.
What is Digital Twin Technology in Construction?
A digital twin is the exact digital replica of a real-world construction site. It is a 3D model of the project which you can interact with during the designing, planning, and execution of the project.
With digital twins, you get immersive access to the site, revealing critical building aspects in real-time. It ensures a much better collaboration among various project stakeholders.
According to recent reports, the Digital Twin market share is expected to reach USD 73.5 billion by 2027.
The introduction of digital twin technology in the construction industry allows contractors and AE firms to increase productivity, reduce RFIs, eliminate errors, and streamline the workflow between trades and contractors.
How Does a Digital Twin Work?
To create a digital twin, you need 3D laser scanners, cameras, sensors, and certain IoT devices. Following are the main steps involved in the process
In this stage, you capture the digital twin with a high-end camera. If you want aerial imagery, you can conduct aerial surveys using drones to capture the details of the project.
Editing, Documenting, and Tagging
In this step, you can use tools like Blur or Tim to adjust your digital twin for easy and accurate site visualisation. You can also place tags or notes on the model to fortify data associated with certain aspects of the building.
For example, you can add MSDS, warranty, and PDFs to the notes attached to certain installed systems, which help a lot when handing over the finished project to the owner.
Sharing and Collaboration
It is the point where you are ready to share the digital twin model with the concerning teams that are operating in remote locations. It cuts down travel expenses by eliminating the need for in-person visits.
Use of Digital Twins in Construction
Digital twins have the power to make construction projects go smoothly and without any major setbacks, and they improve productivity and offer a very high level of interoperability.
Here are a few main applications of this technology in your construction projects:
Digital twin technology allows for automated resource management and allocation, saving about 25% of productive time that otherwise goes to waste. This technology allows you to avoid over-allocation and accurately predict the dynamic requirements of the construction site.
As-Built Vs As-Designed Models
This technology allows you to track changes in the as-built model hourly or daily. It allows for early detection of discrepancies and adds a layer of information that helps in future decision-making.
It also helps detect underperformers and plan the necessary changes in the budget and design.
The digital twin technology helps you monitor hazardous places on site, usage of unsafe materials, and activities of the workers that can derail the project. You can use a system where you receive a notification each time the equipotent is mishandled or a field worker is near dangerous working equipment. It makes your construction projects a lot safer and risk-free.
You can use image-processing algorithms of digital twin technology to view cracks in the columns or material displacement on the site. Tools let you view the concrete used through video or a clear photographic image, and it helps you accurately assess the progress and quality of your work.
Optimisation of Equipment Usage
With digital twin technology, you can easily determine how often a certain machine will be used. It helps determine when a machine needs to be released, improving equipment management and utilisation. It also helps you decide which machines will be needed for a specific part of the construction site and for a certain type of structure you need to build on that site.
How’s Digital Twins Help in Construction Project Management
The use of digital twins has made construction operations more reliable and quicker. It allows for the efficient allocation of resources, better tracking of progress, and prevention of potential hazards that might derail the project.
Following are a few ways in which digital twins are transforming the construction industry:
- Increased Visibility
A digital twin technology combined with a BIM model helps all parties to understand and track the project’s current state in the context of the overall vision.
This technology helps tailor the progress tracking to the specific details of a project. Digital twins allow you to track the status of your project against a 3D model, which clearly shows the amount of work done.
This benefit of digital twins allows construction teams to monitor the projects better without frequent, costly visits to the site for different construction phases.
- Single Source of Truth
With the help of a digital twin, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, designers, and other parties involved in the project can get the information they need from a single source.
Your digital twin can serve as a rich database of information that helps the stakeholders learn things like the structures of different building components, installed systems, current progress, available resources, and manpower.
- Improved Efficiency
Digital twin technology prevents construction firms from making decisions based on poor project data. It reduces the chances of mistakes and allows the teams to work on meaningful and important things.
These models highlight and quantify all the significant issues in the project, giving you more time to work on their solutions.
A digital twin can help construction firms convert data overload into actionable information, boosting the teams’ efficiency and reducing the time needed to finish the project.
- Rework Prevention
According to a report by Autodesk, there is about $31 billion of rework every year, and the main reason for that is poor projected data.
With a digital twin, the teams involved in construction get a very detailed view of the project, which helps avoid major mistakes and setbacks.
You can easily compare the as-built structures with the pre-designed 3D models. It helps you avoid costly errors that can waste your time and resources.
- Quicker Project Handover
If you employ a digital twin in your construction projects, you can conduct the construction that results in highly accurate as-built information. Getting this level of accuracy with traditional means can take several months.
On the other hand, digital twins help you finish projects faster, cost-effectively, and error-free.
According to the World Economic Forum, integrating this technology into construction can save about $0.7-1.2 trillion annually.
- Improved Collaboration and Communication
A digital twin gives all the teams involved in the project a single platform to share information, coordinate essential tasks, and make better decisions.
The interactive and immersive 3D designs allow a better understanding of the project. The real-time progress assessment offered by this technology enables the teams to complete their tasks on time by coordinating with the relevant people. It streamlines operations and reduces conflicts between different departments and teams. `
This way, digital twin technology can help designers, laborers, contractors, and investors connect much better, eliminating any communication gaps affecting the project.
So, now you know what digital twin technology is and how it can benefit your construction projects immensely. This technology helps you meet strict deadlines by keeping track of your progress, and it saves time and helps avoid unnecessary risks.
If you are looking for Digital Twin services for your upcoming construction projects, you can get in touch with us at GIS Drones. Our experts will help you get accurate Digital Twins for real-world assets to make data visualisation and decision-making simple and hassle-free.