Building and facilities processes represent millions of data points. Traditionally, real estate and facility professionals have had to wade through a multitude of systems and reports, each containing an enormous amount of data, to find critical information.
Technology is now changing this.
What is a Digital Twin?
In the 1960s, NASA developed digital twin technology to assess, simulate, and troubleshoot from the control room the conditions onboard the Apollo 13 with the goal to keep astronauts safe and the spacecraft functioning. Fueled through new advancements in IoT sensors, artificial intelligence, and advanced 3D computer modeling, digital twins are experiencing a resurgence in commercial and corporate real estate to achieve similar goals.
Digital twins are able to aggregate and visualize available data across the entire building lifecycle to generate a real-time, interactive model of a building and its virtual occupants. Accessible from anywhere, these digital twins can be applied to a single building and its assets or across your real estate portfolio.
Digital twins are more than just a virtual representation of an object; they also replicate processes. With digital twins, building owners and managers may point their smartphones at any part of a building to view real-time data including energy consumption, structural or facilities defects, and the location of people.
Agile, scalable, and dynamic workplaces are needed now more than ever. Digital twins support these requirements by providing the data and visualizations needed to make more rapid and flexible decisions."
Jim Whittaker, Engineering Services Lead at JLL
As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the world’s buildings, property owners and managers are creating digital twins of their buildings to:
- Remotely keep tabs on buildings and reduce the need for on-site staffing through the use of IoT sensors, gateways, and monitoring software
- Model the efficacy of proposed changes to workplace design and protocols to keep workers and visitors safely distanced at all times
- Proactively analyze, identify, and mitigate potential hazards where foot-traffic patterns may create safety concerns for building occupants
- Visualize how the flow of air generated by HVAC units may circulate and spread viruses
- Monitor and troubleshoot building processes, conditions, and assets remotely
- Predict when equipment may next break down, then estimate costs of repair or replacement
- Digitally record and store the date of equipment installation or repair, vendor information, model number, warranties, and service requirements within the asset