As blogged on pbctoday, a ‘digital twin’, put simply, is a vertical representation of a physical thing. As a concept, it sounds little better than a typical CAD model for a building in the design phase, but the twin is so much more than that.
In fact, it may well be a revolutionary process waiting to completely transform the way the construction industry operates.
Virtual planning is already ubiquitous in construction and has been for at least a decade – such as BIM (Building Information Modelling). BIM is certainty a proactive approach that helps to provide clear visualisations from every stage of the construction process, from the initial concepts, design, to the building stages.
The problem with BIM is that it is, frankly, underappreciated, and has failed to require proper discipline throughout the industry.
For example, a lot of people in the industry just think of it as software that “helps” as an aide, rather than a serious attempt at providing the over-arching framework of a project. It encourages people to work in isolation, working away at their own specific tasks. The problem with this isolation effect is that any problems that come about are pushed out of sight and out of mind. Such thinking can cause huge problems; design flaws; and delays later into the construction process.
The purpose of the digital twin is to prevent these problems from arising. It is to deal with any issues head-on as they appear, something BIM has failed to deliver.
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