When new construction projects are in the planning stages and first getting underway, paying attention to the slightest of details is a necessity. Since projects such as these have many people working on them simultaneously and have large amounts of data that can be constantly changing, the latest technological innovations need to be used in all facets of project management. To improve operations and efficiency, here is how digital twins impact construction planning on various levels.
Before the first shovel of dirt is moved for any construction project, it is vital that engineers and others on the team have an accurate visualization as to how the project actually fits into the surrounding environment. By using digital twins in the realm of virtual reality, planners and engineers can gain insight into the building’s accessibility, how occupants will experience the building, and whether or not it will be at flood risk once constructed.
Facilitating Rapid Response
On almost any construction project, unexpected developments arise now and then. When mistakes are made by contractors or a building’s structure is not as durable as expected, digital twins allow for rapid response by letting engineers use real-time project status data. By doing so, the planning team can assess the situation, discuss options, and get the situation resolved before the problem results in additional problems and costs.
Analyzing Operating Metrics
When a building project is completed, digital twins can play a key role in helping engineers and others analyze the structure’s operating metrics. In most cases, this includes such things as utility usage, maintenance activity, understanding how public spaces are utilized, and whether or not the building has adequate parking. Through careful analysis of the project’s life cycle performance from planning to construction, a continuous improvement program can be established for future projects.
Ensuring the Accuracy of Data
When state-of-the-art CAD and BIM software are used for project management and construction planning, it is critical all data be carefully examined for accuracy. Otherwise, problems will arise that may lead to the project being delayed or costing substantially more than its original budget. Once the use of digital twins is implemented, inspection and approval processes can move along smoothly, with any errors or data that is incomplete being taken care of much faster.
As construction projects continue to become more complex, more costly, and more essential to the world economy, creating and using digital twins to analyze data, allow for virtual reality tours of a building, and much more will be a generational change in the way construction projects are handled.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan