AEC Information Containers based on the ISO21597, the so-called ICDD, are a great way to store data and relations. Widely discussed as a possible structure for any CDE, this standard was made to hand over project data or exchange files of a heterogeneous nature in an open and stable container format and therefore will become the starting point of many digital twins.
The standard says: A container is a file that shall have an extension ".icdd" and shall comply with ISO/IEC 21320–1, also known as ZIP64.
Information deliveries are often a combination of drawings, information models, text documents, spreadsheets, photos, videos, audio files, etc. In this case, many scans and point clouds came on top. And while we have all metadata datasets in our system, it is pretty hard to hand this over to the client, that might have another way of handling it. So we have now put all those specific relationships between information elements in those separate documents using links because we believe it will contribute significantly to the value of information delivery.
We successfully handed over a retroBIM project from a nuclear facility in Germany. It was 661469018KB. And it was a ZIP; before zipping, it was around 8TB! It has a whole archive back to the 60' it has all models, all point clouds the model was made of, and it has all documents produced from the models too. So, all in all, we have 2338 documents.
We created an ICDD container that, when represented as an RDF graph (index & links), is composed of 29762 unique entities, 37897 literal values and 147795 triples.
All these information is now transferred independent form any software application and a great way to start a digital twin from. All sensor and live date can be added the same way we had connected documents with BIM elements. Only difference is that you do not store it in a zip file but rather run it in a graph data base. This way you will not only have the most powerful and fastest twin, but also most future-proof and extendible one you can possible get.