Digital Twin Hub > Articles & Publications > Connected Pathways

Following input from DT Hub members into a community-driven document, we have proceeded to reduce the number of use cases identified during the Pathway to Value Workshop from 28 down to 12:

  1. Open Sharing of Data
  2. Asset Registration
  3. Scenario Simulation
  4. Occupant/User Management
  5. Environmental Management
  6. Traffic Management
  7. Process Optimization
  8. Asset Management
  9. Carbon Management
  10. Resource Management
  11. Resilience Planning
  12. Risk Management

Using these use cases, we can begin to explore how the National Digital Twin (NDT) programme can support members of the DT Hub in realizing their value.  One way of doing so is by identifying what parts of these use cases need to be developed via the Commons Stream as part of the Information Management Framework (IMF).

The reasoning being these 12 use cases are:

  • Horizontal. Meaning that they can be applied within several sectors and their respective industries; and
  • High-value. Meaning that they can achieve a return on investment.

Positively, these use cases have a strong synergy with a similar schedule presented by Bart Brink of Royal HaskoningDHV on a recent buildingSMART webinar on digital twins.

By identifying DT Hub member horizontal, high-value, use cases we hope that their associated tasks, key performance indicators and federation requirements can be recommended for prioritization as part of the development of the Information Management Framework (IMF).

At the beginning of June, CDBB released The Pathway Towards an Information Management Framework: A Commons for a Digital Built Britain, a report setting out the technical approach that will lead to the development of the National Digital Twin.  Within the report it focuses on three key facets that will enable secure, resilient data sharing across the built environment:

  • Reference Data Library.  A taxonomy describing a common set of classes to describe the built environment;
  • Foundation Data Model.  An ontology outlining the relation between these classes or properties of these classes; and
  • Integration Architecture.  Exchange protocols to facilitate sharing of information, using these defined classes and relations between digital twins.

As opposed to being released as a complete resource, we will likely see these facets developed organically as the NDT programme continues to follow its mantra of:


“learn through sharing and progress by doing”.

As such, the key question isn’t “what should these facets include?” but “what should be included first?”.  We hope to answer this question using these horizontal, high-value, use cases. 

EXAMPLE: “Environmental management”.  At the beginning of 2020, news reports focused on air pollution and its link with infrastructure.  In addition, many building assets may wish to monitor air quality due to its known impact on occupant performance.  As a use case that is associated to regulatory compliance, productivity, and applicable to a breadth of assets Environmental Management may be a horizontal, high-value, use case.

To support such a use case, the:

  • Reference Data Library.  May need to include classes such as: Temperature, Wind speed, Humidity, CO2, and PM2.5 as well as their associated units to enable the consistent recording of this information.
  • Foundation Data Model.  May need an ontology describing acceptable ranges and the relationship of air quality concepts to other classes such as Health and Productivity depending on the function being monitored; and
  • Integration Architecture.  May need to facilitate the sharing of information from sources such as other digital twins, as well as datasets from the Met Office and local governments.

Simply put, by identifying these horizontal, high-priority, use cases, we may be able to begin accelerating the realization of their value by having the taxonomies, ontologies and protocols needed to facilitate them available at an earlier stage of the overall IMF development.

And there we have it.  As DT Hub members begin to consider how the information management framework may support their digital twin development as well as the national digital twin, which use cases do you think are the most horizontal and high-value? How do you think these facets might support your ability to undertake these use cases?

Please feel free to add your thoughts below, or, alternatively, comment directly on the draft community-driven document which is, and will continue to be, progressively developed as member views are shared.

the_pathway_towards_an_imf.pdf DTHUb_NewbieGuide_May2020_(1).pdf

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