West Cambridge Digital Twin Research Facility

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Digital Twin Overview

This is a digital twin of the West Cambridge Campus at the University of Cambridge. This is a federated twin consisting of individual twins of different university buildings and a twin of the transport infrastructure – knitted together to form the campus digital twin. The data within the twin includes 3D models, point-cloud scans, real-time sensor data measuring asset condition, space condition and environmental data, and energy and utilities data from the buildings. The twin also includes a number of “intelligent and virtual sensors” that converts raw sensor measurements into useful information before sending it for storage. The “intelligent” sensors have built-in analytics to generate “events” or to provide analysed output instead of raw data (e.g., an intelligent vision-based occupancy sensor producing counts of people instead of sending images/videos). The “virtual sensors” range from building users providing information about tagged assets by interacting with them using their mobile phones to algorithms that produce energy consumption classified by activities by analysing overall metering data. Furthermore, the twin contains a number of “analytics modules” (e.g., anomaly detection) that could provide status information about the assets and systems.

Opportunities & Challenges

A number of challenges are being addressed through the development of this twin:
(1) How can we effectively ensure the “real-time” nature of data captured?
(2) How to develop a federated set of twins that can effectively offer more value than the “sum of its parts”?
(3) How can we design the twin in such a way that data privacy and security is ensured whilst ensuring the right decision-makers receive the data?
(4) How to effectively integrate contextual data (e.g., BIM) with dynamic sensor data?
(5) How can we improve facilities and asset management using digital twins?
Finally, the twin is designed in a scalable and adaptable manner with a view to integrating it with a wider Smart Cambridge city digital twin in the future.

Summary of existing material

  1. Heaton, J., Parlikad, A.K., Schooling, J., “Design and Development of BIM models to support Operations and Maintenance,” Computers in Industry, Volume 111, pp 172-186, 2019.
  2. Heaton, J., Parlikad, A.K. Schooling, J., “A Building Information Modelling approach to the alignment of organisational objectives to asset information requirements,” Automation in Construction, Volume 104, pp 14-26, 2019.
  3. Lu, Q., Parlikad, A.K., Woodall, P., Ranasinghe, G., Xie, X., Liang, Z., Konstantinou, E., Heaton, J., Schooling, J., “Developing a dynamic digital twin at building and city levels: A case study of the West Cambridge campus,” Journal of Management in Engineering, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 05020004-05020010, 2020.
  4. Xie, X., Lu, Q., Parlikad, A.K., Schooling, J., “Digital Twin Enabled Asset Anomaly Detection for Building Facility Management,” In Proc. 4th IFAC Workshop on Advanced Maintenance, Services and Technology, Cambridge, Sept 9-10, 2020.
  5. Lu, Q., Xie, X., Parlikad, A.K., Schooling, J., Konstantinou, E., “Moving from Building Information Models to Digital Twins for Operation and Maintenance,” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Smart Infrastructure and Construction, 2020.
  6. Xie, X., Lu, Q., Parlikad, A.K., Schooling, J., “A Digital Twin-Enabled Anomaly Detection System of Asset Monitoring for Operation and Maintenance Management”, Automation in Construction. Under review.
  7. Konstantinou, E., Parlikad, A.K., “A text mining approach for automating asset maintenance prioritization,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Under review.
  8. Lu, Q., Xie, X., Rodenas-Herraiz, D., Parlikad, A.K., Schooling, J., “Visualised Inspection System Development for Monitoring Environmental Anomalies in Daily O&M Management,” Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management. Under  review.
  9. https://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/asset-management/research-projects/infrastructure-digital-twins/
  10. https://www.cdbb.cam.ac.uk/CDBBResearchBridgehead/2019JanDTcase
  11. https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/bim-news/west-cambridge-digital-twin/58035/
  12. http://extranetevolution.com/2019/08/bentley-pushes-digital-twin-into-aec-mainstream/
  13. https://www.ice.org.uk/news-and-insight/the-civil-engineer/august-2019/developing-ice-digital-twin-thinking