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Digital Twins Standards Roadmap Published

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After engaging with members of the DTHub to collect and incorporate your views, we are pleased to announce the publication of the Digital Twins for the Built Environment Standards Roadmap [Full Report] [Summary Report].

As reported by O’Sullivan and Brévignon‐Dodin, standards roadmaps support innovations and emerging technologies by helping their respective communities to coalesce around needs, priorities and approaches.  This standards roadmap was developed to specifically support the consistent adoption of, and interoperability between, digital twins for the built environment within the UK. 

In doing so it recommends the development of several standards of varying types around two key themes: 

  1. Digital twin framework for the built environment: This theme takes into account existing work at ISO to develop a digital twin framework for manufacturing so that the built environment approach can be compared to, and aligned with, the approach being taken by other sectors; and 
  2. Digital Built Environment: This theme identifies gaps within the existing standards landscape to facilitate trusted, open, and secure exchanges of information to and between organisations through mechanism such as digital twins. 

The gaps within each of these themes were then developed into outline concepts to determine their dependencies and establish a critical path for their development. The first recommendation is an agile standard that outlines the overview and general principles relating to digital twins for the built environment. 


As such, this roadmap supports both the wider digital transformation of the built environment being supported by the likes of the Construction Leadership Council, Construction Innovation Hub, and the UK BIM Alliance as well as the realisation of the CDBB National Digital Twin Programme.   

Now published on the DT Hub [Full Report] [Summary Report], it is hoped that this standards roadmap will be supported by the DT Hub Community as well as all relevant stakeholders so that we, the built environment, can begin to establish consensus for good practice relating to digital twins. 

We invite you to read, comment, and share this standards roadmap to help make its recommendations a reality. 

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Peter Parslow

Thanks for publishing this report. It's good to see the inclusion of so many relevant standards from things like the ISO/IEC work towards smart cities (OK, I was looking out for those, having been in the team for ISO/IEC 30182, 30145 and 30146!). The more recent of those points out the need to build the whole thing using a common geospatial framework, and that's my own area of interest/expertise.  So it's encouraging to see mention of the work ISO TC211 and ISO TC59/SC13 are doing jointly to address the gap caused by the difference of approach between "geo" and "BIM". Similarly, the note "Careful consideration will be required when accepting spatial data which refers to different spatial reference systems", which is an area addressed in ISO/IEC 30145 and extensively in the ISO TC211 standards. It's a pity that the section on data quality doesn't include the TC211 data quality standard (ISO 19157) particularly as it applies data quality principles to the specific questions of positional accuracy and the pitfalls of relating data that was initially expressed in different spatial reference systems.

I guess it's an issue of "parallel timing" that means this report only makes passing mention of the work on ontologies being carried out in the DFTG Information Framework activity, where a lot of thinking is going on on top level ontologies.

As an IT man at heart, I am a bit surprised to see that XML and SQL takes such a prominent place. It seems to me that the NDT is such a large scale data federation exercise that it will have to manage with several different encodings, and that the data throughput is unlikely to be achievable using "traditional" SQL based approaches. I am not sure it will be appropriate to begin now building an infrastructure for productive use in perhaps 5-20 years time on technologies that are towards the end of their mainstream popularity.

Overall though, I am encouraged that some key early work areas are identified: architectural frameworks, high level ontologies - semantics are more important in data integration than formats.

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Hi there! I am interested in the British National Digital Twin. This website helps me a lot.

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