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Digital twin in non-operational phases - what is your opinion?

Astrid Corina

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Hello Digital Twin enthusiasts! Has anyone dealt with Digital Twins in the Built Environment for non-operational phases? Such as procurement, design, construction etc? What do you think of these?

Any resources you can think of?


Thank you!



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  • 1 month later...

Hi Astrid,

We work with many users through the engineering lifecycle stages who evolve their Digital Models in the direction of a Digital Twin.  Certainly around the dynamic environment of  a construction site there are many examples and resources.
We are currently engaging very actively with ESG capabilities, mainly around embodied carbon
and SiemensStadt provides a very large insight into the capabilities when working across a large built environment and linking to existing infrastructure

However, when you say resources, the challenges for each of these stages is no different to Digital Twin in operations, just that you need to consider the same principles.
What is the purpose, can you trust the output, and is it effective.  For many users during the early stages of the project, the silos of data mean that Openness and Quality are sacrificed, when there can be great value in considering how the digital model can be consumed by the larger project / asset teams.
If you let us know what resources you are looking for we can start to build out a register for the good examples around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Glen - Thank you for your response, it is so very informative! I am aware most literature focuses on operational use (and some on construction, indeed), but best approach to Twins is probably to get them involved a lot earlier on in the project. As you said, the silos of data is a killer for Twins and for the potential a Twin can present. Which is why I am focusing on how can the Twin be involved a lot earlier on (if you're familiar with RIBA Stages, then stages 0-4. Can it influence design? Spatial coordination? Perhaps prototyping with costing attached? Forecasting? How exactly would it look like? 

Many thanks for engaging.



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Hi Astrid
Currently the use cases need indexing against your requirements.
However, your specific queries ...

Can it influence design : This requires two key features latency and quality ... ie  if the consumers of the (lets call it RIBA3 Twin) cannot fulfil their information requirement (not open and low quality) then they will not use the Twin.  However, if there is a long enough delay in the feedback to the creators then they will not use that information as the Twin has generally progressed and the feedback is not relevant.  Therefore we are working on making consumption and hence feedback as short as possible.
Prototyping with Costing attached is done today, it generally depends upon on how componentised the design can be. 
https://www.automation.com/en-us/articles/february-2021/shell-deepwater-bentley-itwin-platform-project is an example from Oil and Gas
https://www.mottmacbentley.co.uk/digital/article/68431/leading-the-way-in-component-standardisation (different Bentley) is another
However, the more open your Twin the easier the consumption outside of the design tools (Export to Excel does not count)

Edited by Glen Worrall
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