digital twin for Building Lifecycle Assessment

Digital Twin for Building Life Cycle Management

The Digital Twin (DT) concept has emerged as a viable solution for such complex systems.

In terms of modeling capability, Digital Twin has the capability of better integrating a variety of facility models in a way to simulate and interact with the physical facility during all phases of the development and operation process.

Construction projects and facility management are becoming riskier businesses. More stakeholders and investment are on the line, with greater complexities barging in.

Therefore, there must be a way that should help you visualize your project in detail from the comfort of your vicinity. It has to be an all-in-all data and coordination effort that supersedes your 3D modeling outputs. And this is where digital twinning technology comes in. 

Digital twin technology links and organizes combined smart building data, eliminating noise while boosting value.

It delivers contextual awareness by appropriately displaying as-built data with LOD 500 in a digital representation of your real building, basically simulating how your building and facility will perform under different scenarios. 

What are digital twins?


what are digital twins in construction

A digital twin or data twin is a virtual replica of an object or system that accurately reflects its physical or built asset. It covers the whole project lifespan, is constantly updated with real-time data, and makes judgments using simulation, machine learning, and reasoning. 

Basically, a digital twin is a detailed model derived from reality capture plus a constant dynamic data feed.

Let us take digital twinning for construction facilities a building (modeled precisely and accurately) is monitored by IoT sensors that collect real time data on various aspects of its operation. This data is then applied to a digital model, enabling simulations, performance evaluation, and potential improvements. 

Benefits of digital twins for building lifecycle assessment


Benefits of utilizing digital twins for building lifecyle assessment

Building performance may be assessed by using digital twin systems in facility management, which simulate the building’s behavior and performance under various settings and scenarios. This could give numerous benefits to stakeholders involved in the project.  

Easier communication with stakeholders

Easier communication with stakeholders

Source: Researchgate

The most explicit real-time digital twin data of an architectural project can ease project communication among stakeholders too. 

Digitizing construction facilities with these virtual replicas enables project managers to export high-resolution floor plans, point clouds, and OBJ files to various applications, ensuring stakeholders stay informed and report any issues. 

Improved construction resource management

A digital twin could be the most updated digital record for your building facility. It offers real-time behavioral data, which is the most useful information for resource management in the building facility. 

Digital twinning for construction can improve procurement, reduce supply chain delays, align work with future deliverables, and aid construction businesses in better resource allocation. Managers may obtain faster and more accurate subcontractor quotes by removing the need for site visits while still offering a thorough on-site documentation of the built assets. 

Automated construction progress monitoring

Documenting progress is crucial for every new construction project, and digital twins let managers monitor projects from afar. General contractors and building owners want paperwork to ensure that development is going in accordance with standards and design. Effective documentation reduces mistakes and the need for rework. Comprehensive progress monitoring aids in the effective transition from construction to facility management at the end of the project. 

Efficient construction in most of the aspects

Remote inspections help project managers better monitor safety processes. Furthermore, digital twins improve construction documentation by providing precise, virtual measurements of difficult-to-reach or risky places, allowing staff to avoid excessive risks while on-site. 

Contractors that use Matterport to capture existing conditions over the course of a project and then reinforce the model with embedded data linked to MEP systems give their owners a digital handover package that enables them to manage the building from day one. 

How to make a digital twin for assessing your building’s lifecycle

Digital twins are created using a range of technologies, including 3D laser scanners, sensors, cameras, and other Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. Following are the stages involved in creating a digital twin for a construction project: 

digital twin construction resource management


First, digital twins can be captured using a variety of digital cameras, even the phone in your pocket. Mobile devices are an easy and affordable way to get started. Alternatively, you could build these digital replicas with a variety of 360-degree pano cameras.

For tasks that require absolute precision, your choice should be about combining the capabilities of 3D laser scanning and high-resolution reality capture to get the most accurate as-built data about your facility.  


Editing tools are required for the clarity and security of your digital doppelganger. This enables rapid and accurate simulations of physical locations, including measurements and configurable areas.

Next, constant data feeds improve the actual realization of individual assets, which might be valuable in a handover package to an owner.

Share and collaborate

You may share digital twin models with remote teams and offices, reducing the need for in-person site inspections, lowering travel expenses, and encouraging more environmentally friendly business practices in AEC.

This also allows distant teams to collaborate and coordinate more efficiently by leveraging easily available technology. One important thing to note here is that your digital twin technology must be able to process real time data, as-built documentation and drawings in multiple file formats.

Real- time applications of Digital Twins in lifecycle management

Digital replicas in lifecycle management have various applications, many of them are already present under BIM (Building Infromation and Modeling), but with integration of this immersive digital replicas with BIM, takes the precision and level of detail in the as-built drawings and construction documentation to a higher degree.

D.T. improves the analytical capabilities of BIM. 

  • Clash detection: Digital twins in architecture and construction facilities provide highly accurate real-time behavioral data of building systems.  

This real data of the existing on-site conditions allows for early identification and resolution of conflicts between the physical entities of the building. 

  • Cost Management: Throughout the project lifecycle, architectural digital twin services may assist in budget management by providing accurate data on maintenance cost and its predictive maintenance can predict future expenses.  
  • Historical Data Analysis: Digital twins maintain a record of a building entities over a project’s lifecycle. This historical as-built data can be used for identifying trends, analyzing data driven decisions and improving the facility management of future projects. 

Tips for creating a digital twin for construction projects

creating a digital twin for construction

Resource: researchgate

Now that we are done with the fundamentals of digital twinning for building lifecycle assessment, we need to learn how to optimize our efforts in the process.

How to implement the right set of digital twinning practices and tackle the expected problems. To get the most out of your digital twins, you need to be mindful of the following practices: 

Lack of awareness should be resolved through coordination with various data points

The construction industry faces several challenges, including a lack of contractual awareness, difficulty in understanding data, and transitioning to Building Information Modeling (BIM). Digital twin technologies should address these challenges by facilitating better contract adherence, providing ease of interaction with various data sources, and supporting the move to BIM. 

A single source of truth should be the priority for streamlining the project efforts

The absence of structured Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and defined protocols for data interchange and issue resolution poses a challenge for stakeholders. Therefore, digital twins can address this challenge by providing a single source of truth and ensuring alignment among contractors, inspectors, and clients throughout the project lifecycle. Also, coupled up with a strategic roadmap outlining how stakeholders will contribute to achieving project objectives helps.

Invest in digital twin training for long-term business growth

Construction organizations may be hesitant to invest in digital transformation at first due to the numerous financial and training demands they must manage. But adapting to change is a must, or else be ready to die a slow marketing death.

Overcome financial limitations by emphasizing the long-term cost savings and benefits of digital twin technology, while implementing comprehensive staff training programs and prioritizing continuous updates and maintenance for maximum effectiveness.

We can take design inspiration from this thumbnail! 

Digital twin Software options

To successfully carry out a digital twin operation for your building lifecycle assessment needs, you need to be well aware of the availability of digital twin software options. So that you can make a well-informed decision on what software to deploy as per your project requirements. Given below are some of the best digital twin software options:  


Matterport How to Build Digital Twins

Source: matterport

Matterport is a digital twin solution that enables businesses to create 3D virtual tours of their properties, providing valuable insights into physical spaces.

It offers variety of data capture options like smartphone and professional-grade Pro3 lidar cameras, customizing services to varied project requirements.

Azure Digital Twins

azure digital twins

Azure Digital Twins is a platform that enables users to create live digital models of physical environments, aiming to break down silos and build enterprise-grade IoT solutions.

It offers compliance, security, and privacy benefits, integrating with Azure IoT Hub, Logic Apps, and REST APIs.


UsBIM digital twin tool for managing life-cycle of buildings

UsBIM is a digital twin tool for managing the work life-cycle of buildings and infrastructure projects, offering features for ideation, design, construction, monitoring, and maintenance. It is all about providing actionable insights, and fostering stakeholder collaboration. 

Autodesk Tandem

Autodesk Tandem is a digital twin solution

Autodesk Tandem is a digital twin solution that connects data from a building’s lifecycle to a dynamic replica. It provides insights for optimizing operations, fostering stakeholder collaboration, and planning for future improvements. It also offers features for data integration, visualization, and collaboration. 

Bentley Systems

Bentley Systems' Digital Twins software

Bentley Systems’ Digital Twins software aids in data-informed decision-making and business processes, offering tools like iTwin Capture, iTwin IoT, and iTwin Experience. It aids in visualization, analysis, and automation of critical infrastructure, aiding in smarter, more resilient, and sustainable management.


Digital twinning is an ever-constant process. Your search could start with the right process and tools for deployment, but ultimately, you have to set the right set of practices. And if you cannot, then you can always outsource it to other organizations.

One tip worth utilizing here is to opt out of BIM vendors. The reason is that the transaction from BIM to digital twin could be very easy.  A detailed BIM coupled with IoT data and constant progress on the facility is actually digital twinning.

Therefore, reach out to a BIM service provider specializing in digital twinning for your building lifecycle assessment needs. 


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