For those of us in the AEC technology industry, the concept of a digital representation of a building that can be analyzed prior to actually building it, as embodied by BIM (building information modeling), is hardly new. The concept is also on its way to being extended to infrastructure as well as entire cities. However, this concept of a digital representation of a physical object is hardly unique to AEC—in fact, it came to us directly from the manufacturing industry and is now common in fields such as medicine as well.
One undisputed fact about technology is that it is always being improved upon, and this is true for BIM as well. Taking its cue again from the technology world at large, digital models can now be dynamic rather than static, thereby staying in sync with the physical objects they are representing. This technology is called “digital twins,” the name coming from the “twinning” of the physical model with the digital. This paper explores the technology of digital twins and its potential in the AEC industry to go much further than BIM in terms of impact and benefits.The white paper can be downloaded here.