The Post-Occupancy Digital Twin: A Quantitative Report on Data Standardisation and Dynamic Building Performance Evaluation

The Post-Occupancy Digital Twin: A Quantitative Report on Data Standardisation and Dynamic Building Performance Evaluation

Barry Kirwan, Jonathan Rogers
DOI: 10.4018/IJDIBE.2020070102
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Through the application of building information modelling (BIM), the construction industry can now develop digital representations of physical assets. By combining BIM with digital technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), an opportunity is created to link real-time data to digital representations, resulting in the creation of digital twins (DT). A major aspect in the creation of DT involves the ongoing relationship between physical and digital versions of assets through interlinked sensors, generating an opportunity to analyse the performance of the asset and its occupants. The aim of this report was to further understand the effects of implementing these technologies, resulting in the digitalisation of the construction industry. A literature review was undertaken, along with a focused interview questionnaire and an online survey. Results showed that although there was an awareness of the importance of BIM and digital technology within the construction industry, the number of projects implementing these technologies and procedures were low.
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The construction industry is currently in a transition phase. Findings from the McKinsey Report (Manyika et al., 2015) identified the global construction industry as the second least digitalised and technologically innovated of all industries. Both reports also discussed that research and development (R&D) investment in construction was less than 1% of revenue, when compared to other sectors, including the automotive and aerospace sectors, with a 3.5–4.5% investment (Manyika et al., 2015). This suggests that the construction and building sector has not adopted digital technologies in line with other sectors and is still heavily reliant on traditional processes and deliverables (Wong, Ge, & He, 2018).

Findings from the Hackitt Report (Hackitt, 2018) show the failings of the construction industry in relation to providing digital information required for efficient running and maintenance of assets. It was found that data obtained throughout the Design and Build (D&B) phase was not provided in digital formats which resulted in delays sourcing the relevant data for each stage of the build. The report emphasized the importance of digitising construction projects through Building Information Modelling (BIM), along with the standardisation of digital data distributed through a Common Data Environment (CDE), resulting in easily accessible digital information throughout the project (Hackitt, 2018).

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