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How Digital Twins Simplify Property Management

26 Nov 2020

Digital Twin technology is making waves in various industries and, slowly but surely it is now taking centre stage in real estate too. In the wake of digital transformation, Digital Twins are bringing immediate benefits to the end-users and provide returns on investment from the get-go.

From predicting systems and machine potential failures, to optimising a building lifecycle from the early stages of planning, a Digital Twin offers clear advantages in terms of cost-savings and process efficiencies.

As COVID-19 forced many to work from home, office buildings saw a drastic reduction in use. In this challenging situation, Digital Twins have provided invaluable support to property managers handling highly complex ecosystems.

The technology has the ability to deliver real-time analysis and insights into the many different spaces of the office building, depending on usage patterns. Furthermore, visualisation and remote actioning of the various systems (e.g. HVAC, water, lighting), based on new requirements, has provided managers with indispensable knowledge to aid a swift response to the changing needs.

 

Interested in knowing more about the potential of smart technology in the workplace? Check out these other articles.

What is a Digital Twin exactly and how does it work?

Smart Spaces Digital Twin 2.0: remote tenants and visitors access control

Digital Twin Desktop View: Touch-Free Access Control

A Digital Twin is a 3D replica of a physical object, process or entity – the engine of a car, a manufacturing plant or an office building.

The virtual object receives and sends information to its real-life counterpart through sensors, systems and a digital platform such as Smart Spaces.

The platform integrates all the data coming from the different sources into one solution. It then returns actionable insights to the property manager, engineer or project manager for them to make informed decisions.

A variety of sectors are already using this technology to improve processes and make them not just efficient but less onerous and more cohesive. Thanks to Digital Twin technology, making data-driven decisions and prioritising s becomes a matter of days, not months.

The origin of Digital Twins

The idea of a virtual replica mirroring a real entity comes from a 2002 presentation from the University of Michigan where Dr Grieves stated his intention to create a product Lifecycle Management (PLM) centre (Michel Grieves, 2016).

The PLM concept included two systems meant to be an active representation of the entity and interlinked throughout the various stages of the system lifecycle.

It is only in 2011 that the PLM became more commonly known as a the Digital Twin.

The benefits of a Digital Twin

smart spaces digital twin climate control

Digital Twin View: Climate Control

It is now recognised that digital transformation simplifies processes and provides a wealth of information, which was thought impossible to achieve until relatively recently. However, it also brings its own challenges.

The successful implementation of technologies such as automation, cloud computing, and machine learning into existing processes is an ambitious task to achieve. The challenge could, in fact, demand capabilities not yet available to a business. Nonetheless, these technologies offer many opportunities that are hard to replicate.

A Digital Twin is the solution to leverage the potential of Internet of Things (IoT) devices – and achieve the broad spectrum of efficiencies these offer – thanks to its inherent ability to ‘visualise’ the data in a simple way, and in real-time.

Because of its versatility, Digital Twin technology is also suitable for many industries. Its implementation can change how planning, development, operations and maintenance are carried out. A Digital Twin is able to simplify processes and integrate to complex IoT systems, as well as predict behaviours in various conditions.

As a 3D replica connected to its real-life counterpart, the digital twin becomes a ‘safe’ entity to test on, before deploying on the real object, with assurance as to its effectiveness.

For multi-property and multi-system managers, for example, the Digital Twin is an invaluable tool for many reasons. The tech not only provides a wealth of information from the various sensors but offers two-way interactions with the real world. Monitoring and managing multiple assets remotely cuts the time and effort spent having to reach the different locations physically. Thanks to a Digital Twin, managers can instead focus on what is truly important and benefit from increased operational and maintenance efficiency.

digital twin desk booking

Digital Twin View: Desk Booking Management

What are the benefits of a Digital Twin in the smart building environment?

  • Streamlining of day-to-day operations to enhance productivity and efficiency
  • Real-time asset management and predictive maintenance for better decision-making
  • Remote control over the various systems in one single platform (lighting, HVAC, solar panels, solar blinds, etc)
  • Indoor Air Quality monitoring: temperature, humidity, dangerous level of VOC, CO2 and more (discover how IAQ can make your workplace safer and de-risk Covid-19)
  • Real-time objects and people tracking, as well as social-distancing management
  • Real-time space management: desk and meeting room booking, parking booking, EV chargepoints booking, cleaning routines, and more in a single platform
  • Control over the automation of repetitive tasks

Smart Spaces Digital Twin: The Making of Smart Buildings

not all twins are the same: danny de vito and arnold schwarzenegger twins movie

Not all twins are created equal.

What makes Smart Spaces Digital Twin 2.0 different is that it is a live replica of the building which doesn’t just ‘read’ the data, but lets the user ‘write’ it as well. Our digital twin is active, not a static representation of a single point in time. With our technology, property managers are empowered to act, bringing about changes to the real world, instantly.

The Smart Spaces Digital Twin 2.0 streamlines the daily management, periodic maintenance and general monitoring of the smart building processes. From energy efficiencies, to space management and social distancing monitoring, the Digital Twin helps property managers be more efficient in their daily tasks.

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