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A Guide to Digital Twins for Building Facilities Managers

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Buildings don't have to be new to be smart.

Facility managers can use real-time data collection to inform predictive maintenance and energy efficiency improvements—even in older buildings.

The building industry is starting to embrace the concept of the "digital twin": a dynamic digital mirror of a building. Soon, data-rich digital twins will be passed along the management chain-from architects to construction firms to building owners, providing operators with information on design, as-built, installation specs, performance data, and more. But facility managers don't have to wait to start benefiting from digital twins. Mobile scanning and sensors make it easy to start collecting real-time data, right now, in any existing building.

The building industry is starting to embrace the concept of the "digital twin": a dynamic digital mirror of a building. Soon, data-rich digital twins will be passed along the management chain-from architects to construction firms to building owners, providing operators with information on design, as-built, installation specs, performance data, and more. But facility managers don't have to wait to start benefiting from digital twins. Mobile scanning and sensors make it easy to start collecting real-time data, right now, in any existing building.

BuiltSpace teaches buildings to be smart

BuiltSpace is a seamless solution for building data collection and analysis, providing real-time documentation from customizable points of service. Assets that already exist-mobile phones, workers, vendors, existing sensors-are used to capture data throughout the building.

Durable BuiltSpace labels are placed at points of service throughout the building and scanned by workers on a user-friendly mobile app. Data is sent to the cloud and is immediately available for review, and can be easily flowed into other programs. BuiltSpace easily integrates with existing systems for financial monitoring, building automation, fault detection, diagnosis, and IoT devices for air quality monitoring.

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BuiltSpace is flexible.

Because the setup is simple and customizable, BuiltSpace can be quickly installed to respond to dynamic situations. This proved particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, where BuiltSpace users leveraged the platform to monitor cleaning, surface testing, and other key practices, like changing air filters.

In more typical circumstances, BuiltSpace can monitor cleaning or maintenance cadences, promoting transparency and ensuring work is completed. And once a body of data has been established over time, facility managers can start to identify patterns that can inform predictive maintenance. Multiple inputs can be combined to model scenarios—for example, how HVAC systems might be impacted by the amount of people in a building.

BuiltSpace supports energy efficiency.

Buildings account for almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. Faulty or inefficient systems are responsible for a big chunk of these emissions, and can be reduced with monitoring and predictive maintenance. Facility managers can start small, monitoring a handful of large systems, then broadening out to identify other energy leaks. Beyond the financial benefits of energy efficiency, smart building operations have the potential to make a huge impact on the environment.

BuiltSpace tracks what a CMMS can't.

Maintenance and testing operations involve dispatching work to specialized technicians across a complex series of checks and balances that cannot be tracked with a CMMS. BuiltSpace closes this loop between manufacturers, service technicians, and owners. Customer history, contact information, equipment documentation are all easily accessible. Compliance reports, equipment manuals, operational procedures, and contact information are all in one place.

BuiltSpace tracks over 1.8 million services in 25,000 buildings worldwide. If you’re interested in learning more about BuiltSpace, visit us online.

BuiltSpace understands that digital twin technology needs to work across the entire AEC industry to be effective and we are commited to developing a simple, elegent solution that addresses the needs of each member of the community. Please feel free to download or forward any of our custom guides.

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