A Guide to Digital Twins for the Service Trades

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Digital twins will accelerate expectations around data capture and transparency.

Real-time data capture has big implications for productivity, transparency, and client relationships.

The next decade will see the rise of the "digital twin:" a dynamic digital model of a building that contains all relevant building data and reflects real-time changes. Soon, digital twins will be passed along the management chain-from architects to construction teams to building owners, finally bridging the data gaps between design, as-built-specs, and building performance.

When that time comes, every participant in the building lifecycle will be expected to contribute accurate data-including data about manual processes-to the digital twin. Trades looking to stay ahead of the curve should start building a digital data gathering practice right now.

Capture real-time data

IoT sensors and mobile scanning provide a simple solution to a complex problem: how to capture information in a dynamic environment. Trades can now collect a wide range of data—including installation specs, maintenance cadences, equipment performance, and delivery times-at a low cost, with simple installation. This opens up creative possibilities for measurement, testing, and optimization.

BuiltSpace is a seamless solution for on-site data collection and analysis, providing real-time, as-built documentation from customizable points of service. The technology uses assets that already exist-mobile phones, workers, suppliers, existing sensors-to deliver process and service data.

Durable BuiltSpace labels are placed at points of service throughout the site and scanned by workers on a user-friendly mobile app. Easy installation and customizability open up possibilities for measurement, testing, and tweaking. The BuiltSpace app also supports coordinated complex work sequencing for scheduling field installation, logistics, commissioning, and verification.

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Improve Productivity

Faithful replication of the design in the physical building is important, but faithfully creating as-built digital twins may be even more critical to asset value and operational efficiency. BuiltSpace gathers data from the field installation and commissioning processes, providing clear documentation of what is being built. Accurate information can flow throughout the project, decreasing rework. Costing information, scheduling, and other task constraints and dependencies are also captured in a BuiltSpace digital twin, allowing users to predict the financial impact of clashes. Data can be easily shared or flowed into other programs.

The BuiltSpace digital twin-a body of data on services, processes, and as-built specifications-is highly relevant during the project, but it's also a post-project learning tool that can support cost accountability and change management. Data on process efficiency, vendor performance, and countless other metrics can improve the modeling of future projects.

Build enduring partnerships

More than ever, partners and building operators have high standards for accountability. They may request warranties on the work performed. In these situations, data capture becomes even more critical. Trades can capture and share data on installation, maintenance, performance, and countless other metrics, building a trusting and collaborative relationship with partners. A shared data environment means more eyes to identify patterns and inform predictive maintenance, and promotes a safer building environment.

Digital twins are highly valued by building owners, who can use the data to inform operations, maintenance and repairs, and future renovations. The delivery of a digital twin can be a significant differentiator for trades looking to stand out in the proposal process.

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Prove your value

BuiltSpace makes it easy to optimize your process. Now trades can measure the impact of their work and help current and future clients understand their value by showcasing metrics on performance, efficiency, and responsiveness.

BuiltSpace’s flexibility also allows users to pivot in unusual situations. This proved critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, where BuiltSpace users leveraged the platform to monitor cleaning, environmental surface testing, and other key practices, like changing air filters. Users were able to provide visibility and transparency to otherwise invisible services, reassuring tenants that it was safe to return.

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.