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Why Are Our Cities and Buildings Embracing Digital Twin Technology?

Boston Dynamics

Digital twins are already transforming the way cities are designed and managed. We can optimize our design by simulating data in a digital twin. The ability to create a digital representation of a building, a neighborhood, or an infrastructure network is advantageous because it can be used to inform decision-making throughout the building’s lifecycle.

The technology, which involves the creation of a digital clone of a physical object or system, is reshaping the healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics industries. It is now exerting a significant influence on architecture and urbanism as well. A digital twin can be used to monitor and forecast the behavior of its physical counterpart.

The advancement of technology has enabled the cloning of entire cities; for example, the Chinese company 51World has created digital twins of Shanghai and Singapore.

Courtesy 51WORLD Smart City

Architects and designers believe this will revolutionize the way buildings, transportation systems, and streetscapes are designed and operated.

What distinguishes a digital twin from a standard 3D model is that it is connected to a live data stream, allowing it to evolve in lockstep with its physical counterpart.

This enables it to not only provide an accurate analysis of what occurs in the live version, but also to test future performance and identify potential risks. This opens up opportunities for increased efficiency, reduced environmental impact, and cost savings.

By 2026, the Digital Twin market is expected to reach $48.2 billion.

The use of digital twins is expected to expand significantly over the next few years. According to a recent study, the market is expected to grow from $3.1 billion in 2020 to $48.2 billion in 2026.

This rapidly growing trend can be attributed to the increasing availability of data, which is being fueled by a desire for the knowledge it contains.

Sensor technology is increasingly being integrated into our homes and workplaces, as well as the physical infrastructure that surrounds us, as the internet of things grows. Meanwhile, cloud computing makes data sharing across devices and networks easier than ever.

As a result of this, businesses and other organizations have amassed massive amounts of data. Not all of this is private, however; online sources such as the London Datastore make live data readily available to anyone interested in using it. Good or bad.

The use of digital twins in architecture, construction, and infrastructure, on the other hand, has been steadily increasing.

Boston Dynamics and Foster & Partners

In London, Foster + Partners is collecting data for a digital twin of a building under construction in Battersea using a robot dog. Additionally, the firm installed a sensor network on its office campus in order to create an intelligent digital model of its own day-to-day operations.

Boston Dynamics “Spot”

Advancement of software for digital twins

Digital twin adoption is inextricably linked to the continued development of advanced software platforms.

Digital twin software has been developed by a number of leading technology companies, including GE Digital, Microsoft, Siemens, and Dassault Systèmes. Cityzenith, based in Chicago, is a pioneer in this field, having launched a software program dedicated to the built environment. SmartWorldPro was created to streamline the process of designing and managing buildings and other types of real estate.

City twins have enormous potential.

The twin cities of Shanghai and Singapore created by 51World, which also used Unreal Engine, demonstrate how digital twins can become more multifunctional and multiuser.

These city twins, which are powered by data from satellites, drones, and other sensors, are used for a variety of purposes, from assessing the risk of natural disasters such as flooding to testing the impact of new buildings.

Participate

A network of support is growing for those interested in investigating the potential of digital twins. Organizations such as the NAICP (North American Institute of Construction Professionals), the Digital Twin Consortium in the United States, the Digital Twins Cities Center in Sweden, and the Centre for Digital Built Britain in the United Kingdom are all collaborating to standardize the definition of digital twins and to facilitate knowledge sharing.

The Centre for Digital Built Britain manages a government-funded National Digital Twin initiative with the goal of establishing an ecosystem of connected digital twins across businesses and organizations.

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