Digital Twin – what else?
Digitalization is greatly changing the starting point and the possibilities of a service offering. However, digital transformation is not the only driver of change. Increasing demands on the sustainability of a building, the globalization of the real estate market or the general competitive pressure are also influencing factors. The sustainability of a property and the focus on customer needs are moving to center stage. Energy reduction, circular economy, response times, transparency, and the need for information are just a few keywords that are always on the minds of our customers and stakeholders.
With a potential analysis of the technological drivers in the real estate industry, we were able to show in interviews with leading service providers and investors that especially the two drivers data and platforms seem to be very promising in the medium term. The concept of the Digital Twin is based precisely on these two most relevant factors. Data from various sources is collected and made available in a central location. Of course, intelligence and other technologies are also needed to round off the concept.
The word "Digital Twin" was first used by NASA in a report in 2010 on the Apollo 13 mission. It is interesting to note that the Apollo 13 mission took place 50 years ago. Even then, NASA accurately replicated the systems on the ground for problem solving and fed them with "real-time data" from the flying original.
We define the digital twin as follows:
- A Digital Twin is a true-to-life digital representation of a physical object.
- The Digital Twin enables parameters, information and real-time data as well as target and purpose of an object
- The Digital Twin can be used to map, predict and optimize the performance, behavior and use of an object.
In the meantime, there are already countless applications of Digital Twins:
- Data-driven twins of entire cities are being created with diverse information from zoning maps, building information, green spaces, building lines and much more.
- The industry is creating digital twins of products or even production lines to better adapt products to customer needs via various feedback loops and thus take fewer risks. Companies are constantly optimizing and monitoring their entire production (reducing production downtime, optimizing lead times, etc.). Digital Twins open up great potential in all areas, whether for simple consumer goods or complex products such as cars, airplanes or even wind turbines.
- This also applies to people: They create images of themselves in social media (LindekIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and feed them with information, sometimes on a daily basis. But digital avatars are also being created in medicine for faster examinations, more accurate remote diagnoses, or even for analyzing the effect and side effect of drugs in advance.
Real estate is not comparable to normal goods. There are three main differences:
- Cost allocation over the lifetime (20/80)
- Individuality of each product
Digital Twin for real estate explained using the real estate life cycle:
Even before construction, the DT is created and fed with as much information as possible in order to create an image of the future property already in this phase. This image enables the development of variants at an early stage. This means that the property can be sold even before it is actually built. The client knows exactly what he is buying and experiences no unpleasant surprises later. This significantly reduces the time-to-market. Later expenses due to subsequent adjustments are avoided during or after the construction period.
- Internal optimization, such as increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
- Improving the customer experience, or creating new customer experiences.
- Or the combination of these two points in the context of identifying new services or even new business models.
The digital twin and, above all, the linking of the various data sources to form an overall view form the basis for this. The digital twin is an enabler to really create added value from data. The approach can be two-sided. On the one hand, with the identification of use cases and the derivation of the required data sources, on the other hand, with the analysis of the combined data sources with data analytics and the insights thus gained for the creation of use cases.
- Different data sources require different interfaces (ERP system, building management system, BIM, IoT) à protocols, batches, events, etc.
- The raw data is stored in the digital twin. However, they cannot yet be used directly due to the different way they are used and first need processing. With the transformation, the data is processed so that it can be provided in a data model.
- Access from the services, the target systems or APIs is made to the DataLake, the Data Warehouse or DataMarts. This implementation of the provisioning layer is strongly dependent on the corresponding target service and its requirements.
It is imperative to consider the elements in the area of data security: cyber security & privacy, data governance and data access. These areas are elementary for sustainable use of the system and are often addressed too late.
As an independent Swiss consulting firm and expert in information technology and control technology, Eraneos guarantees the successful use of ICT in all aspects of your real estate.
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