Digital Twin Use Cases in Commercial Real Estate
Digital twins can have a big impact at the organizational level is in commercial real estate buildings. They allow building operators to bring together previously unconnected systems—from security to HVAC to wayfinding systems—to gain new insights, optimize workflows, and monitor processes remotely. They can also be used to give occupants more control over their own workspaces and environmental conditions, thereby enhancing the tenant experience.
By optimizing systems and connecting people, owners and operators can use digital twins to reduce costs, avoid future costs, increase occupancy rates, and improve overall asset value.
What is a Digital Twin?
At its simplest, a digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical product, process, or system. It acts as a bridge between the physical and digital worlds by using sensors to collect real-time data about a physical item. This data is then used to create a digital duplicate of the item, allowing it to be understood, analyzed, manipulated, or optimized.
Other terms used to describe the technology over the years have included virtual prototyping, hybrid twin technology, virtual twin, and digital asset management.
Although digital twins have been around for several decades, it’s only been since the rapid rise of IoT that they’ve become more widely considered as a tool of the future. They’re getting attention because they also integrate things like intelligence, machine learning(ML) to bring data, algorithms, and context together, enabling organizations to test new ideas, uncover problems before they happen, get new answers to new questions, and monitor items remotely.
How Are Digital Twins Being Used?
Now that we’ve addressed the often elusive question, what is digital twin technology?, we can now explore how the technology has been used to improve business processes. Digital twins were traditionally used to improve the performance of single assets, such as wind turbines or jet engines. In recent years, however, they have become more sophisticated. Now, they connect not just one asset but rather systems of assets or even entire organizations. As they bring together more and more assets and combine them with information about processes and people, their ability to help solve complex problems is also increasing
What is the Future of the Digital Twin?
Where they offer new and remarkable possibilities is at the organizational level in the built environment. Implementing them in hospitals or commercial real estate buildings, for instance, offers the potential to create beneficial outcomes not only for building administrators or owners but also for the people inside of those buildings. In this way, they can be used to take a people-centric approach (starting with people) then looking at problems and context, and finally adding IT systems and connected devices to try to solve big problems and create long-term value.
For companies and organizations that already use IoT, digital twins are the next step along the digital journey. They can be used to improve efficiencies, optimize processes, detect problems before they occur, and innovate for the future. If your organization is interested in producing not only better business outcomes, but also better outcomes for everyone, digital twins are worth exploring.