September 2020 6 min read

Digital Twin? Who Cares?



I had a great conversation just recently when telling someone about what we do at asBuilt.


Their response was “Digital twin? Who cares? I’d rather watch Harry Potter.”


Harry Potter aside, it’s great question. It’s a great question with more answers than even a politician in election mode could surface in a two-minute sound bite for the six o’clock news. And just like someone who sits down to watch the six o’clock news, at six o’clock, you don’t really understand what is possible and how much the alternatives can make your life better.

BIM Snapshots




Anywhere, Anytime Access

One of the biggest benefits we see with people who take the opportunity of creating a digital twin is how it frees them up from the limits of time and space. As a main contractor undertaking construction, or as a facilities lead on a large site, you don’t have to be on-site in order to have insightful and constructive conversations about work that needs undertaking. Do it remotely.

End-to-End Visibility

In the construction phase of a building lifecycle, by regularly updating your 360 photos and adding them to the central model, you can see exactly what has been put in place to manage your claims processing. By insisting your sub-contractors update the digital model every time they do work, (the same digital model everyone else is working on) you can see what has been done. This is really useful …if say, for example, a large fire started on the roof and then ripped through your entire site and left everything in tatters (but that would never happen, right?).

Monitor the Environment

Using environmental monitoring sensors that tell you when a storm is due, you can also model how to transport large elements around your site and into place without trial-and-error in the wind and rain. You can also stay within the confines of the council’s noise thresholds with sounds sensors. Handy to avoid those pesky site visits from the powers that be.

Digitise Manual Processes

Using digital booking calendars to book plant and equipment? You could be. Think of the dollars you can save just there freeing up crane time and traffic management time or everyone having to stand around in case of disaster.

Connect Your Teams

For a facilities team, you can send images and the digital model of your existing building to your sub-contractors so they can quote a job without having to leave their offices. No call out fees, no inaccurate measurements, no swipe card authorisation protocols, no repeated site inductions, no waiting around for people to turn up when they said they would but got stuck in traffic. Basically - none of all those other things that make your job so unnecessarily challenging.

Most importantly though, as the owner of the asset, you can actually truly know what you own, what state it’s in and what state it should be in.

Magic or Logic?

Like Harry Potter, spatial intelligence is a little bit magical, but once you learn the basic two-word Latin sounding spells, you’re graduating top of Hogwarts with the girl of your dreams and a small scar. And after all, who doesn’t love a small scar with a great story behind it. Especially if it was digital.



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