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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding the requirements for descriptive twins to support digital twin use cases in asset and energy management Awonaike, Oluwalonimi


The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has seen a rise in adopting emerging digital technologies. One of these technologies is Building Information Modeling (BIM), which is widely adopted in construction projects. It is also a technology-led process that lays the groundwork for one of the latest technologies gaining popularity in the industry, the Digital Twin (DT). A DT is a realistic digital representation of assets, processes, or systems in the built or natural environment. Unlike BIM, a DT is distinguished by its ability to incorporate real-time data from live sources. The DT technology offers benefits throughout a project's lifecycle, including assessing scenarios, conducting analyses, and supervising resources. However, a clear path to determine the best use cases, requirements, and implementation strategies is yet to be developed. DTs are divided into five maturity levels: Descriptive, Informative, Predictive, Comprehensive, and Autonomous twins. This study aims to understand DTs by focusing on the descriptive twin, the lowest maturity level of DT, which is a live version of construction and design data. In this study, we collaborated with an industry partner to explore how they could integrate DT development into their services using descriptive twins. Collaborating with an industry partner ensured that the objectives, methodologies, and results were practical and aligned with industry needs. This collaboration laid the groundwork for defining the study’s overall objectives: (1) Conduct a requirement analysis to identify the requirements essential for developing a descriptive twin, and (2) Develop and evaluate a process for creating a descriptive twin prototype for Asset Management and Energy Management use cases. Through literature reviews and semi-structured interviews, which were carried out with industry experts, and a prototype development process. The study developed potential requirements for creating a descriptive twin and a use case framework to align the selection of high-level use cases leveraging relevant technology and expertise. Furthermore, the prototype process revealed some benefits, challenges, and lessons that will inform the development of a descriptive twin with Autodesk Tandem. Further research and investigation should be carried out to develop and expand the identified requirements and process.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International