The digital twin and urban digital labs

30 September 2022
Ciudad inteligente

“The environment for construction companies is changing; the context is increasingly conducive to the development of urban digital laboratories”

Tecnalia, in conjunction with IFMA Spain, is working on the development of a digital twin based on BIM, and digital experimentation spaces, such as the urban digital labs

Tecnalia, in conjunction with IFMA Spain, is promoting the concept of E2D in the construction sector. It is an experimental infrastructure that favours collaboration between researchers, companies and institutions that manage the inhabited space.

At TECNALIA's Digital Experimentation Space, and under proprietary software development, the information will be accessible to all. Data negotiation services will be implemented in a trusted and secure environment, where secure data ownership and access to information is guaranteed.

BIM and Digital Twin in the public sector

The use of digital twins is not currently mandatory, but is expected to increase by 36% in the coming years. The first steps can already be seen in some publicly funded construction projects in Spain and Europe, which require the use of BIM methodology.

The digital twin and construction companies

There have been numerous technological advances in recent years. Even so, construction is mainly based on manual processes, where different aspects have to be coordinated in the construction phase: personnel, equipment, materials, weather conditions, etc. This manual coordination can lead to delays, inefficiencies and cost overruns.

The digital twin can enable construction companies to manage site information in real time, thereby reducing inefficiencies and incidents.

Digital twin and the 3D urban model: smart cities

The urban digital twin has come about with the aim of being able to integrate different tools and functionalities. It would enable 3D modelling of the city in its different layers; buildings, uses, inhabitants, underground infrastructure, urban services..., presenting all the available urban information and detecting interactions between the different layers.

This tool transforms cities into smart cities and provides technical benefits (optimal planning, mobility and accessibility) and social benefits (safer cities with tools for citizens), as well as cost reductions and a reduced environmental footprint.

Conclusions of the workshop held last month

  • 61% of participants felt that it is theright time to start incorporating such technologies in their market.
  • Regarding the use of these tools, the application of building and urban digital twins makes a lot of sense in the maintenance of tertiary buildings (89 %), followed by the management of social aspects (accessibility, public safety, etc.) and the management of urban technical networks (39 %).
  • It is important to accompany the public sector, as well as to identify social and citizen KPIs (social ROI and citizen ROI) in order to reinforce the argumentation of the benefits of this type of project.
  • It is worth having the possibility to carry out proof-of-concept tests in real environments and subject to the collection of a wide variety of variables.