FM Times Podcast
  • 24 Feb.2022
  • 4 min min read

What Digital Twin Means for the Facility Management Space

by Harshika Singh



Facility management companies have so many things to handle at the same time when it comes to maintaining workspaces with ever-changing challenges and rising expectations. Digital twin is the next step in building information modelling (BIM) in terms of data-gathering and service-enhancement functionality. 

However, the question is, how does it play an important role, and how will it boost the FM and real estate sector which needs to shift towards digital twin?

Concept of Digital Twin 

In this conversation Umesh Bhutoria and Balazs Szappanyos talks about the digital twin backbone of one of the leading providers of real-time building data in building and industrial operations. Here the concept of operational BIM, arose from the realisation that the real estate industry is falling behind. 

The company is Orthograph operational BIM having a strong foundation for the digital world. As a technology provider, they are in the PropTech and FM tech fields. During the deployment phase of CAFM solutions, it was discovered that, while providing building owners and operators with reliable software to track all operations, people still lacked real-world building data.

The original concept behind OrthoGraph was to forge ahead and provide tools for building owners and operators to truly view up-to-date 3D graphical and inventory data both on-site and in the office.

To whom do these leading companies provide digital twin solutions?

The focus is mostly on FM companies, FM service providers, and building operators since FM spend the most time in buildings, acquire data, and visit the site every day, whereas other stakeholders operate from their offices. Someone must physically visit the buildings in order to maintain any form of building documentation. As a result, selecting people who can simultaneously manage the physical structure and the digital twin.

An ideal way for FM firms to address the entire digital twin terminology!

First and foremost, a well-functioning digital twin should be reliable, simple to use and integrate. For instance, When analysing the twin analogy, the twin evolves in the same way that the building does through time. Updating building models is a vital part that people must incorporate. The approach is to implement building information modelling (BIM), but the question of who will manage BIM and at what cost, whether building surveyors or external stakeholders, is a challenging one.

Addressing the Christmas Tree Analogy with use cases relevant to FM companies! 

We’re going to approach the Digital Twin as if it is a Christmas tree without decoration. It enables users to digitise their building and have an always-up-to-date model, which they can then customise with other software solutions they want to add, but the backbone which is the tree, will never become obsolete.  If people look after the twin data the same way they maintain the building. So, people get to choose to put whatever they want on their Christmas tree.

Facility management companies benefit from having this model that gives them the inside structure of the facility and allows them to rearrange their daily flows using digital twins. 

Check out our most recent episode to learn about the digital twin concept and much more.

Do the blue-collar or white collar workforce use visual representation and data integration?

According to Balazs, the initial reaction is a sigh of satisfaction for real-world data they can see rather than old paperwork. Since digital twin generate calculated reports not just representation, the workforce can engage with the data more efficiently. They can obtain reports on the cleaning department, the rental department, and other areas. As a result, the building owners and engineers have a clear perspective of their structures, which is an impressive achievement itself. 

Advantages of Selecting a Reliable Digital Twin

FM Markets or buildings with zero documentation can benefit from a great solution that allows them to move from zero to digital twin backbone in a matter of weeks. As a result, anyone who wishes to begin their digital journey can do so.

When considering whether or not to invest in a digital twin solution, consider how quickly a digital twin solution can be adjusted to the way buildings change over time.

Listen to our podcast episode to discover more about the Christmas tree analogy and zero documentation!

Let us know what you think are some more benefits of having a solid digital twin backbone.

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