Digital Twins for effective Facilities Management

Constructing Excellence

ONE Creative environments’ (ONE’s) Digital Estates team is continually innovating to provide sustainable, practical solutions to support the use of digital information during operation, crucially unlocking the understanding and implementation of Digital Twins to make them more readily available.

ONE’s innovation combines two technologies: Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the Internet of Things (IoT), creating a Digital Twin platform with fully configurable tools that visually display data to support the Facilities Management function. In turn this results in data that is instantly understandable and actionable to drive decarbonisation, reduction of risk and cost, as well as significant wellbeing benefits for the building users.


The context and technology:

The potential to utilise BIM within the Facilities Management industry is widely acknowledged. As a Facilities Manager (FM), you are responsible for operating a building to ensure it remains in good health, safe, compliant by law, as well as maintaining the required levels of sustainability, efficiency and corporate social responsibility. Often, FMs utilise computer-aided facilities management systems (CAFM) which has vital tools that drive and assist the FM function.

IoT is an emerging technology which refers to the interconnection of various digital devices that send and receive data from the cloud. Within buildings, wireless sensors collect valuable environmental and operational data. For example, occupancy levels, air temperature, humidity and Co2 levels, as well as asset-specific performance data.

Although Digital Twins are widely discussed, at present there are very few casestudy examples available, so our aim for this R&D project was to demystify the set up process, and implement a workflow to simplify the connection of IOT sensors to 3D digital models, and then display the data in a simple format.  With limited examples to refer to, this project stands out from the crowd as it required a pioneering approach to connect emerging technology and allow this to be more accessible to everyone, rather than having to invest huge capital sums on implementing expensive enterprise systems.  Our development allows the technology to be leveraged at very low cost, which allows this to be widely used by the industry.


Three Winning Facts:
  1. As the drive for Corporate Social Responsibility, net-zero carbon and ‘data for public good’ increases, as does the importance of integrated data and visual intelligence for managing the modern built environ-ment efficiently, our workflow unlocks methods of harnessing this emerging technology at low cost.
  2. Smart sensors and BMS systems collate massive amounts of data which need to be interpreted to be un-derstood easily. The data visualisation capabilities that our project provides allows big-data to be under-stood instantly by linking to 3D BIM models so that clients can obtain more value from their digital as-sets.
  3. This innovation has significant and far-reaching benefits including:
    • Reduced cost from energy management, space utilisation and informed management.
    • Carbon reduction
    • Enhanced wellness
    • Reduced risk
    • Enhanced compliance.