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27 Jul 2023 | Industry Insights

Demystifying the ROI of Digital Twin Implementation for Main Contractors

Demystifying the ROI of Digital Twin Implementation for Main Contractors

The construction industry is often seen as a traditional field, but in recent years it has been disrupted by innovative technologies, one of which is the concept of digital twins. This article aims to demystify the potential Return on Investment (ROI) of implementing digital twin technology for main contractors.

Grasping Digital Twin Technology

At its core, a digital twin is a virtual model of a physical object, process, or system. It mirrors its real-world counterpart in real-time, reflecting its lifecycle and performance based on data transmitted from sensors attached to the physical entity. The digital twin acts as a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, offering valuable insights and facilitating informed decision-making.

Digital Twin Benefits for Construction Industry

In the context of the construction industry, digital twins can be thought of as comprehensive, dynamic, and interactive models of buildings or infrastructure. They offer several benefits that can significantly impact the ROI for main contractors:

  • Save Time and Budget in the Handover Process: Digital twins allow contractors to transform the time, cost and effort of managing the handover and O&M documentation by updating the digital record every time a model revision is published, or an asset specification is changed.

  • Bridge the Gap Between Construction and Operation: Digital Twins allow contractors to create new, longer-term revenue opportunities and reduce maintenance costs by using a digital handover as a seamless transition from construction to building operation to create a service that spans the full lifespan of the building. 

  • Improve Building Accuracy: Digital Twins allow contractors to Identify any potential clashes or conflicts well before the handover takes place by creating an accurate virtual representation of the building ensuring that the final product meets the desired quality standards and adheres to all regulations and codes.

  • Improved Communication: Digital Twins streamline the real-time collaboration and communication between all stakeholders involved in the project, including subcontractors, engineers, and architects to prevent delays and mistakes during the handover phase and ensure that everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.

  • Predictive Maintenance: With the ability to predict how structures will perform based on current and historical data, digital twins can help with predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and repair costs.

Impact on ROI

The implementation of digital twin technology can lead to significant cost savings and increased efficiency, leading to a positive impact on ROI. Contractors can avoid costly mistakes and delays, optimise resource usage, and deliver higher-quality projects. Moreover, the data-driven insights digital twins provide can lead to more competitive bidding and better project outcomes.  They also create a seamless transition from building handover to building maintenance, creating a longer-term revenue stream.

Digital twin technology holds significant potential for main contractors in the construction industry. While the implementation might require an initial investment and some organisational changes, the potential ROI makes it a worthwhile endeavour. By harnessing the power of digital twins, contractors can improve their project outcomes, optimise their operations, and stay ahead in the competitive construction industry.

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