Digital Twins in Construction: Advantages and Best Practices

Tech Qiah

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the construction industry, technology continues to play an increasingly pivotal role in reshaping traditional processes. 

Digital Twins in Construction

One such technological innovation making waves in the sector is the concept of digital twins. Offering a bridge between the physical and digital realms, digital twins are revolutionizing how construction projects are conceptualized, executed, and managed. In this article, we will explore the essence of digital twins in construction, their workings, advantages, real-world examples, and best practices for implementation.

What is a digital twin in construction?

Digital twins in construction represent virtual replicas of physical buildings or infrastructure projects. These replicas seamlessly integrate real-time data from various sources such as sensors, Building Information Modeling (BIM) models, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. By providing insights into the construction process, enhancing decision-making capabilities, and optimizing performance throughout the project's lifecycle, digital twins serve as invaluable assets for stakeholders in the construction industry.

How does a digital twin work?

The creation of digital twins involves a multifaceted approach utilizing a spectrum of technologies including 3D laser scanners, sensors, cameras, and IoT devices. The process typically encompasses three main stages:

Capture: Digital twins are captured utilizing various digital cameras or scanners, ranging from mobile devices to advanced 3D laser scanners. These tools facilitate the creation of detailed digital replicas of physical spaces with precision and accuracy.

Edit, document, and tag building assets: Following capture, editing tools are employed to refine the digital twin, ensuring clarity and security. Additional documentation and tagging of building assets enable the integration of real-time data associated with specific elements, enhancing the twin's utility and functionality.

Share and collaborate: Digital twins can be shared with remote teams and stakeholders, fostering seamless collaboration and coordination. This eliminates the need for in-person site visits, reduces travel expenses, and promotes environmentally friendly business practices, ultimately enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Advantages of digital twins in construction

The adoption of digital twins in construction offers a myriad of advantages, including:

Improved construction resource management: Digital twins streamline the procurement process, mitigate supply chain disruptions, and optimize resource allocation, fostering harmonization between project progress and deliverables.

Enhanced communication with stakeholders: By providing a common platform for sharing information and coordinating tasks, digital twins facilitate effective communication and collaboration among project stakeholders, thereby enhancing project outcomes.

Informed decision-making and planning: Digital twins serve as proactive planning tools, enabling stakeholders to anticipate challenges, assess risks, and optimize design and construction processes, thereby enhancing decision-making capabilities and project planning.

Automated construction progress monitoring: Through comprehensive progress monitoring, digital twins facilitate real-time tracking of construction activities, ensuring adherence to standards, mitigating errors, and expediting project timelines.

Accurate assumptions and predictions: Digital twins enable the generation of more accurate subcontractor estimates, facilitate virtual punch lists, and enhance construction safety monitoring, thereby minimizing risks and optimizing project outcomes.

Efficient construction safety monitoring: Digital twins enable remote inspections, enhance documentation accuracy, and facilitate virtual measurements, promoting safer construction practices and reducing on-site risks.

Robust handover deliverables for owners: By incorporating detailed asset information and documentation, digital twins facilitate seamless handover processes, empowering owners with comprehensive insights for effective building management.

Digital twin examples in construction

Numerous architecture and construction firms have successfully leveraged digital twins to optimize project workflows and outcomes. Notable examples include:

Corgan's construction project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): By integrating digital twin technology into the construction workflow, Corgan achieved significant improvements in performance and productivity, facilitating efficient documentation, virtual punch lists, and streamlined collaboration.

Takenaka Corporation's utilization of digital twins for remote inspections and collaboration: Through the adoption of Matterport's digital twin technology, Takenaka Corporation streamlined project management processes, reduced processing time, and minimized travel and labor costs, thereby enhancing collaboration and efficiency.

Swinerton's deployment of digital twins for transparent project progress monitoring: Amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, Swinerton utilized digital twin technology to maintain transparency and productivity, facilitating virtual navigation of project spaces, real-time collaboration, and timely decision-making, ultimately preventing delays and ensuring project continuity.

Best practices for implementing digital twin technology

To maximize the benefits of digital twins in construction, adhering to best practices is imperative. Key recommendations include:

Familiarize yourself with rules and regulations: Ensure compliance with local laws and regulations while leveraging digital twins for construction projects.

Invest in staff training programs: Equip personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively utilize digital twin technology, fostering seamless integration and optimization.

Develop a roadmap for digital twin architecture: Outline strategic objectives and implementation plans to align stakeholders and ensure cohesive execution throughout the project lifecycle.

Integrate relevant technologies: Seamlessly integrate digital twin platforms with existing software and systems to optimize interoperability and functionality.

Test scenarios regularly: Continuously simulate various scenarios to anticipate challenges, refine processes, and optimize project outcomes.

Monitor performance metrics: Define and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the effectiveness and impact of digital twin utilization, facilitating iterative improvements and optimizations.


Digital twins represent a transformative force in the construction industry, offering unparalleled capabilities for enhancing collaboration, optimizing processes, and improving project outcomes. As construction companies embrace this innovative technology, they stand to gain a significant competitive advantage, driving efficiency, sustainability, and excellence across project lifecycles. By adhering to best practices and leveraging real-world examples, stakeholders can unlock the full potential of digital twins, revolutionizing the way construction projects are conceived, executed, and managed.


Is a digital twin different from BIM?

Yes, digital twins encompass a broader spectrum of functionalities compared to BIM (Building Information Modeling). While BIM primarily focuses on the creation and management of digital representations of physical assets, digital twins integrate real-time data and enable dynamic interaction with physical counterparts, offering enhanced insights and capabilities.

Is a digital twin a 3D model?

While digital twins often incorporate 3D models as integral components, they transcend traditional 3D representations by integrating real-time data, facilitating dynamic interaction, and enabling advanced functionalities such as predictive analytics and simulation.

Is a digital twin part of IoT?

Yes, digital twins are closely intertwined with the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, leveraging IoT devices to collect real-time data from physical assets and environments. By integrating IoT data into digital representations, digital twins enable enhanced insights, predictive capabilities, and dynamic interaction, fostering innovation and optimization across various domains, including construction.

For more information on digital twins and their implementation in construction projects, explore the digital twin services offered by Techture Global.

In summary, digital twins represent a transformative paradigm in the construction industry, offering unprecedented opportunities for innovation, optimization, and excellence. By embracing this cutting-edge technology and adhering to best practices, construction stakeholders can unlock new dimensions of efficiency, collaboration, and success, shaping a future where digital twins are indispensable tools for realizing construction projects of unparalleled quality and sustainability


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