Construction 4.0 – the Benefits of a Digital Twin

Smart Building − Better Quality of Life Through Sensor Technologies

Building from Design to Demolition

© Fraunhofer IBP

The digital twin follows all modifications of the real building and dynamically readjusts itself in case of recorded performance differences.

The vision of “construction 4.0” refers to the 4th industrial revolution and is a fundamental challenge for the construction industry. In terms of automated production and level of digitalization, the construction industry is still significantly behind other industries. Nevertheless, the megatrends like Big Data or the Internet of Things offer great opportunities for the future development of the construction sector. Prerequisite for the successful Construction 4.0 is the creation of a digital twin of a building. Building Information Modeling (BIM) with a consistent and structured data management is the key to generate such a digital building whose dynamic performance can be studied by building simulation tools for a variety of different boundary conditions. Along the total life cycle from design to construction, operation and maintenance towards remodeling or demolition, the digital twin follows all modifications of the real building and dynamically readjusts itself in case of recorded performance differences. Thus, for the whole life span of the real building, performance predictions generated with the virtual twin represent an accurate basis for well-informed decisions. This helps to develop cost-effective operation modes, e.g. by introducing new cyber-controlled HVAC systems. The digital twin may also analyze the building’s dynamic response to changes in occupation or energy supply; it also indicates the need for building maintenance or upgrades.