Why We Need Digital Twins For Buildings

Note: This is part two in a series exploring digital twins for buildings. If you haven’t read part one on the modern definition of a building’s digital twin, you might want to start there.


I remember it vividly…

I was a senior in high school, the year was 2005. My soccer team had just won the state championship. As a result, I’d been invited to join a prestigious club team in a nearby city. I was giddy and nervous for the first practice with my new teammates and coaches. 

As I gathered my gear preparing to make the 75-minute drive, I realized I had no idea where I was going. So I did what any tech-savvy teenager would do in those days: I went to the computer, typed in MapQuest.com, and printed myself the step-by-step driving directions to the soccer facility. 

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Defining the Digital Twin for Buildings

Houston, we have a problem.

Quickly after the oxygen tanks exploded early into Apollo 13’s mission in April 1970, the astronauts were fighting for their lives. The whole world held its breath as the now-famous rescue ensued. Engineers in Houston scrambled to sort through technical issues from hundreds of thousands of miles away. 

The rescue was successful because back on earth there was an identical copy of the spacecraft—Apollo 13’s twin. The team could quickly test solutions on the ground without adding risk to the astronauts in space.  

Almost 50 years later, NASA uses the same strategy to understand and manage systems and machines across the solar system. Except today, the twins are virtual and there’s a fancy buzzword to describe them: Digital Twins. 

Continue reading Defining the Digital Twin for Buildings