The Arrival of Digital Twins

Read up a little on digital twin activity in construction and you can be forgiven for thinking offsite capability has just become twice as smart!

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Photo by Toni Hukkanen on Unsplash

The construction industry already applauds how Building Information Modelling (BIM) enables the visualisation, and arrangement, of panels or models. Now, digital twin technology elevates modelling software to a new level.  Digital twins involve digital or virtual replicas of buildings that act as live models. This is recognised as especially beneficial to offsite construction as it can factor in far more data by simulating the environment, physics, and even the inhabitants of a building.

Horizon Offsite heralds Digital Twin’s comprehensive nature

As one of Europe’s leading players in offsite construction and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), Horizon Offsite is well aware of the rapid rate of digital innovation. Horizon Offsite heralds digital twins as especially beneficial to offsite construction (more on this below).

It is early days yet for digital twins, which is not yet widely adopted within the construction industry, but Horizon Offsite believes that will change. Increased digitalisation within the industry means digital twins “will assuredly become a mainstay sooner rather than later”.

A recently posted blog by Horizon Offsite sets out to explain this new digital wonder. It points out that these digital building replicas include data and simulated physics allowing easier decision making and maintenance planning.

“Whereas a BIM model only looks like the intended building, a digital twin behaves like it, too, responding to variables such as occupancy and stress conditions.”

As explained in a Building Smart International article, a digital twin can be an output of a BIM process and is essentially a ‘living’ version of the project or asset view that BIM processes exist to create – able to evolve and transform using real-time data once the asset is in use. It not only takes into account the materials used, but also how a building is used.

Why digital twin technology is an offsite hero

“With a digital twin model, offsite construction companies can track a project’s materials and processes down to the minutiae, simulating a project’s entire construction from start to finish and beyond, where it then serves for the entire lifecycle of the building or asset,” reads the Horizon Offsite article.

In addition, any possible miscalculations or clashes are detected prior to construction. This is not only safer, but virtual testing can enable the use of sustainable alternatives and faster construction times.

It is little wonder, then, that digital twin technology is being lauded for making construction safer, cheaper and more sustainable. Read more about the benefits and effective use of digital twins here.

Horizon Offsite – a Howick client - specialises in providing a fully accredited structural light gauge steel system to the residential, industrial, commercial, healthcare and educational sectors. Contact the Horizon Offsite team at

September 2021   #News