Three exciting potential use cases for property digital twins
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that some PropTech innovations that were less relevant to health and safety were perhaps left by the wayside as real estate firms struggled to respond to the necessities of the outbreak. When your innovation, asset management, and property teams are all engaged keeping people safe or simply working on encouraging people to return to their spaces, who has time for other technologies, even if they are in and of themselves very valuable?
"With over 62 percent of Europeans, 65 percent of Asia-Pacific residents, and 70 percent of Americans and Canadians now having received one vaccine dose, it’s high time property firms start seriously looking again at some of these useful technologies outside the health and wellness niche."
With over 62 percent of Europeans, 65 percent of Asia-Pacific residents, and 70 percent of Americans and Canadians now having received one vaccine dose, it’s high time property firms start seriously looking again at some of these useful technologies outside the health and wellness niche. There are a lot of options for where to start, but today we are talking about digital twin tech.
Property digital twins provide an interactive, visual representation of a building and all its systems, and the most ambitious digital twins combine that representation with data analysis and simulation-running capabilities. These features are meant to enable more effective management, operations, and maintenance. Digital twins come from the world of industrial machinery, where plant managers value having a simple virtual representation of each of your complex machines and the flows of energy and product through them. But they are just as useful for property managers. With a digital twin, there is potentially no data off-limits to capture, analyze, and refine operations with.
According to Deloitte, “Approaching a building as an ecosystem lets you create a digital twin to optimize far more than just energy use. You can completely reimagine things, like air quality, temperature control, furnishings and facilities that respond to human sensitivity and are personalized through a series of personas.” But how is that really applied? Digital twin tech is still in many ways on the cusp of acceptance, and full implementation has yet to sweep the industry.
Beyond just improving HVAC systems, here are three exciting hypothetical use cases to keep in mind when investing time in researching a digital twin system for your property.
Assist in training
Providing clear visual representations of property systems and tools to view data and building facts in different ways is one way to increase the ease of training new employees. Instead of showing them paperwork of energy bills and pictures of different rooms and amenities while training them, being able to employ interactive digital experiences gives company trainers an extra tool while onboarding new talent.
Iterate better solutions
By capturing all of a property’s data, from occupancy to space use trends to furniture layouts to energy use, and combining it with tools that make this information easy to see and use, property firms can begin to experiment with modeling different cases and seeing what results.
Want to see what would happen if you redesign the lobby, with new types of furniture and seating areas? How would that affect occupancy trends of different spaces, energy use, and occupier satisfaction? Just like acquisition teams will stress test a property’s financial model, digital twins will allow property management teams to stress test the physical characteristics of a building. Is lobby utilization greater with extra seating or with a coffee cart? Questions like that and others will be answerable as digital twins are accepted more and more widely.
Commercial real estate is powered by data, and having a way to easily share truly comprehensive property data can save real estate companies time in all sorts of situations. Looking to sell or lease a property? Providing view access to some or all of your digital twin data shows how professional you are, eliminates the back and forth of partners across the negotiating table having to ask for information over and over again, and helps managers avoid combing through their own records to find the information they want to send.
These are just three ways digital twins can help properties stand out and property firms increase their efficiency. Not every property will have the bandwidth to employ each of them, but for those who are interested in really standing out and ushering their building into a new age, why not start with a digital twin?
Want to learn about how Spaceflow can help your property firm attain WELL Building Standard certification? Check out our article here.