Lendlease has teamed up with Microsoft, Dell, Ansys and the Object Management Group to form a Digital Twin Consortium to create global standards and use cases for the technology.
Digital twins are virtual representations of physical assets that are popular in large-scale engineering and construction projects.
Though digital twins can help owners understand their asset in real-time and test different scenarios, correctly implementing them can be challenging due to a lack of open source software, interoperability issues, market confusion and high costs.
Lendlease, whose digital chief Bill Ruh chairs the new consortium, is using digital twins in all its current and future projects.
Richard Ferris, Lendlease’s chief technology officer of digital twin R&D, said in a statement that the application of these technologies is already “well underway” across its portfolio, “and we are already realising the benefits of this innovation to our overall business”.
The digital twin capability played a part in Lendlease scoring a $21 billion contract to overhaul Google's Bay Area site.
"The time for disruption is now, and requires the entire ecosystem to collaborate together, move away from the legacy which has hindered innovation from this industry, and embrace digital twin technology for the future economic and sustainable prosperity of the built world,” Ferris said.
Key goals of the consortium include:
- Establishing roadmaps and industry guidelines to accelerate the development and application of digital twin technologies;
- Improving the interoperability of existing platforms by developing best practices for security, privacy and trust;
- Reducing the risk of capital projects through effective use of digital twins and developing open source code;
- Influencing the requirements of future digital twin standards.
The Digital Twin Consortium is calling for new members organisations to join early members which include the likes of the US Air Force Research Lab, NSW state government, and digital twin makers Bentley Systems and Sydney’s Willow Technology.
Earlier this year NSW debuted its spatial digital twin of Western Sydney - a precursor to a planned digital copy of the entire state.
Lendlease has previously successfully agitated for a smart building solutions co-operative research centre with the likes of BlueScope and leading engineering universities.