Leveraging Digital Twins to Transform Construction
Using the Paradim® platform requires setting and adhering to user guidelines while aggregating information through use of appropriate and efficient technological tools. This process involves frequent exchange of information among project stakeholders using established information exchange protocols to optimize design and construction through iterative workflows. Emphasis is given to setting standards for information exchange to enable reuse of information across disciplines, without loss, to increase productivity through all phases of the project, from concept to operations and maintenance.
Communication, collaboration, and transparent reporting between team members and partners have always been common challenges when executing project delivery. Most large joint venture projects lack a solid digital solution to encompass all integrated digital delivery on a single web platform. The biggest challenge is demonstrated by interoperability and integration of various applications with different formats, files, and proprietary data. Software, files, and data don’t live in the same ecosystem, and therefore won’t be able to communicate or exchange information.
In anticipation of these possible challenges, the Parsons team implemented the Paradim® digital twin solution for the Highway 401 Expansion project to ensure users continued to perform and execute project deliveries and milestones.
Paradim® Use Cases
At the end of the project, the Paradim® platform, with the linked information, will be made available to MTO through continued subscription to the Paradim® dashboard at MTO’s discretion at the current Paradim® subscription rates. Design files will be handed over to MTO in native design file formats.
PARADIM® MODEL DEVELOPMENT WORKFLOW
Design Integration (2D/3D Model)WORKFLOW
Design data (2D and 3D elements) are structured and tagged per the specified element/work breakdown sStructure. Given that the project authoring tools selected for this project do not generate elements per the required structure, the model will need to be extracted and split. The resulting geometry elements will need to be populated with the following attributes. When combined, all the above attribute values will result in a unique code for each 2D/3D element.
Schedule Integration (4D Model)
A 4-dimensional (4D) model is the product of attaching schedule activities to the individual elements of the 3D model. Once linked, the 3D model elements can be animated across the timeline by changing the model element color as per its phase at an instance in time. For example, transparent for non-active, green for under construction, yellow for temporary, model color for built and so on. This animation helps visualize and compare the planned, actual, and anticipated design and construction sequence for the project.
PARADIM® INFORMATION EXCHANGES
Paradim® Vision Dashboard
Paradim® harnesses the power of this modelling technology to create a digital copy or twin of a physical asset. The digitized version serves as a representation of an asset’s physical and functional properties. It then automates the integration of project data aggregated from disparate sources such as schedule, financial, document management systems, and field inspections, and makes it accessible through the user-friendly Vision dashboard. The dashboard provides an interactive 3D model and real-time reporting that enables users to efficiently analyze massive amounts of data in a common data environment. The integrated model is used as a coordination tool among various stakeholders, optimizing the design through an iterative process. Users can review real-time project status and filter linked project information including but not limited to documents, specifications, material test reports, permits, and photos etc. Paradim® Paradim® also determines projections based on the current data and enables stakeholders to make informed decisions.
Custom Apps and Flexible Reporting
Inspections are executed and verified digitally through mobile devices. Inspection records are automatically uploaded to a central database and then linked to the 3D model. Any issues requiring immediate attention are forwarded to the responsible party along with pertinent information such as marked drawings and photos. The use of mobile devices significantly reduces the level of effort required to capture, organize, distribute, and reuse information compared to conventional paper-based processes.
A digital twin is the digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of an asset used as a “single-pane-of-glass” solution. It’s one place where clients can easily and efficiently access the critical data they need to collaborate and ensure a project’s success. The Paradim® Digital Twin represents both an enhanced technology and a process change for the architecture, engineering, construction, and facilities management industry. It is an evolving process for optimizing the design, construction, and operation of the built environment through improved communication, collaboration, and coordination among the various stakeholders of the project.