Digital Twins: The Future of Planning in the Evolving Built Landscape, According to JLL
JLL, a top consultant in the MENA region, believes that digital twins are the next stage of innovation in real estate. Omar Kaedbey, Director of Consulting at JLL MENA, states that with the power of technology, the built environment can now create new efficiencies and achieve long-term cost savings.
A digital twin is a virtual representation or model of a physical object, system, or process. It combines technologies such as IoT, machine learning, AI, and data analytics to create a dynamic replica of the physical counterpart in real-time.
Research shows that the global digital twin market is expected to grow from $8 billion in 2022 to over $90 billion by 2032, with a CAGR of 25%. This growth is driven by the increasing adoption of digital twins in various industries, including real estate, as well as advancements in technology. Companies that invest in digital twins gain the ability to take actionable steps and identify opportunities for improvement in the present and future.
Digital twins have become a powerful tool for real estate planning, enabling property owners and managers to make informed decisions about building management and optimization. This leads to reduced energy consumption, lower operating costs, improved building performance, and enhanced occupant comfort. Additionally, digital twins can create more engaging and personalized experiences for building occupants and visitors.
By creating virtual models of cities or regions, planners can simulate different development scenarios and evaluate their impact on energy usage, traffic congestion, air quality, and other factors. This building lifecycle intelligence helps developers decide which projects to pursue.
In the UAE, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are building digital twins in the metaverse. Dubai's 'One Human Reality' aims to create a futuristic, human-centered version of the city, while the 'Abu Dhabi Digital Twin' project uses 3D augmented reality to support decision-making processes.
Architects and engineers can optimize building performance and reduce construction costs by simulating different design scenarios and construction sequencing. Real-time data allows property owners and managers to identify opportunities for improvement in building management decisions. Developers with multiple buildings can monitor and optimize their performance through real-time data on energy usage, occupancy levels, and more.
Digital twins are an exciting area of change in the built environment. Architects and developers can create realistic virtual models of buildings and test different design scenarios using tools like Unreal Engine. This allows for quicker and more efficient iterations compared to traditional design processes. Unreal Engine's interactive virtual tours attract tenants and buyers from around the world, providing an engaging and immersive experience.
Machine learning algorithms analyze real-time data to provide valuable insights into building performance. They can identify patterns, trends, and anomalies, predict energy usage, and detect potential maintenance issues before they become critical.
However, there are challenges and limitations to the use of digital twins in the real estate industry. Interoperability is a major challenge, as different digital twin platforms need to seamlessly integrate with other systems and platforms. Standardization and collaboration across the industry are necessary but complex processes.
Implementing digital twins can be costly and complex, requiring a significant amount of data, computing power, and expertise in areas like data analytics, software development, and engineering. This limits their use to larger and more complex buildings and properties, making them less accessible to smaller property owners and managers.
Despite these challenges, it is crucial for the real estate industry to embrace digital twins and other technological innovations. By doing so, they can remain competitive and relevant in a rapidly changing landscape, creating a more sustainable, efficient, and engaging built environment for all.