Why Digital Twin is Important for Architects, Engineers and Construction?

By Anna Liza Montenegro | Digital Twin

Project workflows in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry are deeply fragmented. Gaps in handoffs between planning, design, building, and operations lead to the loss of valuable data. Data loss leads to revenue loss. According to McKinsey in 2016, large projects are up to 80% over budget on average.

How digital twin can help today’s AEC challenges

Digital twin isn’t the latest shiny object. It is solving some major challenges from both the design and owner sides of the equation. 2D plans and specifications remain the industry-standard deliverable for construction documents. However, owners often also ask for BIM (Building Information Modeling) without any means to articulate what they actually need or how they can use it. The typical result? Project teams spend countless, unbillable hours updating models. And, at the end of the day, these models aren’t even useful to the owner because data is trapped in files.

This analog, unclassified, and disconnected data is often an insurmountable challenge for owners and operators to monitor, manage, and fine-tune their assets. They are unable to realize the benefits of smart buildings and end up with siloed data and systems, inaccurate information, and a lack of transparency and important insights.

Now, a digital twin can finally solve this handover problem with all the data and insights at the owner and operator’s fingertips. New innovations are making this easier than ever before, such as Autodesk Tandem which brings project data together from its many sources, formats, and phases to create a data-rich digital hub that tracks asset data from design through operations.


Here are three ways digital twin is poised to benefit project delivery

Design & Construction

Project teams spend countless unbillable hours updating models. Digital twin solutions such as Autodesk Tandem bring project data together from its many sources, formats, and phases to create a data-rich digital hub that tracks asset data from design through operations. The result is a single-pane view of all project insights.

Up to 89% of all IoT Platforms will contain some form of digital twinning capability by 2025.


The digital twin can be connected to the built asset’s systems to collect operational performance data and system models can be created to perform simulation. Owners and operators can monitor and tune energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as support facility utilization and contact tracing. To accomplish these goals, the digital twin must evolve over time and requires a constant feed of data. But in return, nearly 80 percent of an asset’s lifetime value is realized in operations.

As a result of COVID-19, 31% of all respondents use digital twins to improve employee or customer safety, such as the use of remote asset monitoring to reduce the frequency of in-person monitoring.

Planning the Next Facility

Operational data collected through a digital twin informs long-term decisions about investments. The digital twin can be used to produce realistic simulations of updates, predict failures, and even forecast planning needs.

When owners begin operations with a data-rich digital twin made up of objects rather than PDFs and spreadsheets, there is an incredible opportunity to reduce the risk inherent to decision-making.

The global digital twin market size was valued at USD 3.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 48.2 billion by 2026.

Getting started with digital twin

Digital twin isn’t far off in the future—it’s happening now. Learn more about how to join Autodesk’s Project Tandem, digital twin community, and upcoming beta program to build the future together.

Get involved


INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Construction, MEP Engineering, Property Owner & Facility Manager, Structural Engineering

Published on March 25, 2022 in Digital Twin.

About the Author

Marketing Director in New York via San Francisco and Manila. Anna Liza is a trained architect and inspired by technology. A fan of traveling, slow food movement, and summers in Maine with her kids. She has been with Microsol since 2004.