Digital transformation in facility management: An analysis of the challenges and benefits of implementing digital twins in the use phase of a building
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Digital transformation and the adoption of technologies in the AEC-sector can lead to efficiency gains in facility management (FM). Digital twins, that is a living representative of the physical asset building, can facilitate real-time data gathering, data monitoring, data-based decision making and support predictive management. The purpose of this study is to analyse the gap between theory and practice regarding the application of digital twins for FM and to understand the benefits and challenges connected with its implementation during the use phase of a building. Despite the growing interest in this topic in academia, the concept of digital twins in connection with FM is rarely employed in practice in the AEC-industry. The findings obtained through a literature review and a set of semi-structured interviews with experts in the field, show that the main challenges for digital twins in FM relate to the organisational culture and that a robust framework for information management is a benefit for digital twins' implementation. The adoption of digital twins in the built environment needs to be considered in the context of digital transformation. The study supports practitioners with the adoption of digital technologies for the built asset and suggests that future research should examine in further depth the challenges of implementing digital twins.