Digital twins for a more sustainable future

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April 13, 2021

The world saw many changes in 2020; the novel coronavirus pandemic required us to rethink many of our pre-conceived notions about our daily habits, goals, and business strategies.

However, not all of the changes of the new decade will be related to public health. The 2020s are also what many experts are calling the Decade of Action; this is because these years will be vital to reaching the United Nation’s sustainability goals proposed for 2030. The decisions we make in this crucial decade will have lasting implications for the future. Will your team be ready?

As we move into 2021 and beyond, green innovation is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. And for good reason- smart new collaborative solutions are necessary to control the Earth’s climate and create a brighter future for us all. If you want to take the next step to do your part in building a greener tomorrow to promote lasting change in your industry, then 3D imaging can help.

At Fastmap, we’re all about expanding the horizons of what is possible for your projects. We want to help you aim higher, dream bigger, and achieve more. One of the ways we are dedicated to this mission of expansive thinking is through our commitment to emissions-reductions.

The next decade of progress in the property and construction industries will be defined by initiatives to cut down on emissions and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability goals

The Problem

At FastMap, we believe in science. Science is what drives our mission, our values, and the cutting-edge technology solutions we deliver. We believe that knowledge is empowering, and that when we have the right data to make smarter choices, we can expand our horizons of what is possible. When it comes to the future of our planet, the science is clear- major change is necessary to ensure a sustainable future for ourselves and our children.

As of May of 2020, the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere was higher than it has ever been in our planet’s recorded history. Emissions from coal, fossil fuels, and greenhouse gases are one of the main culprits in the damage being done to our planet. That means, the task for the problem solvers of the future is to reshape the way we use fuels to cut emissions and preserve our planet. At FastMap, we are committed to rising to this unique challenge.

The data is clear: global emissions need to be lowered, and the construction industry accounts for a large percentage of these emissions. According to a study by World Green Building Council, the building and construction industry is responsible for 39% of worldwide carbon emissions, with 11% of these emissions coming from “upfront” carbon. Upfront carbon refers not to the carbon produced by building projects and their materials themselves, but the carbon used in the processes of developing construction projects. These are emissions that come largely from travel and transport. The other 28% percent of worldwide carbon emissions, then, is generated by the operations of these developments themselves once they are constructed; this means the emissions are emitted by the habits and routines of the people living and working inside the completed buildings.

This leaves construction and development professionals with two primary emissions challenges: first, cutting down on the travel and fuel expenses involved in the construction and development process. Second, creating sustainability-optimized buildings that don’t use unnecessary resources or generate unnecessary pollution. With these two challenges in mind, major changes are needed across the industry in order to build a greener future. Luckily, digital 3D technology provides compelling solutions to both of these problems.

3D Solutions

3D imaging is revolutionizing the way design, construct and maintain the built world. One of the most exciting advancements in this tech recently is the expansion of 3D digital twin capabilities. If you are looking for strategies for cutting emissions from your projects, then 3D imaging technology can provide eye-opening solutions. Here are the two main ways that 3D digital twins can solve emissions problems:

Reduce Site Visits

3D imaging is developing rapidly, becoming faster, more detailed, and more accurate every day. That means that you can get accurate information and visualizations of your project without having to be there (or hire someone to be there) in person. When less in-person visits are necessary, less emissions are created from travel. Our team of experts at FastMap can help you take the first step to reducing your projects’ emissions through 3D technology with industry-leading digital twins.

Build & Maintain Smarter

Today’s 3D digital tech is so sophisticated that modern digital twins can provide real-time data about emissions generated by a given project. When you can keep track of your properties’ emissions, you can pinpoint strategies for optimizing sustainable fuel usage.

In addition to cutting emissions, digital twins can provide many other benefits to streamlining your operations and expanding your horizons. So, let’s explore what exactly a digital twin is, and how this influential new tech can help propel your projects into the future.

What is a Digital Twin?

So many technological advancements today can be thought of as bringing us closer to virtual reality. In many ways, the mission of FastMap’s digital 3D imaging tech is to build more “VR” capabilities into your projects.  A digital twin is called a “twin” because it is an identical, scaled version of a physical object. Digital twins can be used to represent the features of a given property using real-time data, so you can “be there” without being physically present on the site.

Digital twins are changing the game for property owners, developers, surveyors, and AEC professionals. Digital Twins can be created for a wide variety of projects and properties, from buildings to paving projects, from mining projects to solar panels. With a virtual representation of your properties at your fingertips, you can promote expanded and efficient collaboration, reduce unnecessary expenses, and foster sustainable operations.

Promote Collaboration

The internet is changing the meaning of connection. In our new digital world, interpersonal interaction is changing rapidly each day, and these changes have major implications for the development and construction industries. With 3D imaging, you can make sure that your projects maximize future-minded collaboration.  Here are three collaborative benefits to  keep in mind:

Maintain Collaboration

Though on-site estimates and inspections have always been logistical stressors, the novel coronavirus pandemic has made these processes even more difficult to navigate. In an age of social distancing, industries across the world have had to reconsider the way in-person business is conducted. For property developers and workers, this means re-thinking estimation, inspection, assessment, and client relations. Inspecting properties and meeting clients in person for estimation and assessment is not always convenient, or even safe, when so many companies have employees working from home.

However, despite the need for distance, collaboration is still essential to the success of your projects. Without effective communication and collaboration, projects can’t expand to the next level of innovation, and you are more likely to encounter difficulties in growing your client base. 3D technology provides collaborative solutions even when physical distance is necessary. Let your clients and employees know you value their safety by replacing more in-person collaboration with digital solutions.

Create Open Communication

3D digital twins don’t just make in-person processes simpler under the constraints of the pandemic, they also create opportunities for optimized communication between your team and your clients, buyers, and tenants. Because digital twins can provide you with up-to-date data about the energy used and energy wasted by your projects, you can create more transparency between your goals and the goals of those who live or work on the property. At FastMap, we provide you with the high-quality, detailed data you need to make smart judgements, together.

Establish Green Partnerships

Not only do 3D digital twins make it easier to communicate with clients at every phase of the development process, they also make your company and your projects more valuable in the new eco-friendly market, opening the door for connection with new clients who share your values. As people everywhere become more conscious of the importance of promoting green business models, more clients are seeking to work with companies who prioritize emission-reduction practices. When you reduce emissions through 3D imaging, you can show potential clients and partners that you share their smart and sustainable values, fostering forward-thinking collaboration possibilities.

Cut Unnecessary Costs

Sometimes, what’s better for the world is also better for your wallet. In any building or development projects, resources equal money. Therefore, any tool that helps you cut down on fuel emissions is likely to also help you cut down on unnecessary fuel expenditures, streamlining your operations for a better bottom line. Here are three of the main ways that digital twins can cut costs for your projects:

Cut Travel Costs

Traveling on-site to estimate, inspect or survey is time consuming and costly. For years, these expenses have been written-off as just a necessary part of the construction and development process. But at FastMap, we believe that there’s a better way. High quality 3D digital twins can reduce on-site visits by up to 90%, allowing professionals to conduct virtual walk-throughs from the comfort of their home or office. Not only is this convenient, it is also an easy strategy for cutting costs. Accurate 3D imaging and digital mapping provides workers with up-to-date and accurate knowledge about ongoing milestones and schedules, reducing the chance for miscommunications, costly re-work, and unnecessary travel.

Optimize Workforce

Not only do on-site visits contribute to costly fuel expenses, they are also costly to schedule and manage. If you manage multiple properties, projects and service providers, scheduling on-site walkthroughs add to the time and expense of labor. With the help of FastMap, you can invite project teams and vendors to work from almost anywhere, enabling operation and project management teams to work smarter and more efficiently without the added overhead.

Track Carbon Reduction

Digital twins allow you to track the emissions used by your properties and projects in real time. Not only does this mean that you can promote greener practices, but also that you can save money on resources across the board. Wasted resources mean wasted money, but traditional property management strategies can make it difficult to identify wasteful practices. Now, new digital imaging tech has a solution. Digital twins can help you track things like electricity, gas, and water used by your properties, and pinpoint potential warning signs of waste, so you can guarantee maximum efficiency.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

Though improving collaborative potential and cutting costs are two excellent benefits of using a 3D digital twin, it’s important to remember the big picture when it comes to these technologies: cutting emissions to create more sustainable projects.

As digital twin technology improves day by day, developers are finding ways to use this revolutionary new tech not only to cut down on travel and fuel used during construction, but to track the emissions of completed projects. A digital twin is capable of using real-time data to keep you up-to-date on the emissions status of your project, so you know exactly how much energy is used and where. Developments in the UK are already benefiting from the emissions-monitoring capabilities of digital twins. At FastMap, we believe in the power of data. When you have accurate data, you have the full picture of your projects’ strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to make necessary changes for optimized sustainability.

At FastMap, we believe that convenience and sustainability go hand-in-hand. That’s why we’re embracing digital possibilities for reducing the distance between you and your properties. With digital twins of your projects, you will cut travel time, meaning that you emissions from fossil fuels while freeing up more of your own valuable time. When you spend less time traveling, you and your team can focus on developing innovative strategies and solutions for future sustainable growth.

The United Nations’ sustainability goal deadline gets closer every day. With 2030 on the horizon, it’s time that businesses everywhere start thinking about what the future can and should look like. The next decade of progress in the property and construction industries will be defined by initiatives to cut down on emissions and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability goals. Consumers will be looking to industry leaders to honor their sustainable values- will your team be ready?

In response to a 2018 global study, 81% of respondents said that they believe companies have a responsibility to work towards a sustainable world. For those of us in the construction and development industry, that means reducing emissions. Builders who can show that they have the interest of The Earth in mind will appeal to buyers and clients with a shared interest in supporting green values. To guarantee that your projects have a competitive edge in our eco-minded future, focusing on reducing emissions is absolutely essential.

At FastMap, we believe that sustainable tech should be simple and accessible for all. No matter your project, we want to help you expand your green capabilities with our cutting-edge digital 3D technology. Book a consultation to start sitting up a digital twin for your next project and start shaping a greener future today.

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