May 19, 2021

DigitalTWIN research project concludes with final symposium

After almost three years, the interdisciplinary research project DigitalTWIN "Digital Tools and Workflow Integration for Building Lifecycles" is coming to an end. The final symposium will take place on May 27, 2021. At the event the research partners will install a demo landscape to show how IT architectures can be set up and used in a practical, scalable and integrated way. As a consortium partner, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) contributed significantly to the research project by developing methods and tools for technical support. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology funded the project as part of the "Smart Service World II" program. The online event is geared towards architects, planners as well as construction companies and crafts enterprises.

The overarching digitization in the construction industry faces a number of challenges:  Changing responsibilities and authorities during the building lifecycle, incompatible interfaces, internationally differing standards and regulations, as well as constantly changing partners concerning planning, manufacturing, and operation. Modern applications with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR) offer solutions to these challenges. In order to ensure the functionality of these technologies, the necessary IT infrastructures have to be created in parallel. It was the DigitalTWIN project’s objective to develop a common digital platform for all partners involved in the building life cycle (planning, manufacturing, assembly, operation and deconstruction). This involved using new wireless technologies (5G) for fast, low-latency and flexible networking, defining standardized interfaces and protocols, and employing state-of-the-art visualization and interaction technologies. Ultimately, DigitalTWIN wants to provide users with a trustworthy and scalable communication and administration infrastructure.

During the project, renowned partners from industry and research further developed digital tools and techniques in order to network and automate services, processes and workflows along the construction value chain. These efforts are now coming to fruition. At the final symposium on May 27, 2021, the consortium will present a demo landscape that models all service phases in the construction process using a lattice shell construction as an example. The concept of IT architectures will be reinterpreted by setting up architecture processes completely digitally - from parametric design to building management. In accompanying keynote sessions, discussion rounds and webcasts, the experts will present their findings in detail. Dr. Stefan Afting, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Haifa Rifai, VDI VDE IT (accompanying research), will give the welcoming speeches.

Fraunhofer HHI’s "Vision & Imaging Technologies" department was involved in DigitalTWIN by developing methods and tools for technical support in manufacturing and assembly on the paperless construction site. The focus was on AR applications. This included the use of glasses-based AR systems that can be integrated into the protective visor of a construction helmet. Thus, users can display additional, superimposed information (planning models, manufacturing instructions) and combine that with the real world.

Furthermore, Fraunhofer HHI’s "Wireless Communication & Networks" department developed concepts for reliable, wireless and 5G-based networking on the construction site as part of the DigitalTWIN project. To this end, the team investigated various expansion scenarios, taking into account the needs of different, possibly independently operating trades. For flexible wireless networking of ICT infrastructure components and for connecting even the most data-rate-hungry applications, adaptable networking solutions were developed based on broadband millimeter wave technology.

The final symposium is open to the public and free of charge. It addresses companies from the construction industry and interested individuals who want to learn more about the digitization of the construction site and related products and services. Planners and architects interested in software and project management tools are also invited.

DigitalTWIN: architecture IT // scale IT // built IT // use IT
•    Thursday, May 27, 2021, 9am to 5pm
•    Register here
•    Program