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An up-to-date digital twin of your real estate with Spotr and Luxs

September 14, 2022

With a digital twin of your real estate, you can make well founded decisions about maintenance and sustainability improvements. The only problem is: a lot of data is needed to create a digital twin. Collecting data is often expensive and time consuming. And once all data is captured, it is very challenging to keep the digital twin up to date. How do you ensure that everyone in the organization can trust that the digital twin is not outdated? Together with housing associations, Spotr and
Luxs found the solution to this problem.

Why a digital twin

In the past few years, more housing associations have started working with a digital twin of their real estate. In other words: a digital representation of a building in which all real estate data comes together. The main reason for this is to have up-to-date insight into the condition of their real estate and being able to make well-founded decisions about, for example, its maintenance. Currently, many housing associations still set up their budgets with large uncertainty, ranging from 50% to 200% uncertainty. This has a huge impact on their future plans.

The uncertainty is mainly due to outdated data. Information about real estate portfolios is currently often stored in different parts of the organization and it is often unclear whether that information is still up to date. Any attempt to digitize data will not not lead to the desired insights, because the outdated information is unreliable. This is a nuisance in daily work of maintenance employees, project and program managers, real estate employees and service employees. A reliable digital twin offers a solution for these problems.

The traditional digital twin: expensive and time consuming

However, setting up a traditional digital twin is expensive and time consuming. First of all, it is expensive to digitize existing data in general and second of all, this data is often incorrect. That is also the case with taking new measurements with a point scanner, to be able to make a 3D representation of your building. Besides, this model is often static ('locked up' in Revit or Autocad), locally on a computer and therefore not accessible to everyone in your organization. How do you ensure that the digital twin remains up to date? And how do you enable portfolio analyses with this digital twin?

Higher quality digital twin, faster and cheaper

In the past few years, we’ve seen more and more housing associations struggle with this problem, which is why we decided to come up with a solution together. With the combination of Spotr and Luxs, it is possible to reliably store all up-to-date data from your property’s exterior and interior in a central place within the organization. Since we work with recent datasets instead of drawing specifications from 30 years ago, you can set up a complete, high-quality digital twin with Spotr and Luxs. Best part? It is also faster and cheaper.

Spotr allows you to inspect buildings from behind your desk through a visual database that provides up-to-date insights about your properties, including GIS maps and interior images. Luxs ensures that the floor plan and 3D visualization are realized and coupled with data from other processes and systems, such as its own systems and those of partner organizations, to make sure the digital twin keeps 'itself' up-to-date.

The Estate Profile of a large estate. Here you can find all the images of the estate, including the images per address and drone photos.

Yearly surveys and your digital twin

Now, how do you start setting up a digital twin? Creating your digital twin can be combined with yearly surveys. With Spotr, you can execute surveys digitally, making the collected data immediately available in the digital twin. This also saves up to 70% surveying time and substantial annual surveying costs. With Luxs, you can quickly and accurately measure dimensions based on 2D floor plans (paper and digital) with smart software and ensure that these remain up to date. Luxs then converts this data into 3D, after which the data is immediately available in the digital twin. This way, yearly data collection can be combined with setting up your own digital twin.

A 3D model of an estate made with drone photos and Streetview images. It's possible to change the viewing angle and zoom in to check specific elements.

Managing the digital twin

One important requirement for keeping your digital twin manageable is that data can be shared openly. It should not be "locked up" in specific software systems that are only accessible to a lucky few. It should be stored in an open ecosystem, in which different datasets can be synchronized – just like the apps on your phone.

This makes it possible to:

  • Keep your digital twin up-to-date without constant manual work;

  • Validate the interior using the exterior and vice versa (for example, the number of facade openings on the floor plan versus the number on an image);
  • Add object types at a later time as new imagery or techniques become available, without having to re-model;
  • Create a self-learning system based on the (data) changes from reality.

With this approach, you opt for a structural solution in which the data in your digital twin is continuously updated. This opposes traditional project-based approaches, in which the property is mapped once, based on old floor plans and scans.

Data-driven decision making with a digital twin

The largest advantage of working with an up-to-date digital twin with smart connections to other software systems is that you can make data-driven, integrated decisions.

When you have one digital twin per estate, you can make plans for that specific estate, but you cannot zoom out to see the big picture. In short, you cannot do any portfolio analyses. With a digital twin in the cloud this ís possible. For example, you can find answers to questions like: “Where in our portfolio is a high potential for installing solar panels?” “Which homes do not yet comply with sustainability legislation?” Or: “How many south-facing windows in our portfolio need a paint job?'.

In addition, with a digital twin you can combine decision making in several areas, because you have an overview of your entire portfolio. Instead of starting one project on sustainability and another on maintenance, you’ll have all the insights needed to start one project in which all all possible themes can be included at once.

Finally, there are many operational advantages to working with a digital twin. For example, data for home valuation is automatically kept up to date, there’s no need for unnecessary early replacement of equipment and it is possible to respond quickly to questions and needs of tenants.

Ready to get started with your own digital twin?

Spotr and Luxs are currently working together on digital twin projects for housing associations like Woonstad Rotterdam, Arcade and Rhenam Wonen. Would you also like to work with an up-to-date digital twin of your real estate portfolio? Request a demo here; we are happy to tell you more.