Working paper Open Access

Virtual construction with digital twins – The key for leanly planned complex construction systems

Timo Hartmann

Lean construction planning is based on continuous improvement of processes. To this end, in current practice weekly look ahead meetings are planned among all contractors working on a construction project. During these meetings, the construction work and productivity of past weeks are discussed and the work for the upcoming week is planned, sequencing construction activities based on past experiences. While often successful in aligning work flows, current practice, by large, lacks the means to understand past construction work based on empirical productivity data collected from construction sites. Digital twins of construction projects that represent not only the current status on a construction site, but that also provide a digital representation of past construction work through construction simulations that are calibrated with past data, can provide the required empirical information. On the large European Ashvin project, we set out to develop the required digital twin platform and applications to provide such digital twins. This paper describes the envisioned lean construction approach to be developed during the project. Additionally, the paper will provide a number of reflection on how digital supported construction planning can further reduce waste by streamlining resources required for planning activities and by empowering the construction workforce

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