John Turner, Vice President of Innovative Solutions, Gafcon
John Turner, Vice President of Innovative Solutions As digitalization continues to augment operations across various industries, it seems ironic that the construction sector, which sets the ‘premise’ for those verticals to thrive, remains digitally underserved.

Although the construction industry has been trying to embrace the ideals of digitalization, most purposebuilt solutions available today are far from breaking the siloes of traditional designbid-build methodologies. For example, solutions such as BIM and PMIS rarely go beyond the scope of architecture (design) and contracting (construction). There isn’t technology or solution in the market that imparts the ‘big picture,’ especially to key stakeholders, including owners who build and operate facilities and infrastructures.

This is where Gafcon Digital takes center stage. The company unifies different construction and infrastructure operations technologies under the umbrella of the digital twin concept—derived from use case-specific digital threads— to foster the notion of the digital building lifecycle. “We are bringing a digital transformation to building lifecycle management - the scope of which extends beyond design and construction,” says John Turner, Vice President of Innovative Solutions, Gafcon Digital.

Imparting the Magic of Digital Twins on Infrastructure Projects

As the digital projection of real-world infrastructure and systems, digital twins have famously helped achieve process and project improvements across industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and automotive, to name a few. While the technology has created waves in urban planning and construction-built environments, its potential use for infrastructure-level projects in terms of the build, operation, and maintenance cycles has largely been unexplored. Building owners and leaders of infrastructure projects have always been interested in investigating digital twin technologies to break project siloes and unify disparate workflows. Unfortunately, the industry is lagging in adopting the digital twin due to hesitance, uncertainties, and the lack of sound plans.

Changing this norm, Gafcon Digital is succeeding in moving the construction industry into a modern, digitalized, fast-paced one, ensuring that the owner, not its contractors or sub-contractors, owns the data. Gafcon Digital carries the 30-year-old construction project management legacy of its parent company, Gafcon Inc. to enhance the construction industry with the prowess of digitalization.

Gafcon Digital enables its clients to chart their digital twin journey to holistically improve their built environment projects. As a result, building owners can reduce operational and maintenance costs, attain better collaboration with building or construction project stakeholders, and increase project efficiency and profits. Enabling higher coordination across building lifecycles,

Gafcon Digital: Fostering the Evolution of BIM to Digital Twins

Our prime focus is to leverage all the digital building lifecycle data into understanding what is happening within a building at certain phases from an owner’s perspective

Gafcon Digital reduces decisionmaking overheads and uncertainties.

“Our team can work with any software our client chooses or guide them toward software packages that best meet their project’s needs,” states Turner. “We can integrate with every kind of project data including BIM, digital twin solutions, BMS, CMMS, and data warehouse in a single and unified platform.” Gafcon Digital works with all stakeholders of a project and provides digital assets that are foundational to using a digital twin in the design, build, maintenance, and operations phases of the building’s lifecycle.

Gafcon Digital delivers a managed digital experience that empowers owners and their engineers, trade partners, architects, and vendors teams. The new collaborative and integrated environment allows its partners to have visibility and transparency across the stages of their new-build, TI, renovation, and retrofit projects. “Our prime focus is to leverage all the digital building lifecycle data into understanding what is happening within a building at certain phases from an owner’s perspective. Owner-operators can replicate building project processes across locations without going through the hassle of reinventing the wheel each time.”

The Five-fold Approach to Unlocking Benefits of Digital Twin

Gafcon Digital adopts a well-defined and powerful five-fold approach to help clients unlock the digital building life cycle benefits. It starts with understanding the technologies that the client has already adopted to leverage and maximize the potential of current investments. This is followed by assessing foundational data and finding opportunities to create standardized designs that can be replicated. The third—and the most significant step—involves identifying and automating the digital thread. The next step pertains to process management and synchronization to simulate the performance of buildings with the digital twin technology. Lastly, the company observes and tests how the buildings are actually performing. “We are really rolling our sleeves up and working with the owners to show what needs to be done. And then we help them do it,” adds Turner.

With such a comprehensive approach, the company has scripted a large number of success stories. Today, Gafcon Digital caters to some of the well-established names in the industry, including Fortune 50 companies. With its ability to service clients and create BIM-enabled workflows anywhere in the world, Gafcon Digital has expanded its footprint to more than 20 countries,
  • We are bringing a digital transformation to building lifecycle management - the scope of which extends beyond design and construction

Going All-in for the Construction Industry’s Digital Makeover

despite the worldwide lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gafcon Digital’s esteemed membership and active participation in the Digital Twin Consortium further exemplify the company’s commitment to enforcing comprehensive digitalization in construction projects and infrastructure management. The consortium is a global partnership involving academia, industry experts, and governments. It aims to drive the adoption, development, interoperability, and use of the digital twin technology while propelling innovation through consistent approaches and open source development. Gafcon is a groundbreaker member, having joined on day one and positions itself in the consortium as a thought leader, providing the lessons and innovative approaches to advance best practices, intelligence, and standardization of digital twin processes, especially for construction and infrastructure projects. “The Digital Twin Consortium will provide the means for the community to understand the benefits of a digital twin lifecycle at the exact time when the construction and operation of buildings and factories needs to be aligned,” comments Turner.

Turner is one of the co-authors of the consortium’s whitepaper, ‘Infrastructure Digital Twin Maturity: A Model for Measuring Progress,’ published this August. The whitepaper interestingly describes the various maturity levels as: Dinosaur—those who are resistant to digital twins and digitalization of legacy projects; Average—the passive observers of digital twins who leverage automation but still operate in siloes; Leader—the active digital twin observers who embrace data sharing, but does not involve business owners in the process; Evangelist—who defines active digital twin prototypes and data sharing between point solutions; and Pioneer—those adopting digital twins across their organizations and eventually the supply chain.

The whitepaper also outlines a five-stage process— whose enforcement Gafcon Digital has already mastered. Infrastructure stakeholders can follow this process based on their organization’s digital twin maturity level to ultimately become digital twin pioneers.

“We want organizations to evolve into a more mature version of themselves and our team is chalking out ways to improve their organizational efficiency. We are primarily focused on standardizing operations, imparting the ability to replicate aspects within the process, and comprehensively understand the whole aspect of the digital thread while enabling latest technology platforms,” concludes Turner.