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Centre for Digital Built Britain completed its five-year mission and closed its doors at the end of September 2022

This website remains as a legacy of the achievements of our five-year foundational journey towards a digital built Britain

To understand how transformative the Gemini Principles are to the development of digital twins, we looked at academic literature for any examples where digital twin implementations were based on similar precepts. The result is a light-touch scoping review on principle-based digital twins, now available online. 

Followers of this blog will already be familiar with the basics of digital twins, but for those wanting a reminder, CDBB has produced a useful video:

The scoping review also touches on the various uses of the term ‘digital twin’ that exist throughout the literature, but comes back to The Gemini Principles for its definition, based on the reciprocal relationship between assets and their digital counterparts. 

We found that digital twins based on an explicit foundation of purpose were seldom reported. However, in the world of smart cities a focus on citizens’ well-being and environmental sustainability is driving uptake of digital twins and similar technology to manage assets and services that work for public good. This represents the closest analogous work to the Gemini Principles. 

The one aspect of the Gemini Principles that was well-reported is function. Of course, improvements to the performance of buildings and infrastructure are incredibly important, and there is a rapidly growing body of work, as you can see from the graph below, attempting to solve various problems of functionality, scalability and other technical barriers. However, many more barriers exist that are more social and cultural in nature that will be more complicated to solve, such as trust in the security and transparency of digital twins, and understanding how they can help translate data into business value. 


The full review is available online and may be of interest to academics wishing to have a quick overview of the literature as a basis for further research, and to anyone in industry wanting to understand common motivations for implementing digital twins. It also reinforces the value of the Gemini Principles as a standard for ensuring that digital twins deliver on promises of public good through clearly articulated purpose, mechanisms to ensure trust and technological advancements that enable data and information to radically transform the way the built environment functions.  

If you are using the Gemini Principles to guide your digital strategy or digital twins, please be in touch to share your story and insights.  

This research was funded by the Construction Innovation Hub, funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.