Determining the stationary Digital Twins Implementation Barriers for sustainable construction projects

Saeed Reza Mohandes, Atul Kumar, Abdulwahed Fazeli, Saeed Banihashemi, Mehrdad Arashpour, Clara Cheung, Obuks Ejohwomu, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose-Previous research has demonstrated that Digital Twins (DT) are extensively employed to improve sustainable construction methods. Nonetheless, their uptake in numerous nations is still constrained. This study seeks to identify and examine the digital twin's implementation barriers in construction building projects to augment operational performance and sustainability.

Design/Methodology- An iterative two-stage approach was adopted to explore the phenomena under investigation. General DT Implementation Barriers were first identified from extant literature and subsequently explored using primary questionnaire survey data from Hong Kong building industry professionals.

Findings- Survey results illustrated that Lack of methodologies and tools, Difficulty in ensuring a high level of performance in real-time communication, Impossibility of directly measuring all data relevant to the DT, need to share the DT among multiple application systems involving multiple stakeholders, and Uncertainties in the quality and reliability of data are the main barriers for adopting digital twins' technology. Moreover, Ginni's mean difference measure of dispersion showed that the stationary digital twin's barriers adoption is
needed to share the DT among multiple application systems involving multiple stakeholders.

Practical implications – The study's findings offer valuable guidance to the construction industry. They help stakeholders adopt digital twins' technology, which, in turn, improves cost efficiency and sustainability. This adoption reduces project expenses and enhances environmental responsibility, providing companies a competitive edge in the industry.

Originality /value - This research rigorously explores barriers to Digital Twin (DT)
implementation in the Hong Kong construction industry, employing a systematic approach that includes a comprehensive literature review, Ranking Analysis (RII), and Ginni's coefficient of mean difference (GM). With a tailored focus on Hong Kong, the study aims to identify, analyze, and provide novel insights into DT implementation challenges. Emphasizing practical relevance, the research bridges the gap between academic understanding and real-world application, offering actionable solutions for industry professionals, policymakers, and researchers. This multifaceted contribution enhances the feasibility and success of DT implementation in construction projects within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-75
Number of pages75
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Mar 2024


  • Digital Twins
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • construction projects


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