Autodesk is updating its Tandem digital twin cloud service January 25 to include a facility monitoring beta program. 

As part of the beta, owners and facilities management customers will receive near real-time monitoring and historic trend visualizations that provides insights into how systems come together and how their building's systems perform. Tracking office occupancy trends, strategizing to mitigate peak energy demand and adjusting building systems to tune performance and optimize temperature, humidity, and employee comfort are all capabilities of Tandem in the new beta. For owners, it means Autodesk's long-promised objective of digital twins for FM is being touted as achieved, the ability to spot anomalies ahead of equipment failures to minimize downtime and costs by noticing them in a visual interface where individual parts of building systems can be clicked on to see their performance. 

"Tandem, up until this point, was really focused on BIM to FM process," says Robert Bray, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Tandem. "How do we get data in a digital form structured in a way that is useful to the owner? Now, we can connect that data to live operational information. So, building management systems, other IoT sensors, things like that."

BIM for Facilities Management

Bray said that the entire construction industry, for at least the last 20 years, has talked about taking BIM information directly to facilities management, "but nobody's really been able to kind of solve that problem in a consistent way. That's really what we're striving here for, is not only achieve it in a consistent way, but make it approachable and make it repeatable."

As a proof of concept, Autodesk modeled its two-floor Toronto office in Tandem. All of the HVAC system, all of the equipment and everything that works in the context of building operations is modeled (Autodesk is not charging customers for the use of contextual information, such as modeled pieces of drywall) All pieces of equipment have identity and operations data associated with them that was brought in from the construction process. "Some of this data might come out of the original Revit sources, and some of it might come out of field asset capture during construction, Bray said. Operations sensors constantly update the performance of those pieces of equipment. 

Changes in the way Revit and other Autodesk Construction Cloud programs save equipment data has made the handover of that information to Tandem turnkey in this release, Bray said. "Being able to define a specification for the data and giving the project delivery team the tools to basically fill that in, in an automated way from the Revit sources of asset data being collected in construction or from the commissioning tool, whatever it might be, that allows me to have this structured data right down to things like this piece of equipment."

Even though the equipment data is structured, Bray said the way its saved into Tandem is flexible and that's what makes the handover from construction to FM repeatable. "It's defined as a template. It lives outside their facility. So, basically, they can create many different facilities that follow this template," he said.

Alex Belkofer, virtual design and construction director at McCarthy Building Cos. in St. Louis, has been using the facility monitoring alpha program on McCarthy projects since 2022. 

"We worked with a multi-campus healthcare provider whose big challenge was visualization of life safety standards," he said in a statement. "They needed a solution to map where systems were located in correlation to corridors, and find a way for the life safety team to easily keep their plan current during renovations and new construction projects taking place across the healthcare campus. “Getting one of their facilities into Autodesk Tandem was exponentially valuable because they now had a pane of glass to view BIM data and traditional data that was coming from off-book spreadsheets. It was an 'ah ha moment' when they could see the data visually and make data-informed decisions about their life safety plan.”

Bray said pricing would not change for the Tandem cloud service.