Developing an integrative framework for digital twin applications in the building construction industry: A systematic literature review

Wuyan Long, Zhikang Bao*, Ke Chen, S. Thomas Ng, Ibrahim Yahaya Wuni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In response to the global advocacy for digitalization, numerous industrial sectors are actively advancing the implementation of digital twins (DTs). However, the construction industry has been slow to adopt DT, lagging behind sectors such as manufacturing and medicine, where digitalization has made significant strides. Given the demonstrated benefits and potential of DT, it is crucial to increase research efforts for enhancing its application in the construction industry. To accurately identify prospective areas for future research, a comprehensive review and analysis of the status quo of relevant research is urgently needed. This study undertook a systematic literature review to understand how DT can enhance operational intelligence in the building construction industry. The findings, based on a review of pertinent literature, revealed that existing studies predominantly focused on the application of DT during the construction phase and the operation and maintenance phase. However, its potential use during the planning and design phase and the demolition and recovery phase was largely overlooked. Three main categories of key digital facilitating technologies for DT in the building construction industry have been identified: (1) data-related technologies; (2) high-fidelity modeling technologies; and (3) model-based simulation technologies. These technologies have finally culminated into an integrative framework. Furthermore, three significant research gaps in the application of DT in the building construction industry have been identified, suggesting future studies explore how to (1) centralize diverse stakeholders from a lifecycle perspective; (2) address various existing technological defects; and (3) establish a universal industry standard. This paper provides a valuable roadmap for relevant stakeholders to understand the status quo of DT application and the existing deficiencies in its full implementation, which should facilitate the efficient digitalization of the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102346
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Early online date9 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • A lifecycle perspective
  • An integrative framework
  • Building construction industry
  • Digital twin
  • Systematic literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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