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Ontario exploring tech for infrastructure construction

By Adam Freill   

Construction Software

Province to test digital twin technology on three complex projects in effort to speed delivery of critical infrastructure projects.

The Ontario government is testing the application and benefits of digital modelling technology with the use of digital twins to help deliver key infrastructure projects such as hospitals, highways and transit on time and on budget.

PHOTO: Adobe Stock/Black_mts

“Our government is exploring innovative new technologies to help build critical infrastructure faster and more cost-effectively,” said Kinga Surma, the province’s minister of infrastructure. “From start to finish, digital twins will help ensure that project partners involved in the building process have access to timely, accurate and state-of-the-art data to advance the delivery of Ontario’s infrastructure for our growing communities.”

Digital twins are virtual models of existing and planned assets. When mapped for construction projects, they can be used to help identify and resolve problems before work begins. Using a digital twin for underground utilities, for example, can help reduce the risk of delays and cost overruns on projects.

The province has selected the Trillium Health Partners’ Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital redevelopment, the Ontario Place rebuild and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension to test the digital modelling technology. The projects were chosen, it says, because of their complex utility systems such as existing and planned electrical, water, gas and wastewater services. By identifying and mapping the location of these underground utilities in a virtual model, the province says costly and dangerous utility conflicts can be avoided, which will help improve worker safety, save money and ensure projects are completed on time.


The testing is expected to cost $5 million as Infrastructure Ontario partners with local and global organizations, including Toronto Metropolitan University and the United Kingdom’s Geospatial Commission, to leverage their experience with digital twins and explore solutions to help modernize the delivery of public infrastructure.

Ontario has plans to spend over $190 billion in key infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, as part of its Building a Better Ontario: 2024 Ontario Budget.




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