An intelligent BIM-enabled digital twin framework for real-time structural health monitoring using wireless IoT sensing, digital signal processing, and structural analysis

Xi Hu, Gulsah Olgun, Rayan H. Assaad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Structural health monitoring (SHM) of civil infrastructure is critically important due to its direct influence on public safety and economic activities. Exiting Building Information Modeling (BIM)-based SHM systems often use offline data processing techniques to analyze and visualize structural health data. Despite some of them adopting Internet of Things (IoT) to enable real-time sensor data collection, sensor data quality still remains uncertain due to a lack of sensor signal preprocessing in those existing systems. Additionally, the IoT-based SHM systems often disregard structural analysis domain knowledge, which is important for accurate and precise SHM. Therefore, there is still a need to improve existing systems and practices by enabling more efficient and reliable data collection and processing as well as providing more representative SHM data visualization in BIM. As such, this paper proposes an intelligent BIM-enabled digital twin (DT) framework that integrates wireless IoT sensing and communication, digital signal processing (DSP), and structural analysis domain knowledge. The proposed system (1) leverages IoT sensing and wireless communication to enable autonomous and real-time SHM sensor data collection and transmission, (2) applies and compares multiple DSP techniques to preprocess the sensor data/signals, and (3) innovatively embraces structural analysis expertise into structural behavior visualization in BIM by performing sensor data interpolation for enabling the visualization of structural behaviors at different locations of a structural element/component. The proposed BIM-enabled DT framework was demonstrated and tested for monitoring and visualizing the structural deformations of critical structural components using a prototyped structural frame subject to bending forces. The developed framework could be used and extended for any structural elements (such as beams, columns, trusses, slabs, arches, bracings, walls, footings, foundations, and girders, among others) and could be applied to any kind of structure. Experimental results showed that the proposed framework could effectively monitor and intuitively visualize the structural deformations under different load configurations with a high DT updating frequency of 5 Hz. The innovation of this study is reflected by integrating structural analysis expertise with IoT-enabling sensing data analytics in order to improve the representativeness of real-time structural behavior visualization in BIM and to advance the DT-based SHM systems in a faster and more adaptive direction. Ultimately, this paper contributes to the body of knowledge by developing a generic and easily extendable BIM-enabled DT framework for SHM with high sensor data quality and improved visualization to advance the existing practices of BIM-based SHM for civil infrastructure asset management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124204
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
StatePublished - Oct 15 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Building information modeling
  • Digital twins
  • Signal processing
  • Structural health monitoring


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