Understanding the complexities of managing historic buildings through heritage BIM: a case study of Durham Cathedral

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Abstract

The adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the management of built heritage is an exciting prospect, but one that presents some unknowns and complexities additional to those of modern buildings. If challenges can be identified and overcome, the adoption of Historic Building Information Modelling (HBIM), could offer a number of advantages, including: more efficient and effective archiving, monitoring, inspection and surveying of sites; better evaluation of conditions and historical development; and more informed procurement, estimating and scheduling of interventions, particularly those that are outsourced. HBIM offers a new approach of visualising and managing historic building and estates by offering efficiency and effectiveness in the conservation, long-term management and presentation of historic built assets. The key factors are (1) the ‘parametric’ and ‘intelligent’ potential of BIM; (2) the capacity of BIM to embed non-geometric information (specifications, material properties, reports, etc. along with unique theoretical and heritage information associated with heritage buildings); and (3) the accessibility and flexibility to access and utilise the data, both graphical and non-graphical. However, despite this potential, and growth in interest, there has, to date, been little research into what Maxwell’s (2014) COTAC BIM4Conservation report highlights as ‘a specific HBIM approach that is coherent and relevant, whilst also taking fully into account the wide diversity of issues that affect the heritage’. It is from this challenge, that the research discussed in this paper aims to contribute. Using Durham Cathedral as a case study, this paper presents an overview of BIM-based workflow processes and technologies applied to improve the way this UNESCO world heritage site is managed. The paper sets out the challenges and complexities in managing the estate and provides an insight into the approach taken to capture and visualise a HBIM solution that provides functionalities that improves efficiencies compared with traditional pre-BIM workflows. In doing so, the research provides an underpinning narrative for understanding the potential advantages, disadvantages, challenges and drivers of HBIM adoption for facilities management across the heritage sector. The paper draws conclusions and areas of future research that identify the need for a stronger understanding of the culture within heritage building for managing historic assets, and identification of Heritage Information Requirements (HIR) and the unique theoretical and heritage information associated with heritage buildings, in order to deliver a coherent and relevant HBIM approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in ICT in Design, Construction and Management in Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 36th CIB W78 2019 Conference
EditorsBimal Kumar, Farzad Rahimian, David Greenwood, Timo Hartmann
PublisherNorthumbria University
Chapter26
Pages264-274
ISBN (Electronic)9781861354860
ISBN (Print)9781861354877
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2019
Event36th CIB W78 2019 Conference: Advances in ICT in Design, Construction and Management in Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) - Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Sep 201920 Sep 2019
http://cibw78.northumbria-eee.co.uk/

Conference

Conference36th CIB W78 2019 Conference
Abbreviated titleCIBW78
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle upon Tyne
Period18/09/1920/09/19
Internet address

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