Heritage BIM is ideal for documentation and development of historical structures

The application of Building information modeling (BIM) becomes more versatile when it offers huge benefits in the documentation and development of historical structures in a system known as historical BIM (HBIM). The process is complicated for transforming point clouds into a 3D model as there are lots of asymmetrical geometries in the concerned buildings. So, various semi-automatic parameterization tools are required.

Historical building information modeling (HBIM) stands for a semantic-aware database of historical buildings, through which the geometric model is associated with explanatory multi-source information. Historical buildings generally comprise of stratified artifacts along with non-regular and complicated geometry, contrasting to present constructions which normally contain regular geometry. Reality-based spatial data that is generated from cutting-edge geomatics 3D modelling methods can deliver a perfect replica of those buildings, containing all the related information, even though the diversified characterizing shapes are a big challenge at the time of modeling the geometry. Often these shapes are remodeled by hand, as there are limitations for impressive automatic recognition. The aims, structure and scale – and consequently the projected level of detail of the model – significantly impact the system to data acquisition (sensors, accuracy) and data processing.

The workflow for HBIM projects commence from data procurement from different sensors in relation to the necessity of context and the projected outputs. Then, the surveyed point clouds should have been pre-processed and curtailed with different systems and standalone software, and possibly modified for segmentation by means of automatic or semi-automatic object recognition into a BIM platform. Besides, elements are modeled and transformed into an approximation of reality in line with parametric rules, so it is likely to adjust each illustration of the model. As a final point, the shapes and the identities of objects should be associated with proper and sound relationships in accordance with the semantic definition of entities. After this, the model is ready to be explored with other information for analysis and monitoring over time. On the other hand, the manual creation of 3D models linked to as-built BIM is complicated and laborious. As the costs and skills necessary for manipulating the data signify that this approach is not justifiable and more automatic or semi-automatic tools for parameterization of metric and non-metric information are essential.

BIM platforms come up with some standalone embedded tools or plug-ins toward 3D modellers, viewers, analysers. They facilitate the best use of point cloud and processing with the intension of generating geometric modelling, feature extraction and parameterization in heritage buildings. Some commercial ones comprise of ArchiCad BIMx by Graphisoft, Scan-to-BIM by IMAGINiT, Revit by Autodesk, BIM360 by Autodesk, Recap by Autodesk, PonitSense by FARO, Leica CloudWorx, Green Spider, Bentley MicroStation V8i and Tekla Structures. Some open-source alternatives are Edificius, Tekla BIMsight and Autodesk Navisworks Freedom by IMAGINiT.

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Heritage BIM is ideal for documentation and development of historical structures