Claudiu Silvestru, Cultural Heritage Integration Lab | April 09, 2018 | 10 am

The complexity of existing buildings with their irregular geometries, different phases of construction and a multitude of unknown aspects of the state of the fabric determine a specific approach towards BIM. The standardization which makes BIM so appealing to large scale new building projects becomes difficult to achieve. At the same time, the particularities and irregularities of historical buildings increase the added value of BIM for the facility management by providing an overview of present and upcoming tasks despite the complexity of the building.
While for new building projects the implementation of BIM appears most productive at the youngest stage when most aspects of the project – e.g. geometry, construction method, equipment systems etc. – have been well specified, this doesn’t really apply for existing constructions. At the beginning of a new building there are abstract plans, at the beginning of an intervention project there is a construction with all the irregularities of the built reality. Building fabric, spatial structures and specific conservation laws are only a few of the parameters which define a restrictive framework for the design. The different actors involved have particular skills, which don’t necessarily include modeling, feeding or managing a BIM model. Furthermore, setting up a project in BIM is not a cheap undertaking both in terms of costs and time.

© Claudiu Silvestru

In this context one of the first questions to be asked related to the use of BIM technologies on existing constructions is the one about the moment of implementation. Dealing with a historical building at each stage and level from research and survey to planning and executions of interventions, from feasibility studies to facility management and maintenance means interfering in the existing lifecycle of a building. At which stage is BIM economically feasible and for which processes makes it most sense? What is the relationship between the accuracy of the model, the quantity and quality of information and the processes within the life cycle of the building?
We shall discuss this as well as other hot topics in the session “Heritage-BIM between Survey, Planning and Management” at the Visual Heritage in Vienna, November 12-15,2018.


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