BIM4Heritage – BIM for the future


BIM4Heritage is a special interest group established within the BIM4Communities to champion Building Information Modelling (BIM) within the historic environment. Edonis Jesus, Chair of the Group and BIM Manager, Consulting – Europe at Lendlease outlines the Group’s aims

The BIM4Heritage group is formed by various specialists, including those from within the AEC industry, conservation, heritage organisations, academic departments and end-users.

Organisations currently involved include: APM, Arup, BIM Task Group, Butler Hegarty Architects, CIAT, CIOB, COTAC, Dannatt Johnson Architects, English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, IHBC, Lendlease, MOLA, MRDA, National Trust, OPW, Page Park Architects, Parliamentary Estate Directory, Plowman Craven, Purcell, Royal Academy of Arts, Ramboll, University of East London and University of Reading.

The committee management team comprises:

  • Edonis Jesus (Lendlease) – Chair
  • Ingval Maxwell (COTAC) – Vice-Chair
  • Paul Bryan (Historic England)
  • Steve Scaysbrook (CIAT)

The vision of the BIM4Heritage Group is to provide a forum for organisations and industry professionals to share knowledge and lessons learnt on BIM applied to historic structures.
Group goals:

• Develop consistency of messaging, support and standards of BIM Implementation within the historic built environment;
• Provide opportunities for communicating best practice, and debating issues concerning the adoption of BIM in both private and public sectors, and with increasingly advanced applications of BIM;
• Collaborate with other BIM4 Communities to advance knowledge and influence understanding in the broader context of the industry and built environment, and to initiate the culture change necessary to fully benefit from digital and information technologies and processes;
• Provide leadership in establishing how BIM can be used for heritage conservation, repair and maintenance processes;
• Promote historic structures BIM case studies to demonstrate best practice;
• Establish collaborative links to academia;
• Ensure that the group activity and outputs are coordinated and integrated with the other BIM4 community groups and CIC regional hubs.

How is BIM being utilised in this sector?

The subject of BIM in relation to the heritage sector has been discussed since the early stages of Level 2 BIM developments, however, BIM has rarely been used in the sector.

Now that the industry is more familiarised with BIM technologies and processes and starting to perceive the benefits, the use of BIM in the sector is becoming more frequent.

Perceived benefits of using BIM for heritage:

• Support activities to the understanding of the historic built environment;
• Digital representation of historic structures;
• Support CRM assessments and decision-making;
• Assist archaeological/structural analysis;
• Enhance building performance;
• Support the management of heritage information;
• Improve communication with the public;
• Demonstrate safe methods of working, logistics planning and movement;
• Support conservation, restoration, rehabilitation, repair and maintenance activities;
• Capture knowledge.

What challenges are there regarding implementing BIM?

The main challenges of BIM implementation within the heritage sector are:
• High cost of data processing (3D Modelling);
• Lack of BIM standards for the historic environment (although existing BIM specifications give a good foundation for using BIM within the heritage sector, these need to be extended to define standard processes for capturing, modelling and defining information requirements for the historic environment);
• Potential of BIM application to the historic environment not fully explored – interfaces of BIM in relation to conservation and heritage science processes not yet identified;
• Lack of research;
• Lack of published case studies.

Awareness within the sector

A great part of the sector is unaware of the potential benefits of using BIM to support the understanding, conservation, restoration, rehabilitation, repair and maintenance of the historic built environment.

What BIM4Heritage will do to increase the BIM message

One of the main purposes of the BIM4Heritage group is to promote the learning, awareness and understanding of BIM within the conservation and heritage sector and to that end, we have recently created a website (still in development) to share the group findings. In addition, we aim to host events to hold presentations and discussions on BIM related to the historic built environment. ■
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Edonis Jesus
BIM Manager, Consulting – Europe
Tel: +44 (0)20 3430 9000


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