BIM Use Cases for Heritage Protection

Posted by Sudhir Thapa on Fri May 12 2023

Heritage preservation is a crucial aspect of maintaining cultural identity and promoting sustainable tourism in many countries around the world. However, documenting and preserving small-scale heritage sites can be a challenging task, especially in regions where modern technology is not readily available. This is where the concept of HBIM (Historic Building Information Modeling) comes into play. 

HBIM is a digital documentation method that integrates the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and historical building data to create a comprehensive virtual representation of heritage sites. It involves creating a 3D model of a building or site and adding information about its historical significance, materials used, and structural details. HBIM can be useful in many ways, from facilitating restoration and renovation processes to preserving the site's cultural and historical significance for future generations. 

The case of Kwahiti, a stone spout in Kathmandu, Nepal, serves as an excellent example of the practical benefits of the proposed framework. This site is not only valuable for its cultural heritage but also for its functionality, as it serves as a public water source for the surrounding community. Therefore, accurate spatial documentation of the site is crucial to ensure its preservation and continued use. 

The use of HBIM in the documentation of Kwahiti has several advantages. Firstly, it allows for the creation of a digital twin of the site that can be used for restoration and renovation purposes, without the need for physical access to the site. This is particularly important for heritage sites that are at risk of damage from natural disasters or human activity. Additionally, HBIM can be used to simulate various scenarios and assess the impact of potential changes to the site. 

Moreover, HBIM can be used to enhance the visitor experience by creating immersive virtual tours of the site. This can be especially useful for small-scale heritage sites that may not have the resources to offer physical tours to visitors. Virtual tours can provide visitors with a detailed understanding of the site's historical and cultural significance and increase their appreciation for the site. 

In conclusion, the case of Kwahiti demonstrates the practical benefits of using HBIM for the accurate spatial documentation of small-scale heritage sites. By creating a comprehensive digital twin of the site, HBIM can help ensure its preservation and continued functionality while also enhancing the visitor experience. However, the research was only limited to the ‘Hiti’. As in, the source of water and its route hasn’t been documented. This is the challenging part of the heritage documentation and further research is required for achieving an accurate HBIM model of this heritage site. Finally, as technology continues to evolve, it is important to embrace new methods like HBIM to preserve our cultural heritage for future generations. 

The research can be read from the website of Kantipur Engineering College, Dhapakhel, Lalitpur, Conference Proceedings of 2022: