BIM and Heritage Documentation

Despite the widespread adoption of building information modelling (BIM) for the design and lifecycle management of new buildings, very little research has been undertaken to explore the value of BIM in the management of heritage buildings and cultural landscapes. To that end, we are investigating the construction of BIMs that incorporate both quantitative assets (intelligent objects, performance data) and qualitative assets (historic photographs, oral histories, music). Further, our models leverage the capabilities of BIM software to provide a navigable timeline that chronicles tangible and intangible changes in the past and projections into the future. In this paper, we discuss three projects undertaken by the authors that explore an expanded role for BIM in the documentation and conservation of architectural heritage. The projects range in scale and complexity and include: a cluster of three, 19th century heritage buildings in the urban core of Toronto, Canada; a 600 hectare village in rural, south-eastern Ontario with significant modern heritage value, and a proposed web-centered BIM database for materials and methods of construction specific to heritage conservation.