Applicability of BIM in Heritage Buildings: A Critical Review

Applicability of BIM in Heritage Buildings: A Critical Review

Abobakr Al-Sakkaf, Reem Ahmed
DOI: 10.4018/IJDIBE.2019070102
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Over the past four decades, building modeling has taken numerous forms utilizing available technologies and software. Building information modeling (BIM) has significantly developed with the continuous advancements in the information technology and hardware industries. The evolution of BIM has attracted many researchers to explore its possible applications in modeling buildings and facilities with a humanitarian heritage value. However, researches have not been limited to that, as they later expanded to test the applicability of BIM in progressing the fields of maintenance and rehabilitation, operation and management, and even checking the durability of such buildings against varying circumstances and usability as well. As a result of a deep literature review, this research is developed to provide a critique of the previous studies conducted on the fields of heritage building information modeling (HBIM), the relevant software and equipment used in those studies, as well as case studies and applications used to demonstrate HBIM capabilities. Also, two case studies of Qasr Al Farid and Al-Bugiry buildings in KSA were implemented in this research to demonstrate the capabilities of HBIM in preserving the heritage value of historic buildings and monuments and to provide possible means of archiving the heritage value of those buildings utilizing state-of-the-art technologies. This study is expected to aid governments and decision makers of heritage buildings in understanding the positive impacts of including the HBIM in their management and operational processes, and will also act as a beneficial guiding tool for academic researchers to identify the gaps and limitations in previous studies to work towards overcoming them.
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Heritage buildings are historically unique by nature and require specific attention to their architectural element (Al-Sakkaf et al., 2020). According to UNESCO, the World Heritage is divided into Natural, Cultural, and Underwater Heritage (Toubekis & Mayer, 2009) (López, Lerones, Llamas, Gómez-García-Bermejo, & Zalama, 2018). From the beginning of history, all civilizations have focused on building up unique buildings for different purposes other than regular residential buildings (Giovine, 2019). Thus, these buildings have been modeled for a long time in ancient eras and modern eras as well (Boehm et al.,2018). The modeling process had been carried out for many purposes, for instance, religious, cultural, logistic, etc. The modeling process was subjected to the currently available technology (Lerones et al., 2018) (Calneryte et al., 2018).

In the last 40 years, the building modeling process has been computerized by using the available technology of the current software and computers (Sargent, 2011). Building information modeling (BIM) was developed a lot from the starting point to currently, and it keeps designed along with the development in information technology and hardware industry. That development in the BIM field encouraged whoever is interested in both modeling and humanitarian heritage (Tulenheimo, 2015). According to Stengel & Schultmann 2014, the idea is to using BIM not only in modeling the heritage buildings but also in the maintenance and rehabilitation process. As well as in managing and operating procedures. Furthermore, BIM will be used in checking the durability of the heritage building and current bearing capacities of the heritage buildings against the current affecting loads due to the changed surrounding circumstance and new purposes of usage (Macías-Bernal et al., 2017).

The biggest challenge in using BIM in the heritage field is that the nature of heritage buildings and the construction material used in these buildings (Boehm et al.,2018 & Al-Sakkaf et al., 2019). According to Valiulis, 2014, around 200 years BC until the mid of 1800s, the concrete was commonly used in special buildings like citadels, lighthouse, temples, governmental buildings, etc. while the majority of the residential buildings were made from other building materials such as wood, mud, leather, trees branches, etc. (Khalil & Stravoravdis, 2019). Maio (2017) argued the main use of concrete was as a binder among the building rocks, which were probably rocks. It means that the construction system and load paths are entirely different from the current buildings in which BIM technology is adapted with that (Lu et al., 2017); (Sakin & Kiroglu, 2017).

The most important objective of this research is to develop a critique of the previous studies conducted on the fields of Heritage Building Information Modeling (HBIM), the relevant software and equipment used in those studies, as well as case studies and applications used to validate HBIM capabilities. In addition, another purpose of this research is to establish a literature review framework for heritage building information model (HBIM) that can be used to develop a new approach in heritage conservation in terms of visualization, digitalization, and simulation.

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