Theoretical and Methodological Implications in the Information Modelling of Architectural Heritage

Theoretical and Methodological Implications in the Information Modelling of Architectural Heritage

Antonella di Luggo (University of Naples Federico II, Italy), Daniela Palomba (University of Naples Federico II, Italy), Margherita Pulcrano (University of Naples Federico II, Italy), and Simona Scandurra (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1234-0.ch002
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


This chapter considers the various potentialities and criticalities of HBIM systems. There is no doubt that the possibility of creating and organizing a graphical database representative of the material and immaterial values of the existing architectural heritage allows for the construction of an extremely rich information system. The sharing and implementation of BIM modelling allows the model to be enhanced with different data, while also presenting skills, concepts, and multidisciplinary themes. It also highlights the need to identify, in the context of HBIM, specific operational protocols so that the process can take place consistently with the intentions of documentation and sharing. Furthermore, the opportunities and complexities existing in the dialogue between HBIM systems and VR/AR technologies are highlighted, with a view to facilitating the consultation, verification, and control of data, directly through the model.
Chapter Preview


On the one hand, information modelling creates new possibilities and methods of documenting historical buildings, while on the other, it underlies the operational difficulties that exist due to the distance between automation and interpretation, making this topic the foundation of the disciplines of representation.

Thanks to the potential of new tools that make it possible to acquire large amounts of data, when documenting architectural heritage, surveys that present a high degree of detail can be used, while also attempting to systematize the complete knowledge by experimenting with different application procedures (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Flowchart in the HBIM approach: from data collection to fruition


It is well-known how the point clouds acquired by TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanner) and CRP (Close Range Photogrammetry) systems are characterised by millions of points, resulting in casts that perfectly correspond to what is real, both in the metric determinations and photorealistic rendering of the surfaces. There is also the possibility to document the latter with a greater deal of precision (Remondino, 2011). Moreover, the current systems for data processing, thanks to the possibility of integrating differently acquired data (TLS and CRP) into new generation systems, produce high-resolution 3D models, characterized by millions of discrete points, ontologically undifferentiated, which do not bear any informative content of what they represent, if not linked to the appearance.

When digitised, a piece of the world is broken down into minimal units, producing a clone that regains meaning through the attribution of a meaning that can be operated and that must be operated according to a synthesis (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

Correspondence between point cloud and HBIM model

Model by R. Napolitano

Notwithstanding its accuracy, precision and resolution, it is therefore “non-intelligent” information that is being worked with in order to pass discrete data through the filter of knowledge, re-imaging the discretization of what is real – inevitably produced by acquisition technologies – into meaningful digital systems, where semantically recognized parts and elements can interact according to a precise syntax (Di Giulio et al., 2017; Murphy, Mcgovern, & Pavia, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Augmented Reality: Increase of reality information through tag and mobile device.

Extended Reality: All environments that combine reality and virtuality; therefore, it includes the AR, VR and XR technologies.

Immaterial Data: qualitative and quantitative values associated with parameters and intangible elements.

HBIM: Historic Building Information Modeling. It is an acronym that indicates the activation of a BIM process for a building included in the architectural heritage.

Cloud-to-BIM: Describes the construction of a three-dimensional model in BIM, starting directly from the point cloud.

Semantic: Analysis of the meaning of a field of objects or of a system of signs.

Derived Model: The term intends those architectural models reconstructed starting from other type of model and specific data, like a points cloud model.

Virtual Reality: Environment simulated through hardware and software technologies where the user has no perception of reality that surrounds him.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: