Market Research

Building Information Modeling (BIM): The Untapped Potential for Preservation Documentation and Management



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The preservation field has few software programs specifically created to store historic and management documentation. Some programs and techniques are utilized in combination to aid in the management and documentation process of historic resources that include, laser scanning, AutoDesk AutoCAD programs, Rhino 3D, photogrammetry, geographic information system, and even Microsoft Excel. This thesis examines the applicability of the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) to create a three dimensional user interface for tracking and storing historic and management documentation. The case study performed for this thesis employs the Nathaniel Russell House owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) located in Charleston, South Carolina. A house museum best tests BIM’s potential application in the field of historic preservation because there is a long time-view on the recording and management of such properties. A 3D model constructed in Autodesk Revit shows the Russell House’s structural evolutions through time. The 3D model created in Revit is input into Autodesk NavisWorks to link micro-information. The micro-information links to its associated 3D model components. Once complete, preservation industry professionals test the ease of navigation and object data information gathering. The case-study shows both the promise and the current challenges faced with BIM’s application for the preservation field.

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