BIM for Heritage: Developing a Historic Building Information Model. Swindon, Historic England, (July 2017).


At Digital Inc. we have been involved in a number of high-profile heritage projects across the country, so we were interested to read Historic England’s recent publication on the use of BIM in the management and conservation of buildings and heritage sites.

As Historic BIM is a relatively new field, take up by the heritage industry has so far been slow.  With this document, Historic England aim to raise awareness of the benefits of BIM, outline what professionals need to know, and offer guidance on its successful implementation.

‘BIM for Heritage’ is split into six sections, plus a number of illustrative case studies.  As the industry involves a range of disciplines - many of whom may have little or no working knowledge of BIM – the introductory section of the document goes back to basics, explaining the technology and the process.  It also explains how BIM can assist in collaboration, as well as its use in preventative maintenance, safety and security, condition monitoring, and interpretation and visitor management. There are further sections on commissioning BIM (with the emphasis on having a clear strategy and purpose), managing the data, and assessing supplier capability. 

The six case studies demonstrate how BIM can be applied to various projects and work programmes, including details of how and why BIM was used in each instance, the deliverables required, and the problems encountered.  The sites involved range from a Roman Fort (discovered when widening a section of the A1), and the redevelopment of an 18th century manor house, through to a measured BIM survey, and laser scanning of the Natural History Museum.

‘BIM for Heritage: Developing a Historic Building Information Model’ provides an excellent overview of Building Information Modelling, with signposts and links to further information on industry standards, specialist organisations, and public bodies offering advice and guidance on latest developments and best practice.

If you are considering using BIM on a heritage project, please give us a call to discuss matters further.