Scan to BIM Modeling for restoring historical or heritage buildings

Scan to BIM Modeling for restoring historical or heritage buildings

We shall talk about the restoration of Heritage Buildings after the advent of Scan to BIM Modeling. Building Information Modeling as we all know has become mandatory across many countries. One of the most important and dynamic invention in this field is the Point Cloud to BIM Services which have made refurbishing of old buildings easier than before.

Historic Building Information Modeling

Heritage structures ordinarily have complex (non-parametric) calculations that turn their digitization through conventional strategies in inaccurate and tedious procedures. With regards to the representation and scanning of historical assets, remote sensing technologies have been assuming key jobs over the most recent couple of years. 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry reviews spare time in the field, while ending up being very precise at registering non-regular calculations of structures. The accurate transformation of remote sensing data into as-built parametric smart models is presently an unsolved test. A realistic and organized Historic Building Information Modeling (HBIM) approach is basic to acquire a consistent model that can bring benefits and coordinate conservation and rebuilding work.

Renovation and enhancement of Government Buildings, Heritage Structures, Old buildings that are worn out needs to be rebuilt or reconstructed to ensure proper maintenance. BIM is an extremely useful tool when it comes to working on such projects. The best part of virtual construction modeling is the approach that is followed in the documentation and overall work process. Decades back when point cloud modeling did not exist, survey company carried out manual surveys to measure building sites. This process was very tedious and may results in many inaccuracies ultimately resulting in the slow and sloppy documentation. Though reading scan data and converting these scan data into BIM Models is not an easy or effortless process, however, it is more viable in terms of the efforts taken to ground level to measure the site. There can be carvings, moldings, irregular dimensioning in the 3d geometry etc. Technicians working on the project or point cloud to BIM conversion project needs to have exceptional knowledge of BIM as well as reading scans. Therefore, over a period of time, the modelers build a parametric library of components which can be used to develop multiple building structures from scans.

BIM has also diversified into a subcategory called HBIM – Historical Building Information Modelling. This technology enables one to develop a library of components that can be later used for modeling historical or heritage buildings. Revit families for carvings, irregular geometries, rooftops, roof components, timber structures etc. can be created to ensure accurate development of the building structures. Many times it becomes very difficult and practically impossible to maintain shapes and accuracy together. Illustrating the shapes is the most challenging aspect while developing the intricate geometry when we develop 3D Models from the scans.

Let us discuss more on the shape modeling in point cloud. Usually, re-modeling of the heritage building sites falls under the Architectural BIM Services domain. It is very important that all the complex sizes, shapes, geometries like planes, curves, extrusions etc. have to be identified from the raw scan data and then modelled using this technology. We need to manually model the components right from the start by making cross sections, Revit families which are parametric in nature and by giving appropriate levels. Categorization of the geometries is critical in this type of projects.

Besides this the Architectural, Structural and MEP Models created from point cloud can also have other components other than Architectural shapes and geometries. They may have MEP components such as ducts, valves etc. There can be structural components like columns, beams, joists, bolts etc. which needs to be created and placed in the final as-built model.


In a nutshell, the platforms that are available today for restoration is quite broad with a lot of accessible features. This is one of the niche services. Many Architectural and Engineering companies in India specialize in Scan to BIM Services today.

The use of BIM tools for three-dimensional architectural reconstruction makes it possible to incorporate the existing building to a BIM methodology and take advantage of benefits such as calculations of design alternatives, cost estimates, material quantifications, data management, as-built documentation, constructive state analysis, execution plans, and others

Written By:
Dhvani Badheka
Dhvani is an irreverent writer who has over 4 years of experience under her belt. She is a life-long learner and a quick study which provides her articles a unique insight. She is always reading, researching new materials and trying to expand her knowledge of the AEC industry so that she can create interesting and valuable content.

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