Data-driven conservation actions of heritage places curated with HBIM




building archaeology, digital archaeology 3D heritage database, conservation decisions, Historic Building Information Modelling (HBIM), NURBS (non-uniform rational basis splines), scan-to-HBIM


Digital surveying tools provide a highly accurate geometric representation of cultural heritage sites in the form of point cloud data. With the recent advances in interoperability between point cloud data and Building Information Modelling (BIM), digital heritage researchers have introduced the Heritage/Historic Information Modelling (HBIM) notion to the field. As heritage data require safeguarding strategies to ensure their sustainability, the process is closely tied to conservation actions in the architectural conservation field. Focusing on the intersection of the ongoing trends in HBIM research and the global needs for heritage conservation actions, this paper tackles methodological pipelines for the data-driven management of archaeological heritage places. It illustrates how HBIM discourse could be beneficial for easing value-based decision-making in the conservation process. It introduces digital data-driven conservation actions by implementing a novel methodology for ancient building remains in Erythrae archaeological site (Turkey). The research ranges from a) surveying the in-situ remains and surrounding stones of the Heroon remains with digital photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning to b) designing a database system for building archaeology. The workflow offers high geometric fidelity and management of non-geometric heritage data by testing out the suitability and feasibility for the study of material culture and the physical assessment of archaeological building remains. This methodology is a fully data-enriched NURBS-based (non-uniform rational basis spline) three-dimensional (3D) model—which is integrated and operational in the BIM environment— for the holistic conservation process. Using a state-of-the-art digital heritage approach can be applied from raw data (initial stages) to decision-making about an archaeological heritage site (final stages). In conclusion, the paper offers a method for data-driven conservation actions, and given its methodological framework, it lends itself particularly well to HBIM-related solutions for building archaeology.


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Author Biographies

Tugba Saricaoglu, Dokuz Eylul University

Tugba Saricaoglu is an architect and holds a Ph.D. in Architectural Restoration from 2021. Her research employs novel virtual solutions for documentation, conservation, and information communication of cultural heritage places, typically at the intersection of architectural and archaeological research. In her Ph.D. thesis (2020), she investigated the data management capacity of HBIM in conservation decisions for building archaeology.

Gamze Saygi, University of Amsterdam

Gamze Saygi, Ph.D., is an architect specialized in cultural heritage research using digital methods to analyze and valorize (im)material cultures of the past. Currently, she is a Guest Researcher at the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies. Her research has been supported internationally by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Turkish Council of Higher Education, the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and the European Association for Digital Humanities.


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How to Cite

Saricaoglu, T., & Saygi, G. (2022). Data-driven conservation actions of heritage places curated with HBIM. Virtual Archaeology Review, 13(27), 17–32.