Semi-Automatic Techniques for BIM Façade Modelling of Historic Buildings from Survey Data
Conor Dore and Maurice Murphy
School of Surveying and Construction Management
Dublin Institute of Technology
This research project focuses on developing more automated and efficient solutions for generating digital 3D models of historical buildings from survey data. There is an increased demand for accurate digital 3D models of existing buildings to document, manage and analyse buildings over time. This data is particularly important for retrofitting, renovations and conservation work to existing buildings. In order to create an accurate representation of an existing building accurate and up-to-date survey data is required. This data can be collected using terrestrial laser scanning, close range photogrammetry or using traditional survey technologies such as total station and GPS measurement devices. The current process for generating accurate 3D models of existing buildings from this raw survey data is very time-consuming, tedious and requires skilled workers. This research aims to address this problem by developing more automated solutions specifically for modelling historical buildings from survey data. Work carried out to date has led to the development of a new plug-in for Building Information Modelling (BIM) software that can be used to semi-automatically generate building façades from survey data. The design of this new software plug-in incorporates parametric and procedural modelling techniques which are automated approaches to generating 3D geometries based on rules and algorithms. Parametric architectural objects are automatically combined with rules to generate many different façade arrangements which are controlled by user parameters. Future work as part of this research project will involve extending the developed techniques for semi-automatic modelling of building façades to complete buildings. This will allow for easier and faster methods of generating accurate BIM models for existing buildings. The generated BIM models can then be used to automatically produce construction and conservation documentation such as plans, sections, elevations and 3D views. Further information can also be linked with the generated BIM model to assist with the management of a building throughout its lifecycle.