Preservation, restoration, repair and maintenance of heritage buildings are not conventional or straightforward tasks and require a spectrum of expert knowledge combined with seamless planning and real-time management. Previous research shows that the complexity of this sensitive task increases when the building itself is a complex and/or a colossal structure and therefore analysing the cycle, pace and pattern of building use is more complex, especially where health and safety (H&S) of different stakeholders and users is of paramount importance.
Building upon the Theory of Motivated Information Management (TMIM), IT Values and Productivity, this project will provide novel insights by investigating how Building Information Modelling (BIM) can effectively be utilised to facilitate restoration, repair and maintenance in heritage buildings. This project seeks to explore ways in which BIM static models can be enhanced by adding dynamic and live data streams for real-time assistance in decision making. An innovative aspect of the project will be facilitated through integration of BIM with data collected by other technologies linked to the Internet of Things (IoT) such as point-cloud scanning, drone radiometric, and drone building and site survey solutions as well as mixed, augmented and virtual reality (MAVR).
This project will take the UK government soft landing strategy to the next level to apply it to one of the most iconic Cathedrals in the south of England – Chichester Cathedral and its entire estate – with dissemination through the Church of England Heritage team based in London.
The doctoral project will aim to address the following research questions.
What are the theoretical underpinnings, empirical prerequisites and practice-led requirements that support embedded, integrated technological solutions for facilities/asset management of complex heritage estates in the age of big data and IoT?
How can IoT help with real-time, effective monitoring of conditions, and cost-efficient preventive measures, strategies and courses of action for assets management and facilities management of complex heritage estates in the UK?
How can such technologies help improve H&S for preservation, maintenance, restoration and repair of complex heritage buildings where the pattern of use is a major issue for conducting upkeep operations?
What are the perceived and actual opportunities, promises, benefits and advantages that the application of such technologies can offer? And what are possible drawbacks, threats, hindrances or limitations?
The research methodology envisaged for this research will be as follows. Developing a single case study approach with multiple units of analysis as its core knowledge claim belonging in ‘pragmatism’ research paradigm, this research uses in-depth review and interpretation of historic documents, drawing documents and as-built surveys to build a BIM model and the historic log of background information and data to be fed into that model.
This will then be used as a platform to incorporate live drawing/3D visual data collected through point-cloud scans, and drone surveys as well as non-drawing and non-visual data through steering groups held with the Chichester Cathedral and Diocese of Chichester to account for the status-quo of the premises and the requirements in current practices in facilities management of the Cathedral to provide the premises/asset/facilities managers with a more effective and timely tool for managing and maintenance of complex heritage buildings.
As a SEAHA student, you will have unparalleled access to research infrastructure and expertise across three universities and 70+ heritage, research and industrial partners. In addition to the university doctoral training requirements, SEAHA students take part in an exciting range of cohort activities, ranging from residential events and group projects, to conferences and careers events. Visit the SEAHA website for details.