HBIM: digitalising the preservation and restoration of buildings

If you are interested in HBIM (Heritage Building Information Modelling) and want to learn more about this information modelling methodology for historic and heritage buildings, you are in the right place. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about HBIM and how it can help you in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings. Let’s start with the basics:

What is HBIM?

Heritage Building Information Modelling (HBIM) is an information modelling methodology for capturing and managing detailed information about the construction, use and evolution of heritage buildings over time.

Unlike conventional BIM, which focuses on the planning, design, construction and operation of new or existing buildings, HBIM focuses on the documentation and preservation of historic and heritage buildings.


What are the advantages of using HBIM in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings?

The use of HBIM in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings offers a number of important advantages for architects and heritage conservators.

Firstly, the accurate documentation of the building’s structure and architectural details allows for a better understanding of its history and evolution, which in turn enables more informed decisions to be made about the preservation and restoration of the building.

In addition, the ability to plan and manage restoration projects more efficiently through HBIM allows for cost and time reduction.

Finally, the use of HBIM allows the preservation of heritage to be balanced with the functionality and modern needs of the building, thus ensuring its long-term survival.

Is specialised technical knowledge necessary to work with HBIM?

Yes, working with HBIM requires specialised expertise in historic building information modelling, preservation and restoration techniques.

However, many software programmes offer training and technical support for architects who wish to use HBIM in their work.

What software is used to create HBIM models?

There are several software programmes that can be used to create HBIM models, including AutoCAD, Revit, ArchiCAD and SketchUp, among others.

Each of these programs offers different features and tools for creating HBIM models, so it is important to evaluate the specific needs of each project before selecting the appropriate software.

What are the most common challenges in the use of HBIM?

Although HBIM can offer many advantages in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings, there are also challenges that need to be considered. Here are some of the most common challenges in the use of HBIM:

The complexity of the model:

Creating an HBIM model is a complex process that requires specialised knowledge in heritage documentation and preservation. In addition, gathering accurate and detailed information can be a time-consuming and costly process.


Interoperability between different software programs can be a challenge, as not all programs are compatible with each other. This can make it difficult to transfer data between different phases of the project or between different team members.

Lack of standardisation:

Although there are some standards and guidelines for the use of HBIM, there is still no clear and consistent regulation in all countries. This can lead to confusion over terminology and methodology.

Lack of funding:

The use of HBIM can be costly, both in terms of time and financial resources. Many preservation and restoration projects do not have the necessary funding to carry out a full HBIM model.

Lack of training and education:

The creation of HBIM models requires specialised technical knowledge, so the lack of training and education can be an obstacle to the adoption of this methodology.

To overcome these challenges, it is important to have a team of professionals with experience in the creation of HBIM models, as well as the necessary economic and technological resources to carry out the project. In addition, it is necessary to promote standardisation and training to facilitate the adoption of HBIM in the preservation and restoration of heritage.

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