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About this book

This open access book focuses on the development of methods, interoperable and integrated ICT tools, and survey techniques for optimal management of the building process. The construction sector is facing an increasing demand for major innovations in terms of digital dematerialization and technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data, advanced manufacturing, robotics, 3D printing, blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence. The demand for simplification and transparency in information management and for the rationalization and optimization of very fragmented and splintered processes is a key driver for digitization. The book describes the contribution of the ABC Department of the Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano) to R&D activities regarding methods and ICT tools for the interoperable management of the different phases of the building process, including design, construction, and management. Informative case studies complement the theoretical discussion. The book will be of interest to all stakeholders in the building process – owners, designers, constructors, and faculty managers – as well as the research sector.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Interoperable Management of the Process

Frontmatter

Open Access

National BIM Digital Platform for Construction (INNOVance Project)

INNOVance represents the first digital platform in the construction sector with BIM methodology on a national level. It’s also a BIM library, a Common Data Environment (CDE) of BIM projects in a contract, for sharing work information, and a data exchange platform for the entire construction sector. The platform operates in accordance with the UNI 11337: 2009 standard and it is the origin of the UNI 11337: 2017 standard group. The project was formed within the research relating to the Competitive Call: Energy Efficiency, Industry 2015, promoted by the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE).

Alberto Pavan, Sonia Lupica Spagnolo, Vittorio Caffi, Claudio Mirarchi, Bruno Daniotti

Open Access

From Cloud to BIM Model of the Built Environment: The Digitized Process for Competitive Tender, Project, Construction and Management

The new methodologies of surveying and modelling allow for important advantages in the whole life cycle of a building. Specifically, the point cloud, with its richness in detail, can be the basis to set an interesting and useful work of creating a BIM model. Inside, all the objects with a well-structured informative part allow for the interoperability between the different figures involved in the process. One of the main aims can be the use of a BIM model to manage the competitive tender in the public works in order to control time and costs. The case study is about urban open space: analysis of digital and integrated management of a built environment.

Franco Guzzetti, Karen Lara Ngozi Anyabolu, Lara D’Ambrosio, Giulia Marchetti Guerrini

Open Access

The Construction Contract Execution Through the Integration of Blockchain Technology

This paper aims to analyze the Blockchain level of implementation, focusing on the AEC sector that has always suffered from lack of trust, incomplete sharing, and transparency of information flow throughout the process execution. In this context, the progressive introduction of BIM based on the Blockchain technology can provide a trustworthy infrastructure for information management during the design, tender, and construction phases.

Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Giulia Pattini, Elena Seghezzi, Marco Schievano, Francesco Paleari

Open Access

BIMReL: The Interoperable BIM Library for Construction Products Data Sharing

BIMReL is an online platform for construction industry operators (primarily manufacturers, but also designers, construction companies, facility managers, trade associations and owners) because it allows using and sharing all the technical and commercial data of construction products. Moreover, it helps collecting and exchanging data about performances, durability and environmental indicators in a simple and user-friendly way. The creation of such a tool became necessary because, despite many interesting developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the data exchange along the building process is hardly efficient and still mainly based on a transmission of paper documents, on a plurality of classification systems, as well as on a use of different criteria and practices. The lack of a common structure for data storage involves different inefficiencies and it also may affect such essential aspects for users as comfort, safety, health, energy saving and environmental sustainability. Inefficiency means a waste of time (and therefore a waste of money) because it often may cause complicated variations during the construction stage or misunderstandings, which may lead to legal disputes. Therefore, BIMReL has been developed in order to provide a new digital tool for sharing product data in a BIM environment and such as to enable the user to choose the most proper product but also to easily retrieve all useful information during its use, its maintenance or its disposal.

Sonia Lupica Spagnolo, Gustavo Amosso, Alberto Pavan, Bruno Daniotti

Open Access

Life Cycle BIM-Oriented Data Collection: A Framework for Supporting Practitioners

For updating the construction sector in line with current trends, Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) has to be integrated into the building process from the beginning. In this perspective, the digitalization increasingly assists practitioners in the task, taking advantage in particular of the now widespread Building Information Modeling (BIM). To face construction challenges, the research suggests conceiving BIM as a life cycle database that evolves over time in conjunction with building process development. In this way, to support the players involved in the shift both in thinking and in process, the result of the research is a data collection framework that activates over the process a rigorous life cycle oriented information flow to build up the expected life cycle project-based BIM database. Indeed, since to guarantee the effectiveness of the digitalization process collaboration environments, each stakeholder has to know the requirements of the information content, it points out, based on current practice, the set of life cycle information, the actors in charge and the derived life cycle information flow demanded during the process. The aim is to establish, in one single BIM record, a project-based and well-framed set of data of the facility during the whole life cycle.

Anna Dalla Valle, Andrea Campioli, Monica Lavagna

Open Access

Decision-Making BIM Platform for Chemical Building Products

This paper presents the innovative solution based on BIM technology proposed to BASF Construction Chemicals Italia for the digitization of chemical products for buildings. It deals with the implementation of a system able to support stakeholders during the selection phase and with the digitization of product information without geometrical features such as concrete admixtures or repair products. The most significant problems linked to the construction sector are deep fragmentation and the characterizing inefficiency of the building process; these phenomena are often due to uniqueness, unevenness, and inconsistency and they result in quality decay, lengthening of working time and claims. The construction sector needs properties like dynamicity and a structured and easily consultable database in order to reorganize information. BIM could represent the solution to these requirements since it is able to manage knowledge and information among the involved stakeholders and manufacturers during the building process and the useful life of a building itself. Thanks to the digitization of information made possible by the BIM process, it is possible to define the products’ attributes that are key to informing the relevant stakeholders and to import them into a digital model in order to reduce inaccuracies during the constructive phases and to draw a guideline for a potential restoration.

Gabriele Gazzaniga, Luigi Coppola, Bruno Daniotti, Claudio Mirachi, Alberto Pavan, Valeria Savoia

Open Access

BIM Electric Objects Plug-in for Industry 4.0

The use of digital MEP objects in BIM models is a reality in the building world. This approach allows for the extrapolation of information relating to digital models, the simulation of their operation and the calculations of the sizing of plant circuits. The final goal of this research project is the creation of BIM object libraries for the 4.0 Industry, which includes the modelling of BIM objects for manufacturing connected with a company system. The Revit EasyBIM plug-in, developed for Vimar SpA and object of this research paper, allows for the creation of BIM objects, connected with a company system for the control of customer satisfaction throughout the production chain, design of use, installation, use in life cycle and disposal.

Alberto Pavan, Andrea Cunico, Claudio Mirarchi, Dario Mocellin, Elisa Sattanino, Valentina Napoleone

Open Access

Da.Ma.Tra: Material Traceability Database

The chapter summarises the content and objectives of the Da.Ma.Tra (Material Traceability Database) research project, funded by the Lombardy Region within the “Smart Living” competition call. The purpose of the project is to build a web-based digital platform prototype that can handle the constructive traceability of materials for civil buildings. The project’s attention to new materials has a specific focus on the use of bio-based materials and agricultural waste in construction. The economic value of this waste can be increased by encouraging reuse and recycling. This aspect places the research at the edge of the initiatives that favour the concept of sustainable architecture within the broader vision of a circular economy.

Ilaria Oberti, Ingrid Paoletti

Open Access

Natural Language Processing for Information and Project Management

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the state of the art of textual translation theories, methods, and tools into formal and numerical requirements to support information modelling and project management process. Natural Language Processing helps translate text requirements into numerical terms that are necessary for the application and success of information modelling and management in a data-driven process.

Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Mirko Locatelli, Marco Schievano, Laura Pellegrini, Giulia Pattini, Paolo Ettore Giana, Elena Seghezzi

Open Access

Structuring General Information Specifications for Contracts in Accordance with the UNI 11337:2017 Standard

Information Specifications are an important tool that allows the Customer or the Commissioning Body to define both the general and the specific rules and strategic information requirements, as well as the general guidelines for the formulation of the Pre-Contract BIM Execution Plan, by the Competitors, and then of the Contract BIM Execution Plan, by the Contractor. In Italy, in public contracts, the commissioning bodies “can request for new works as well as for recovery or redevelopment interventions or variants, especially for complex jobs, the use of specific electronic methods and tools” (Legislative Decree No. 50/2016, article 23, paragraph 13) “such as modelling for building sector and infrastructures” (Legislative Decree No. 50/2016, article 23, paragraph 1, letter h). These tools use interoperable platforms by means of open, non-proprietary formats (IFC, XML; etc.), in order not to limit competition between technology suppliers and involve specific projects among designers. The use of electronic methods and tools can only be requested from commissioning bodies equipped with suitably trained personnel. The subsequent implementing decree (Infrastructure and Transport, Ministerial Decree No. 560 of 12/01/2017) reaffirms this possibility in article 5 and introduces in article 6 a progressive obligation from 1 January 2019 for complex works depending on the tender amount (starting from  > =  100 ml€). From 1 January 2025, the obligation will be extended to all tender amounts. The stringency of such methods and tools depends on the extent of the contract, but some Commissioning Bodies are moving towards applying them voluntarily. For this reason, research activity was conducted to test the possibility of defining the structure of the Standard General Information Specifications, drafted according to the UNI 11337-5-6: 2017, valid for contracts for the Inter-regional Superintendency for Public Works in the Lombardy and Emilia Romagna regions of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Starting from the analysis of works-only contracts based on the traditional, non-digital (non-BIM) design and through the validation of a case study.

Claudio Mirarchi, Sonia Lupica Spagnolo, Bruno Daniotti, Alberto Pavan

Design Stage

Frontmatter

Open Access

Clash Detection and Code Checking BIM Platform for the Italian Market

Development of experimental products for the BIM environment, and plug-ins are integrated with a collaborative platform to create, manage and validate BIM models in a common data environment.

Caterina Trebbi, Michelangelo Cianciulli, Francesco Matarazzo, Claudio Mirarchi, Guido Cianciulli, Alberto Pavan

Open Access

Digital Culture for Optimization

Humanity proceeds along the path of hybridization with the technological tool. The centre of gravity of the creative process moves within the computational man-tool ecosystem, with capital consequences: the instrument, like an “organ”, guides our way of thinking, designing, and planning. In this context two aspects of the process of architectural design will be explored in this chapter which requires more consideration from a methodological perspective: design optimization and architectural simulation. The optimization stage is related to the process of realizing the objective of architecture, inherently prescribing the outcome. Representation and simulation, on the other hand, are important as a tie between the concept (or an idea of the architect) and the materialization of that concept, that is, a link between the sensory and non-sensory. Both aspects are important but highlight a different side of the process.

Samir Al-Azri

Open Access

Performance-Based Design Approach for Tailored Acoustic Surfaces

The acoustics of architecture has a large influence on the physical and psychological state of people, impacting on their communication, concentration and behaviour. Nevertheless, the sound issues of the interior of common spaces are often faced in the last stage of the design process, as an accurate acoustic design requires a high level of expertise. Owners, companies, public administration, and so on face this issue by selecting off-the-shelf acoustic panels or furniture, which might not always respond to the acoustic requirements, specific for each space. This leads to unsatisfying acoustic conditions, consequently increasing the initial investment. Nowadays, a new awareness on the topic of architectural acoustics design has pushed towards finding new integrated methodologies able to deliver tailored solutions for the design with sound, which embed performance criteria early in the design phase by means of simulation and computational techniques. This paper describes a workflow developed in the frame of the research project: “EcoAcustica. Sustainable and innovative surfaces for adaptive acoustics”, aimed at creating acoustic surfaces and customised to improve the interior acoustics in a global geometry scale. The design of the new ABC Department Digital Fabrication Lab at Politecnico di Milano is used as a case study for the proposed methodology.

Andrea Giglio, Ingrid Paoletti, Maia Zheliazkova

Open Access

Do Smart City Policies Work?

Smart City policies have attracted significant funding over the last few years. However, only less evidence is available of their impact on urban economic performance. In this paper, we look at the urban growth and innovation impact of Smart City policies, exploiting a dataset collected for these analyses comprising data on Smart City characteristics of 309 European metro areas, Smart City policy intensity, along with the urban growth and innovation outputs. Economic growth is measured as real GDP increases, while innovation is captured by patent applications to the European Patent Office, both measures being calculated between 2008 and 2013. Patent counts include technologically narrower classes, namely high-tech, ICT and specific Smart City technology patent applications. Instrumental variables and propensity score matching estimates suggest that cities engaging in Smart City policies more than the EU average tend to grow faster and patent more intensively.

Andrea Caragliu, Chiara Del Bo

Open Access

Digital Design and Wooden Architecture for Arte Sella Land Art Park

Digital design is increasingly sinking the construction sector, shaping and validating architecture according to various criteria and introducing the wood industry to the 4.0 approach. Within the study entitled “Architecture at Arte Sella”, parametric design, structural validations and CNC procedures are exploited to help define, control and assess several architectural woodworks, created with famous designers. This contribution describes the design and construction experiences of Atsushi Kitagawara (2017) and Kengo Kuma (2018–2019), the two masterpieces installed in the land art park of Arte Sella (Trento, Italy) and developed, thanks to the Politecnico di Milano team, from design to mock-ups, testing and construction.

Marco Imperadori, Marco Clozza, Andrea Vanossi, Federica Brunone

Open Access

The Impact of Digitalization on Processes and Organizational Structures of Architecture and Engineering Firms

The digitalization of the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry leads to new forms of process through which buildings are designed, constructed, and operated, and to new forms of organization through which professionals work and interact. Certain activities of the conventional building process disappear, while others appear, distribution of work is reviewed, and new relationships, roles, and responsibilities emerge. Although many architecture and engineering (A/E) firms claim that they have already undertaken a digital transformation, there is still little awareness of the new forms of process and organization associated with digitalization. This lack of knowledge about the process-oriented and organizational changes makes it difficult to establish a work environment within and between firms that is conducive to digital innovation. Given the above considerations, the main objective of this research project has been to understand the process-oriented and organizational changes that the adoption of digital technologies bring on, as well as the new forms of process and organization associated with the digital transformation of architectural and engineering firms. To achieve this, a case-study analysis of two A/E firms—one in Italy and one in Canada—has been performed.

Cinzia Talamo, Marcella M. Bonanomi

Execution Stage

Frontmatter

Open Access

BIM Management Guidelines of the Construction Process for General Contractors

Capability of construction companies to manage the digital interoperability between stakeholders and technicians is fundamental for the success of a work, both for new constructions and renovations. The research outlines a methodological and operational protocol for general contractors and the related supply chains and subcontractors. The Programme contains indications for the development of BIM-based workflows that implement the main activities in building construction, operations and maintenance: off-site and on-site time schedules, site planning and building ergotechnics, accounting, project variances, non-compliance issues, test and commissioning, maintenance planning.

Salvatore Viscuso, Cinzia Talamo, Alessandra Zanelli, Ezio Arlati

Open Access

BIM Methodology and Tools Implementation for Construction Companies (GreenBIM Project)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is recognized as one of the leading innovations in the construction sector. However, some studies highlight how BIM implementation is lagging behind in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, the majority of the research is focused on the construction phase and there is a need for further studies able to demonstrate the possibilities associated with the introduction of BIM in construction companies. This paper presents the first set of results from the GreenBIM project focused on the development of a BIM implementation framework from SMEs in the construction sector. In this context, the paper focuses on the quantity estimation starting from building information models analyzed by the construction company.

Claudio Mirarchi, Caterina Trebbi, Sonia Lupica Spagnolo, Bruno Daniotti, Alberto Pavan, Domenico Tripodi

Open Access

Adaptive Skins: Towards New Material Systems

The aim of this chapter is to shed light on the potentialities of smart material systems in architectural skins. The research on new materials has triggered new solutions, based on emergent technologies, for envelope design. Adaptive facades, exploiting stimulus-responsive materials and intelligent control systems, are able to change in response to environmental conditions, thus enhancing users’ comfort and improving energy savings. Two different case studies are here illustrated: the first is a dynamic shading system based on shape memory alloys; the second example concerns a soft-robotics weather-responsive skin. Both projects are described following the same workflow structure in order to highlight similarities and differences. Indeed, the sections are outlining the steps for design, simulation and fabrication of the case studies, and are divided as follows: description of the project, methodology and design strategy, simulation and prototyping.

Ofir Albag, Maria Anishchenko, Giulia Grassi, Ingrid Paoletti

Open Access

Development of a System for the Production of Disposable Carbon Fiber Formworks

This article presents a new method for the production of disposable carbon fiber formworks for the casting of reinforced concrete columns. The desired three-dimensional object can be made by the robotic hot wire cutting of polystyrene, thus generating the shape around which the carbon fiber is deposited. The manufacturing technique is the so-called filament winding, where the polystyrene shape—obtained through hotwire cutting—is wrapped in fiber tape and then undergoes a curing process, which returns the carbon geometry in solid form. At the end of the process, the final piece of carbon is obtained by dissolving the positive polystyrene mold with a solvent. This gives rise to a production method capable of creating geometries that cannot be achieved by other means. The choice of creating disposable fiber formworks for concrete castings has considerable advantages: the possibility of creating structural elements with complex geometries that cannot be obtained by means of traditional formworks or other materials; saving of time in the casting phase and the advantage of not having the de-casting phase; facilitating the positioning of formworks and other structural elements thanks to the reduced weight of the material; the possibility of having always different geometries and a finish with a high aesthetic value and functional performance. The combination of concrete and carbon fibers offers above all considerable advantages from the structural point of view. The formwork not only has the function of giving shape to the finished element but also becomes a collaborator for static purposes. If used for pillars, the carbon fiber formwork has the function of a hoop, which makes it possible to obtain columns with the same static capacity but with lower sections and the elimination of the transversal reinforcement.

Pierpaolo Ruttico, Emilio Pizzi

Management Stage

Frontmatter

Open Access

Built Heritage Information Modelling/Management. Research Perspectives

The paper deals with the research issues concerning Historic Building Information Modelling, developing the outcomes of the national project BHIMM, carried out in 2017. The topic has a strategic value, as the relevant new tools enable the kind of Knowledge Management required by the Planned Conservation vision. The key point is the step from implementing BIM authoring software to build a single parametric model, to the definition of several domain-specific parametric models fit for each of the many activities involved in built heritage conservation process. As designed for specific aims, the models can differ both in accuracy and in identification of the objects. This vision moves the research agenda towards exchange platforms and semantic interoperability, pointing out the development of specific ontologies as a crucial task to be carried out in the next years.

Stefano Della Torre, Alessandra Pili

Open Access

Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Management is a key discipline enabling a sustainable and high-quality built environment. The physical asset is nowadays more and more integrated within the digital environment, therefore it produces a great amount of information during its life cycle. This information should be used to improve process management during the use phase of the asset, according to a servitised and cross-disciplinary approach. Accordingly, a methodological framework for asset management business processes reengineering is here presented. Through the application of the proposed set methods and procedures, it is possible to leverage innovative Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) for the development of improved information management practices in digital built environment management. The case studies developed demonstrated the possibility to effectively implement innovative Digital Asset Management processes and address different core areas of the discipline.

Fulvio Re Cecconi, Mario Claudio Dejaco, Nicola Moretti, Antonino Mannino, Juan Diego Blanco Cadena

Open Access

Building and District Data Organization to Improve Facility and Property Management

Effective Facility Management services are a key issue for a high-quality built environment, both in the public and private sectors. Within this context, an information management framework for the use phase of assets has been developed with the aim to streamline real estate management processes. The framework allows users to access and update at any time technical, administrative and maintenance data both at the building and at the district level. This allows for the integrated management of physical assets and enhances the risk prevention strategy.

Mario Claudio Dejaco, Fulvio Re Cecconi, Nicola Moretti, Antonino Mannino, Sebastiano Maltese

Open Access

Digital Transformation in Facility Management (FM). IoT and Big Data for Service Innovation

The latest innovations in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) along with the establishment of the new paradigms of Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Management are opening up innovative scenarios with respect to cognitive and decision making processes related to the management of the built environment. The novel availability of information offered by these digital technologies can lead to the definition of strategies aimed at significantly reducing management costs and improving building performance and service quality. Although this potential is now widely recognized by the various operators in the sector, experimentations have not yet led to a harmonization and standardization of procedures, processes and enabling technologies applications. The paper proposes strategies and tools for supporting the various FM operators in the choice and implementation of IoT technologies as well as in the management of Big Data and their sources, aiming at optimizing and innovating the current FM processes, models and services.

Nazly Atta, Cinzia Talamo

Open Access

BIM Digital Platform for First Aid: Firefighters, Police, Red Cross

This document explains the use of BIM in emergency response scenarios, considering both the current rescue procedures and the innovative development of a digital platform able to support first aid, firefighters, civil protection, police, traffic wardens, etc. This ongoing study has a practical aim: to allow all rescuers to intervene promptly and safely in places where there are alarm conditions. Thanks to the BIM methodology, linked to indoor navigation of the building and Google Maps tools, in case of an intervention users will be able to query a digital model for information. Starting from these premises, this paper assumes and analyses the methodology and tools used to develop the project of a BIM digital platform for first aid.

Alberto Pavan, Cecilia Bolognesi, Franco Guzzetti, Elisa Sattanino, Elisa Pozzoli, Lara D’Abrosio, Claudio Mirarchi, Mauro Mancini

Open Access

The Effect of Real-Time Sensing of a Window on Energy Efficiency, Comfort, Health and User Behavior

Sensing technologies integration in buildings has grown rapidly. Most of them are connected to platforms for monitoring data and notifying anomalies, but few are integrated within building elements (either for data collection or response). These technologies help regulate HVAC, or detect building systems’ failures, but few enable passive sustainable strategies or space maintenance. It is possible to enhance building responsive operation by gathering granular data on passive systems’ operation and space occupation by setting a building component, that houses a sensor network. That is, if plugged into Building Information Models, it permits adaptation to unusual climate conditions or abrupt space use [Linked with the following correlated research projects: Research title: 2017, ELISIR. R&D+S&I Smart Living, R.L 26/2015 Widespread creative and technological manufacture 4.0 (ongoing) Research type: Funded by Regione Lombardia Responsible: Tiziana Poli (research unit, Politecnico di Milano).].

Tiziana Poli, Andrea G. Mainini, Alberto Speroni, Juan Diego Blanco Cadena, Nicola Moretti

Open Access

Digital 3D Control Room for Healthcare

The building process is in an evolutionary phase dictated by the constructive innovations and the digital revolution that has involved the tools and the technical and design contents of the entire life cycle of buildings. In this context, the operators of the sector need to develop organizational models capable of protecting and managing the conceptual and scale transition, between the conceptual framework of the architecture and the subsequent ones of construction, use and management. In the development of complex projects the elaboration of the organizational model is in fact fundamental to reach adequate figurative, performance and qualitative levels by incorporating the necessary contents of environmental, economic and management sustainability of buildings. This text illustrates the development of a horizontal organizational model for the smart and dynamic control of complex buildings through the creation of an innovative digital Web-Based platform capable of integrating Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology with a “Facility Management platform”. The project involves experimentation applied to a real case involving the restructuring of a complex building.

Liala Baiardi, Andrea Ciaramella, Ingrid Paoletti

Open Access

Guidelines to Integrate BIM for Asset and Facility Management of a Public University

This research work aims at providing a methodological approach tested on a real case study, where a public university applied guidelines to structure BIM and IMM procedures. The research allows the public client to procure works and services to manage the portfolio. The approach is initially tested on the ABC department to be gradually extended to the entire Politecnico di Milano.

Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Paolo Ettore Giana, Marco Schievano, Francesco Paleari

Open Access

BIM and Post-occupancy Evaluations for Building Management System: Weaknesses and Opportunities

The goal of this work is to provide a state of the art about POE fields of use, opportunities, weaknesses and tools, which is currently used to perform POE combined with BIM methodology. The application of POE on existing buildings can provide a large amount of data on actual uses, supply needs and users’ behaviour: the main aspect is to explore the potential application of IoT sensors and Machine Learning techniques to POE.

Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Laura Pellegrini, Marco Schievano, Mirko Locatelli, Francesco Paleari

Digital Technologies for Multi-Scale Survey and Analysis

Frontmatter

Open Access

From a Traditional to a Digital Site: 2008–2019. The History of Milan Cathedral Surveys

Since 2008, an intense survey has been underway in the Milan Cathedral. The operations, over the years, have been conducted with laser scanner and photogrammetry choosing or integrating the different methodologies according to the environment, the necessary “drawing” to support the different sites’ maintenance operation but always concurrently with the evolution of the method and the software. The “principal actor” of conservation activities is the “marble block.” The Veneranda Fabbrica organizes the activities identifying the areas that are in need of intervention and identifying which blocks will be affected by replacement operations, tessellation, or consolidation. Thus, the objective of the survey activities and the subsequent modeling phase was to build a detailed 3D model in which the marble blocks are easily recognizable in terms of their shape, size, position, and texture (only for the outer part). All the elaborations produced, the 3D models, the two-dimensional representations, and the orthophotos, allow for the identification of the blocks, as to provide proper technical support for site operations. In parallel with the survey and modeling activities, an ad hoc online information system was created to support the construction site activities in a smart manner. The system allows for the consultation and the sharing of the 3D models and all the data necessary for maintenance operations of the entire Cathedral.

Cristiana Achille, Francesco Fassi, Alessandro Mandelli, Luca Perfetti, Fabrizio Rechichi, Simone Teruggi

Open Access

The 3D Model of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice

The San Marco 3D project had the ambitious goal of building a digital replica of the famous venetian basilica. Architectural surveying and modelling are very widespread procedures, but the complexity of the basilica, its decorative apparatus, in mosaic and marble, and its liveliness made this project a real challenge. Thanks to geomatics, from the most traditional topographic approach to cutting-edge methods of digital photogrammetry, it has been possible to build an information system of the basilica, a geometric database from which to continuously extract new and correct information. Even the mosaics, a main characteristic element of the basilica, have been documented through very high-resolution orthophotos, therefore providing useful and effective tools for the conservation of the basilica itself. Thus, the research project allowed for a better and deeper knowledge of the basilica, expressed through a very accurate 3D model where the geometry and the very rich decorative apparatus are merged into a single product.

Luigi Fregonese, Andrea Adami

Open Access

Automatic Processing of Many Images for 2D/3D Modelling

The era of big data requires increasing automation for the analysis of huge information in a short time and this need becomes critical when dealing with geoinformation. This chapter describes the automatic geocoding of digital images based on high-end Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing methods. In particular, the so-called Structure-from-Motion (SfM) technique is developed to handle image data sets in close-range applications, and here, it is generalized to deal with multi-scale applications. Some examples are proposed with panoramic images for the measurement of indoor narrow spaces, with smartphone cameras and UAV for the 3D reconstruction of complex monuments, as well as with airborne and satellite images for the survey at the territorial scale.

Luigi Barazzetti, Marco Gianinetto, Marco Scaioni

Open Access

Geo-Referenced Procedure to Estimate the Urban Energy Demand Profiles Towards Smart Energy District Scenarios

To effectively reduce cities’ environmental impact, current policies boost building stocks transition towards smart energy systems (i.e. distributed energy generation, renewables integration, energy storage, connection to district heating and cooling networks). Smart energy systems feature complex-related energy fluctuations, since they include the intermittent and unpredictable behaviour of renewable energies and the variable energy demand of buildings. However, the technical literature underlines the need for accurate methods adoptable in several urban contexts for detailed energy demand assessment. In this framework, a method to estimate the energy demand profiles of urban buildings has been developed with particular regard to the Italian contexts. The method includes a geo-referenced procedure to assess the volumetric consistency of a building stock by age, characterizing different technological solutions, and by the mostly diffuse urban use categories, i.e. residential and common tertiary (office), affecting different usage profiles, thanks to data available for the national territory. Specifically, spatial datasets on buildings from the Topographic Database, currently under standardization based on the European (INSPIRE) directive, and from the National Institution of Statistics (Istat) were used. In order to determine current hourly energy profiles, a set of dynamic energy simulations is foreseen, based on simplified reference buildings. Hence, the energy behaviour of selected building portions, representative of different heat exchanges boundary conditions, can be assessed. The derived hourly energy profiles per built volume can, therefore, be consistently associated with the considered building stock to obtain the overall hourly energy demand. Moreover, by assigning the upgraded technological properties to the reference buildings, it is possible to replicate the procedure and derive the variation of energy profiles for the defined retrofit scenario. The method has been tested on the city of Milan and is validated on a yearly basis.

Simone Ferrari, Federica Zagarella, Paola Caputo

Open Access

Advanced Digital Technologies for the Conservation and Valorisation of the UNESCO Sacri Monti

Information technology touches all the main activities that orbit Cultural Heritage, including management, communication, monitoring and conservation. In particular, advanced digital tools can help the process of preservation, fostering a participatory process connecting diverse experts with various skills and educational backgrounds, and empowering the maintenance activities. The practical example of this statement is its application to the Sacri Monti site. Thanks to its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the needs of the site are highlighted in the Periodic Report, a tool useful for monitoring the existing condition of the site. The research presented here attempts to develop a solution for the conservation issue, using advanced technology as a tool for managing the safeguarding activities, creating a product that actively involves users and stakeholders, contributing to the valorisation process.

Cinzia Tommasi, Cristiana Achille, Daniele Fanzini, Francesco Fassi

Open Access

Survey and Scan to BIM Model for the Knowledge of Built Heritage and the Management of Conservation Activities

Surveying a historic building means to measure, to detect and to analyse its geometries, its structural elements, the connections still existing between the different parts, in order to define its state of conservation, to make structural analysis and finally to plan a proper project of conservation, consolidation and reuse. The survey represents the first necessary moment for building’s knowledge investigation. Nowadays, the wide use of tools and accurate surveying techniques makes it possible to achieve an adequate level of accuracy of information related to the buildings; BIM tools offer a great potential, in terms of both planning and evaluation of the entire knowledge and conservation process of an historical building, and in terms of its management and future maintenance. In particular, the BIM technologies allow the communication between data coming from different software, allowing a greater exchange of information between many actors. In recent years, the generative process of Building Information Modelling (BIM) oriented to the digitization of built heritage has been supported by the development of new commands modelling able to integrate the output data produced by laser scanner surveys (point clouds) in major modelling applications. Structural elements, such as vaulted historical systems, arches, decorations, architectural ornaments and wall partitions with variable cross sections, require higher levels of detail (LOD) and information (LOI) compared to the digitalization process of new buildings. Therefore, the structure of a BIM model aimed at representing existing and historical artefacts (HBIM) requires the definition of a new digital process capable of converting traditional techniques used for the management of new buildings to those suitable for creation of digital versions of historical buildings that are unique of their kind. The aim of this paper is to present the results of the ongoing researches and activities carried out on survey and HBIM model of historical buildings.

Raffaella Brumana, Daniela Oreni, Luigi Barazzetti, Branka Cuca, Mattia Previtali, Fabrizio Banfi
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