Digital Heritage 2018 3rd International Congress & Expo
avatar for Digital Technologies in the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Parliament Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Digital Technologies in the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Parliament Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Booth Carleton Immersive Media Studio
16 Moorside Pvt Ottawa, K2C 3P4 Canada
Digital Technologies in the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Parliament Hill National Historic Site of Canada
by Lara Chow, Stephen Fai and Katie Graham

Over the past decade, the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) has developed an international reputation working with public, private, and not-for-profit partners to develop a diverse portfolio of projects that demonstrate the potential of new and emerging digital technologies for architectural rehabilitation and heritage conservation. CIMS is a Carleton University Research Centre associated with the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism. The research centre has five streams of inquiry: Digitization, Building Information Modelling (BIM), Simulation, Digitally Assisted Fabrication, and Digitally Assisted Storytelling. This diverse range of research interests has cultivated a multi-disciplinary team — students range from undergraduates to post-doctoral fellows and come from disciplines such as architecture, engineering, computer-human interaction, public history, and information technology. 

Our Digitization stream focuses on the digital capture of the material world through the use of various technologies such as terrestrial laser scanning, photogrammetry, and 360 photography and video. The data is translated and applied to a wide range of programs that support heritage conservation and rehabilitation. 

The Building Information Modelling (BIM) stream develops models from geo-referenced spatial data of heritage buildings and sites. Innovative modelling workflows are created for the development of our heritage BIM — including ways of communicating the verification of building elements to point cloud data and highlighting deformations of building elements.  

Using the digital assets created in the BIM stream, we collaborate with colleagues in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University to run building performance, lighting, and user occupancy simulations for heritage sites. 

Our research on Digitally Assisted Fabrication considers the integration of digital technologies and traditional building crafts and construction. The work is not about replacing the hand of the craftsperson, but rather to augment existing workflows and to reduce risk to health and physical injury. 

In our Digitally Assisted Storytelling stream, we look at the development of online, mobile, and on-site exhibitions that leverage information from the digitization, BIM, and fabrication processes in order to foreground heritage assets that are not physically accessible to the public. Projects include interactive augmented reality for an exhibition of artifacts, active and passive virtual reality that tell stories of history and rehabilitation processes, and apps for navigating heritage sites. 

At the expo, we will showcase a series of innovative research projects undertaken by CIMS in association with public and private partners that focus on the use of digital technologies in the context of heritage conservation and rehabilitation. These projects explore digital recording, modelling, and valourization undertaken as part of the current rehabilitation of the Parliament Hill National Historic Site in Ottawa, Canada