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Preserving Wooden Heritage. Methods for monitoring wooden structures: 3D laser scanner survey and application of BIM systems on point cloud models

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PresWoodenHeritage (Preserving Wooden Heritage. Methods for monitoring wooden structures: 3D laser scanner survey and application of BIM systems on point cloud models)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2019-05-31

The wooden architectural heritage is today an object of growing interest in scientific research, even on international scale. This can be seen not only from the architectural point of view but also from the angle of the theoretical approaches. Yet the state of the art concerning the Wooden Heritage in Europe is unfortunately not encouraging or supporting any scientific approach for preservation nor restoration activities – due to the unsystematic or totally lacking documentation. However, the consciousness of the importance of wooden architecture has improved, but still there are too many anthropological and sociological factors, which are compromising the preservation of wooden architecture. For this reason, one of the main objectives and task of the project has been to carry out urgent survey and to catalogue this vast and unique wooden world heritage. Fires and abandonment for negligence are the main factors that are jeopardizing the preservation of this architecture. According to the theoretical preface, Preserving Wooden Heritage has investigated theoretical and practical methods in order to keep and preserve wooden architecture starting by the analysis and study of the Finnish Wooden Architecture.
The overall objectives involve the development of systematic, specific and technical procedures of interventions based on scientific and digital survey, 2D/3D representations for interdisciplinary purposes and outputs such as for diagnostic analysis and cataloging of the elements with census activities for the elaboration of digital inventories.
Even if the application of the analysis and of digital processes focus on timber architecture, methods and procedures are described by using a wider point of view extended to the general sphere of the documentation of architecture through the latest digital systems. The results obtained have been very satisfactory producing information with very high metric reliability. The investigation on the chosen case studies has explored environmental, urban and building scales, deepening the applicability of certain procedures of investigation on both historic and modern Nordic Heritage.
The project has been developed in all its parts according to the research plan explained in the application. The project interacted with different sectors of investigation and scientific competences in order to elaborate an interdisciplinary approach, to obtain new insights useful in both the academic and business environments. One of the main goal concerned the transformation of survey operations and analysis in the main technical strategy for determining the new values and innovative procedures necessary for intervention projects or restoration activities and offer to the experts a procedural system tested on specific case studies. In addition to this, the project has represented a crucial opportunity to increase the level of knowledge for each case documented and improve the capacity of application of certain procedures so far unreached.
According to the research plan described in the Grant Agreement of the project the activities started with the identification of the representative wooden case studies thanks to with build up the method and test different research approaches.
The research has contributed to the elaboration of new updated knowledge while testing the latest technology applied to the preservation and restoration fields in the analysis of different cultural heritage. At the same time, the methodology used in the documentation of wooden architectural heritage has been renewed and implemented with new and more accurate approaches.

The researcher has represented the active intermediary between all the activities, prompting the testing of integrated systems and disseminating to all the participants the progress of the work. This aspect has represented the key point in order to keep updated the important transfer of knowledge (ToK). The dissemination of the research topics, methods and procedures has been spread through different types of activities. Results have been presented and published during conferences, in order to verify and share the appropriateness of the methods used and discuss about the results obtained.
This research has involved an investigation, devoted to historical, archival and academic studies, a theoretical part based on value-assessment and thirdly the practical part, devoted to experiments by testing new digital tools, equipment software and procedures.
All three areas have been developed by providing interesting new approaches from the academic point of view, more linked to teaching experiences and relationship with students, and from the practical point of view through the deepening of technical knowledge on wooden architecture and digital survey methods. The researcher had an important role within the research unit because she introduced new skills by making her knowledge available for colleagues and for the students of the faculty. For each case study, the researcher implemented the state of the art. From the practical point of view, the project offered the possibility to test the latest digital instruments and equipment.
The innovative aspect of this research has been the transformation of survey operations and analysis in the main technical strategy for determining the new values and innovative procedures necessary for intervention projects or restoration activities.

The research project has developed scientific, technical and operational methods for documenting wooden structures, meaning both the historical and the modern architectural heritage. Through the analysis and documentation of each singular case study, it has been possible to define the precise procedures by creating operative procedures, fundamental in supporting the work of architects, engineers and technicians. The project interacted with different sectors of investigation and scientific competences.

The results of these research activities have highlighted that the development of intervention strategies for the preservation of cultural heritage must today be based on updated documentation. It is evident that the careful acquisition of data has a fundamental role in validating each decision in any sector of detection. The elaboration of new analysis and intervention strategies for wooden heritage is an urgent requirement. Companies, academic units, and state officials should start investing in this sector.
The outcome of this MC project is unique. It proves that the triangle combining research, theory and practice was needed in order to come up with a new way of documentation. The fact that this project combined the latest technology of laser-scanning with careful traditional archive studies of architectural history and also with the value-assessment makes this research fundamental for its potential impact.
Combination of different images describing some of the case studies analysed