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Application of Virtual Anastylosis Techniques for Architectural Research

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AVATAR (Application of Virtual Anastylosis Techniques for Architectural Research)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2023-03-31

This project intends to advance in the intervention and conservation of abandoned, destroyed or ruined buildings, through a methodology that allows us to explore the cultural and social significance of these architectural assets or to explore the use or function that can be assigned to them. In this way, it will be possible to carry out these works while maintaining the integrity and identity of the asset. At present, there is no systematic policy for the reconstruction of destroyed cultural heritage.

The achievement of this general objective will require the following specific objectives (SSOO), which are directly related to the current problems reflected in the background and the state of the art:

- SO.1 - To provide objectivity to the processes of intervention (liberation or consolidation) and conservation (restoration or reconstruction) of heritage buildings, through a methodology that allows exploring the cultural and social significance of these architectural assets or exploring the specific use or function that can be assigned to them. In this way, it will be possible to carry out these works while maintaining the integrity and identity of the property. This will be achieved through the application of Virtual Anastylosis techniques, which will allow us to generate a 4D model of the property, which will combine information from historical data and temporal analysis, together with geometric data (external and internal), and data obtained from the study of materials, techniques and architectural styles.

- SO.2 - Integration of IoT for the development of advanced damage monitoring procedures for architectural heritage, based on Big Data and minimalist architecture (zero or near-zero visual impact). Such monitoring will be supported by structural sensors (e.g. accelerometers, inclinometers, extensometers, etc.), as well as environmental sensors (e.g. temperature, relative humidity, light intensity, etc.). In addition, the possibility of providing autonomy to the system both in terms of communication and power supply will be studied.

- SO.3 – To develop a methodology for unifying the information of the previous specific objectives (SO.1 and SO.2) in a data model for connection with the Digital Twin technology, in order to know in an objective way, the current state of the property and the evolution of the damage it suffers. The application of this technology will mean a quantum leap in the work of intervention and conservation of heritage buildings. It will allow the implementation of preventive conservation policies in architectural assets, enabling the generation of predictive models.

- SO.4 – Implementation of a system to provide objectivity to the processes of damage diagnosis prescription (generation of prescriptive models). This will facilitate the application of preventive conservation policies in architectural buildings. The aim is to export all the information obtained in the previous specific objectives into BIM techniques.
This final report focuses on the work and objectives achieved in the first six months of the project (from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021).

During this period, the researcher has been able to make progress in:

- Selection of case studies for the project implementation (see deliberable).

- Progress on Work Package 1

Task 1: Contextualization of the architectural heritage through historical data and temporal analyses (FINISHED) - Completed in all case studies
Task 2: 3D documentation of cultural heritage (FINISHED) - Completed in all case studies
Task 3: Characterization of the underground environment of the cultural heritage (FINISHED) - Completed in all case studies
Task 4: Data homogenization
Task 5: Descriptive model

- Work Package 4: Management


In month two of the project, we have drawn up a first draft of the data management plan (milestone 5).

- Dissemination, Exploration and Communication

* Scientific publications

The following scientific work has been published during this period:

- Maté-González et al., 2021. Towards a Combined Use of Geophysics and Remote Sensing Techniques for the Characterization of a Singular Building:“El Torreón”(the Tower) at Ulaca Oppidum (Solosancho, Ávila, Spain). Sensors, 21(9), 2934.

The following shows the impact and dissemination achieved by the research:

We are also in the process of finalizing another scientific publication:

- Challenges and Possibilities of Archaeological Sites Virtual Tours: The Ulaca Oppidum (Central Spain) as a Case Study

On the other hand, during the project's implementation period, the postdoctoral researcher has collaborated in other research projects thanks to the Marie Curie grant.

- Mora et al., 2021.

- Sánchez-Aparicio t al., 2021.

* Project website

In addition, in order to increase the visibility of the project and the interest for readers and users, the following website has been created:

* European Researchers' Night. Torino, 2021

The AVATAR project researcher, together with the Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Ambiente, del Territorio e delle Infrastrutture (DIATI), participated in the European Researchers' Night 2021.

- Training and Transfer of Knowledge

* Tutor-supervised activities

Preparing a research project: Under the supervision of the mentor, the postdoctoral fellow has prepared and submitted a project to the ERC STARTING GRANT call.

Follow-up and guidance in the implementation of the AVATAR project: The functions of the AVATAR project tutor have been: i) Closely supervise the development of the research and the writing of the results; ii) To advise the postdoctoral researcher in the choice of seminars and other academic activities.
During the six months of development, this action has had a great scientific-technical, social and/or socio-economic impact at different levels.

- Scientific-technological impact:

Enhancement and harmonisation of research and development of a methodology for the documentation, management of cultural heritage for its preservation and safeguarding using modern technologies.

Promotion of research focused on the preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage.

Performance: the methodologies and techniques analysed in this action, the result of international multidisciplinary work, have enabled an exchange of information.

Efficient planning of the maintenance and management of these heritage assets in a proactive way, anticipating future problems or needs by being able to identify patterns and trends of use, or reacting to an emergency, to act immediately, thus avoiding their deterioration, destruction or risk of disappearance.

Management and monitoring of intervention and conservation work on heritage assets, with a significant impact on reducing costs and avoiding the waste of resources.

- Societal and/or socioeconomic impact:

Dissemination of information to all stakeholders and the general public (European Researchers' Night. Torino, 2021)

Enhancement of public awareness and understanding of documentation, management, preservation, and safeguarding of cultural heritage and collaboration among scientists, political and administrative stakeholders
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