Wessex Archaeology is a leading organisation in BIM for heritage uses. Our BIM experts can guide you through the BIM process, advise on the particular needs of your heritage project, or create a so called “BIM-ready” model from a laser scan survey, in a process commonly referred to as Scan to BIM. We can also advise on how incorporating heritage contractors into the BIM process can bring efficiencies to large construction schemes, and how heritage information can be incorporated into BIM models of historic buildings to assist in their management and use.

What is BIM?

The UK Government drive to reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs by 20%, and minimise risk through the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has resulted in widespread adoption across the construction industry, making it more efficient, successful and stable. The clear benefits of BIM mean that it is now used by firms large and small, whether working on public or private sector projects.

BIM is far more than the use of certain software or 3D modelling; it is a project, data and resource management process with a focus on integration and collaboration. This requires the use of 3D data, collaborative tools, clear documentation and strict contract control, all under a framework of industry standards.

Diagram to show how BIM fits within the planning process

How archaeology can fit into the BIM process during the RIBA Plan of Works cycle.


BIM for Heritage

The principles of BIM can also be applied to heritage projects, both with historic buildings and infrastructure projects, to gain the same client benefits seen in the rest of the construction industry.

Archaeological works can have a great impact on the design of various aspects of schemes, such as timescales, layouts and planning conditions. By incorporating heritage contractors into the BIM process projects can be run more efficiently, time and space conflicts can be avoided, and planning conditions can be better understood by scheme designers.

Through consulting with clients and investing in a detailed understanding of how BIM is used in the construction industry, Wessex Archaeology have developed work flows for the application of BIM in a heritage context in order to maximise these project benefits.  

One of the key elements of a successful project is early engagement of all contractors and BIM puts this at its heart. Contacting us at the early stages of your project will allow us to deliver the maximum benefit of BIM and improve project outcomes.

We recommend clients clearly define what use they want to use BIM for in their project and use this to detail their requirements in an Employers Information Requirements document (EIR) before seeking responses from contractors. This will allow contractors to respond with an appropriate BIM Execution Plan (BEP) and get the project off to the right start.  If you don’t know where to start, would like to discuss your BIM requirements, or want a CPD session on BIM and heritage, please get in touch.

For more information on some of the ways BIM can be utilised in a heritage context you can also read our four part article series in BIM Today magazine issues 3-6.


Contact our team today

+44 1722 326867

+44 1722 326867
Chris Breeden

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Contact Chris Breeden, Spatial Data & Digital Innovation Manager

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