Track 4: This New World: Preservation technology and emerging issues within our historic buildings and built landscapes

APT Student Scholar Abstract

Preservation Through Digitization: Using Photogrammetry as a Tool for Replicating Building Components

Monday, September 24
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: BNCC-106BC
Faculty Advisor: Jonathan Spodek, FAIA, FAPT – Ball State University

The accurate and thorough documentation of historic environments is critical to the success of any preservation project. Through emerging technologies, traditional means of documentation are now being supplemented with digital representations. Photogrammetry as a tool to document existing buildings has a long history of creating scalable documents from photographs. Recent advances present growing opportunities to create scalable 3-D models of existing sites and integrating these model into the fabrication process.

The growing accuracy of photogrammetry software is allowing for new applications of these models, including the replication of architectural components. Digital photographs combined with photogrammetric applications provide opportunities to document existing building components quickly and easily to generate 3-D models. These photogrammetric programs (i.e. ReCAP or Agisoft Photoscan) manage the process to create 3-D textured mesh models (image registration, object matching, photo-stitching, mesh generation) making 3-dimensional photogrammetry accessible and cost-effective. Models can be refined using surface modeling software (i.e. Maya, Fusion360, Rhino) creating scalable digital models for building documentation, virtual environments creation, or building component replication.

This methodology and application is presented through a case study project that documented and replicated a Louis Sullivan terra cotta cornice piece salvaged from the 1894 Chicago Stock Exchange building. The goal of this project was twofold. First was the creation of a digital model of the terra cotta component that could then be integrated into building modeling software (i.e. Revit). Second was to fabricate a physical replication of the same architectural piece using CNC routing technology. Each output goal was achieved by using the same initial photogrammetric mesh model, but the post-processing edits required different approaches, software, and output methods.

Digital images combined with accessible photogrammetric applications provide opportunities to document buildings quickly, easily, and without expensive equipment or extensive post-capture processing. Buildings and objects can be captured in-situ or in a lab/studio environment. This approach allows for the integration of 3D photogrammetry into professional work whether it is a traditional practice, a preservation focused business, or research-oriented work.

Learning Objectives:

Ashley Danielson

Ball State Unversity

Ashley’s passion for preservation began while completing a Bachelor of Architecture at Iowa State University. After graduating in 2016, she decided to continue her education by pursuing a Masters of Science in Historic Presrvation. At Ball State University Ashley researched methods of digital documentation for use in interpretation, component replication, and restoration planning of historic buildings. She also explored her interest in the role of preservation in community development through her thesis on the impacts of historic preservation in rural communities. During the summer of 2017 she worked with Main Street Iowa where she offered design assistance to communities across the state. Having graduated in May of 2018, Ashley is currently employed at RATIO Architects in their Indianapolis office's preservation studio. She plans on continuing to investigate the use of technology in the field of preservation as she pursues her architectural license.


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Elisabeth Bakker Johnson

Elisabeth Bakker Johnson is an Associate Project Coordinator for the New York State University Construction Fund. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Math and Computer Science from Roberts Wesleyan College, a Masters of Architecture from SUNY Buffalo and a Masters of Science in Building Conservation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With over 26 years of New York state service, Elisabeth has extensive experience in facilities management and within all phases of the design and construction industry, where she has worked alongside the Capitol Architect and in many other capacities on dozens of projects, most notably the 49-million-dollar Phase 4 New York State Capitol roof and skylight replacement project. She also has several years’ experience working at the New York State Historic Preservation Office and as an Historic Preservation Restoration Coordinator helping to facilitate restoration projects among the state-owned historic sites’ inventory in New York’s Capital District.

Elisabeth has published several articles, some of which can be found in the Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture, where she has five entries related to historic Dutch architecture. As one of the founding Board members of APTNE, a former APTNE Vice President, and as a licensed architect, she continues to champion her longtime passions of architecture and historic preservation through her commitment to several preservation organizations and through any other capacity where she can make a difference.


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Preservation Through Digitization: Using Photogrammetry as a Tool for Replicating Building Components

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