75456 - Survey of Historic Buildings M

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Silvia Bertacchi

  • Learning modules Silvia Bertacchi (Modulo 1)
    Filippo Fantini (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ICAR/17

  • Language English

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Engineering of Building Processes and Systems (cod. 8829)

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class, student has knowledge of the methodologies to provide a survey of the historic fabric and structure, including its constituent materials and the decay phenomena that affect it. In particular, at the end of the course he/she is able to plan and carry out an accurate measured and photographic record of an historic building, by recording its main elements as well as the relationship with its surroundings and the landscape.

Course contents

The course is focused on the complex current scenario of software applications and devices (ranging from active to passive sensors), aimed at documenting and disseminating historical buildings. 3D laser scanners based on Time of Flight (ToF), phase shift, triangulation and laser stripe technologies provide a wide panorama of technological solutions for the creation of reality-based digital models at different scales and with different resolution. In addition, novel photogrammetric applications based on Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithms now provide efficient solutions for the achievement of highly detailed models with apparent colour applied. Hence, the course will provide students with the basic vocabulary of both software and hardware, the most updated workflow for data processing and optimization and the necessary skills for the production of 2D and 3D outputs, aimed at maintenance and restoration practices.


NB: References, scientific papers, software, web pages and other sources helpful for further details on specific topics will be recommended during theoretical lectures.

M. Bini, S. Bertocci, Manuale di Rilievo architettonico e urbano, Città Studi edizioni-De Agostini Scuola, 2012.

B. Benedetti, M. Gaiani, F. Remondino, Modelli digitali 3D in archeologia: il caso di Pompei, Pisa, Edizioni della Normale, 2010.

M. Docci, D. Maestri, Manuale di rilevamento architettonico e urbano, Bari, Laterza, 2009.

Teaching methods

The course is based on frontal lectures on theoretical and methodological aspects of ranging devices, 3D digital models and software from the field of mesh processing, reverse modelling, SfM, entertainment and image editing.

Some case studies will be shown during the lessons in order to explain how novel survey techniques contribute to the achievement of high-level results in the field of Cultural Heritage preservation.

The method adopted for the development of students' skills is based also on practical workshop in the classroom, as well as in Ravenna’s Historic Centre.

Students, in small groups, have to carry out different exercises concerning surveying techniques and applications, whose working principles will be presented during a series of workshops. During these activities, students will learn:

  • the use of 3D laser scanner devices;
  • the use of a set of different applications aimed at the construction of mesh models, their optimization and texture mapping;
  • the extraction of useful 2D and 3D information for the production of accurate drawings (contour lines, silhouettes, sections, best fitting primitive geometries, etc.);
  • to carry out thematic drawings according to ICOMOS-ISCS glossary for stone deterioration patterns and NORMAL 1/88;
  • the creation of 3D digital models for dissemination of Cultural Heritage.

Assessment methods

During each lecture at least 2 hours will be addressed to revision of workshop activities.

The final exercise, to sit for the examination, can be carried out on the topic of historical buildings in Ravenna, within a group of 3 students at most, and will consist in the production of a set of technical drawings and digital models aimed at conservation and restoration practices.

Teaching tools

E-learning service "Survey of Historic Buildings M" for teaching and communication purposes.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Silvia Bertacchi

See the website of Filippo Fantini