APPLYING HERITAGE BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (HBIM) TO LOST HERITAGE IN CONFLICT ZONES: AL-HADBA’ MINARET IN MOSUL, IRAQ
Keywords: Crowdsource, Damaged Heritage, Digital Reconstruction, HBIM, Photogrammetry, Post-conflict Recovery
Abstract. Arguably, the weaponry development during the last century aided in destroying cultural heritage now like never before, this is illustrated in the recent destruction of irreplaceable heritage sites in Syria and Iraq due to conflict. Heritage is often destroyed to demoralise local societies, erase memory, cause extensive economic loss and assert supremacy. Therefore, post-conflict recovery needs to aid in re-establishing damaged heritage as a beacon for cultural and social recovery. Using Heritage Building Information Modelling (HBIM) could provide tools to digitally recover damaged structures. Yet, there is little research on the implementation of HBIM in conflict zones. Thus, this study seeks to apply HBIM workflows to damaged heritage by virtually reconstructing Al-Hadba’s minaret, one of Iraq’s iconic landmarks, destroyed in 2017 by the “Islamic state”. The photogrammetry process used freely available web-based images that were imported into three photogrammetry software: Agisoft Metashape©, Autodesk Recap©, and AliceVision Meshroom to compare crowdsource processing capabilities. The resulting point cloud was scaled using onsite measurements of the minaret’s remaining base and imported into Autodesk Revit© to produce a HBIM model. While the process produced comprehensive digital documentation of Al-Hadba’, it revealed many challenges confronting digital reconstruction in conflict zones such as lacking documentation, conflict of historical information, crowdsource data constraints, and their effects on the resulting point cloud’s quality. The study highlights potential tools to support post-conflict recovery and attempts to present an accessible approach that could be used as a baseline in conflict zones with limited resources to aid in the cultural recovery of valuable heritage sites that represent an irreplaceable part of their community’s collective memory.