French officials are embracing BIM, another CONTECH in the Notre Dame reconstruction project


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Dive Brief: Old will become new again at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with the help of some modern building technologies from Autodesk Design Company, based in California. Autodesk became an official member of the sponsorship established to restore a 12th century cathedral destroyed by a wildfire, believed to have begun in an attic, in 2019. Its famous spire has collapsed, and its main roof has collapsed after a colossal oak. Its supporting beams were burned. Autodesk will contribute design and build solutions, including BIM support and technical expertise. “We feel humbled to participate in the future restoration and preservation of Notre Dame, one of the truly remarkable architectural wonders of the world,” said Nicholas Mangon, Autodesk Vice President of Business Strategy for Architecture, Engineering and Structural Design Solutions. statement. Dive Insight: Since the fire broke out two years ago, Autodesk has provided funding and technology to support the effort through the French Foundation Fondation du Patrimoine (The Heritage Foundation). The company noted that the use of BIM (shown in the presentation above) will help create a digital historical record to increase flexibility for future events and restoration. The data generated using pre-fire reality capture techniques allowed Autodesk to create a 3D BIM model of Notre Dame Cathedral as it existed prior to the catastrophic event. Then Autodesk used modern reality capture scans to create post-shot 3D models for comparison. Reconstruction on the cathedral began a few months after the fire, and has continued ever since, with a hiatus of only three months during the pandemic, according to Architectural Digest vehicle. The initial safety phase involved building scaffolding around the structure and strengthening the flying struts supporting the massive stone walls. As of this month, all of the burned wood has been removed, AD reports, and while there is still an opening in the roof, a replica of the Notre Dame Tower is being built with more than 1,000 oak trees donated from all over France. The current goal is to finish enough reconstruction to allow visitors to the church during the 2024 Summer Olympics. Autodesk noted that by adopting the digital approach, the Fondation du Patrimoine enables cloud collaboration between stakeholders. The shared data environment will act as the central repository for all project information, and project stakeholders will have access to the most recent data and plans. “The use of digital technologies designed to supervise and manage the restoration site is essential for the public institution,” said General Jean-Louis Georgeslin, General in the French Army in charge of overseeing the reconstruction project. “Thanks to Autodesk’s sponsorship, the use of advanced design and construction technologies and BIM is being utilized to help prepare for the reopening of the cathedral, and to welcome once again pilgrims and visitors.”


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