Towards a digitised process-wheel for historic building repair & maintenance projects in Scotland

Scott McGibbon, Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, Ming Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - With the increasing demand for high quality economical and sustainable historic building Repair and Maintenance (R&M) allied with the perennial problem of skills shortages (PM-project management and on-site practice) investment in new technologies becomes paramount for modernising training and practice. Yet, the historic R&M industry, in particular Small-Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have yet to benefit from digital technologies (such as laser scanning, virtual reality (VR) and cloud-computing) which have the potential to enhance performance and productivity.
Design/methodology/approach - a qualitative participatory action research approach was adopted. One demonstration project (Project A) exhibiting critical disrepair, showcasing the piloting of a five phased digitised 'process-wheel' intended to provide a common framework for facilitating collaboration of project stakeholders thereby aiding successful project delivery is reported. Five semi-structured interviews were conducted with industry employers to facilitate the process-wheel concept development.
Findings - Implementing only Phase 1 of the digitised 'process-wheel' (e-Condition surveying incorporating laser scanning) resulted in an estimated 25-30% cost and time savings (when compared to conventional methods. The accrued benefits are two-fold: (1) provide a structured standardised data capturing approach that is shared in a common project repository amongst relevant stakeholders; (2) inform the application of digital technologies to attain efficiencies across various phases of the process-wheel.
Originality/value - This paper has provided original and valuable information on the benefits of modernising R&M practice, highlighting the importance of continued investment in innovative processes and new technologies for historical building R&M to enhance existing practice and inform current training provision. Future work will focus on further piloting and validation of the process-wheel in its entirety on selected demonstration projects with a view of supporting the industry to digitised its workflows and going fully digital to realise optimum process efficiencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-480
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2018


  • Historic building
  • Repair and maintenance
  • Digital workflow
  • Demonstration projects
  • SME


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