BIM Open Source Software (OSS) for the documentation of cultural heritage


  • Sotiris Logothetis Aristotle University
  • Efstratios Stylianidis Aristotle University



BIM, cultural heritage, digital documentation, open source software, free software, 3D modelling


The Building Information Modelling (BIM) software enables the users to communicate and design, understand appearance, performance and cost in the spatial and urban design process. Another important use of the BIM technology is the documentation and 3D reconstruction of cultural heritage monuments. The appropriate BIM software equips the users with tools to easily capture and analyse concepts and maintain the coordination of design data through documentation and 3D modelling. Many developments come up in the BIM field and software industry for design, construction-reconstruction, restoration and management of the cultural heritage 3D models, using BIM tools; mainly commercial as well as free or open source. Nevertheless, recently the growing popularity of open source has altered the landscape in software industry, as they attract many users.

This paper presents a review of some recent research on the topic. We review the recent developments focusing on the OSS that can be used at various stages of BIM process in the digital documentation of cultural heritage. The results show that there is more preference in the commercial software due to the fact that the OSS is not yet complete and covers all stages of the BIM process. However, lately we have the Edificius in architectural BIM design and “BIM Vision” as Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) model viewer that try to attract as many users as possible. These tools are free and they could well be used for the digital reconstruction of cultural heritage.


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Author Biographies

Sotiris Logothetis, Aristotle University

Faculty of Engineering

School of Spatial Planning & Development

Efstratios Stylianidis, Aristotle University

Faculty of Engineering

School of Spatial Planning & Development


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How to Cite

Logothetis, S., & Stylianidis, E. (2016). BIM Open Source Software (OSS) for the documentation of cultural heritage. Virtual Archaeology Review, 7(15), 28–35.