Developing a heritage-based methodology for historical architectural characteristics to be used in the design process: The case of Beith in Scotland

Al-Irhayim, Maryam, Friend, Adrian orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7176-767X and Kamel Ahmed, Ehab orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6737-9356 (2022) Developing a heritage-based methodology for historical architectural characteristics to be used in the design process: The case of Beith in Scotland. In: Conservation of Architectural Heritage (CAH), 31st January - 2nd February 2020, Aswan-Luxor, Egypt.

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New building designs often do not serve sensitive sites like conservation areas (Heritage England & CABE, 2001,p.3) According to the publication, only new building designs that integrate with the sensitive characteristics of its surrounding settings are successful; this is a result of keen designers making effort to conduct site analysis and careful contextual character appraisal(2001,p35). It is believed that “this lesson has universal applications” regardless of location (Heritage England & CABE, 2001,p.35).
This paper presents the current stage of an ongoing research that aims to develop a methodology for objectively capturing historic architectural characteristics; using data acquisition and evaluation based on quantitative data analysis. The research employs the case study of the conservation area in Beith; a town in the North Ayrshire council district within Scotland, UK.
Preparing the needed information and employing the right tools are two of the main challenges of this research/practice field. Although desktop studies can gather appropriate information on historic characteristics, yet they proved limited. Similarly, Big Data sources, such as Lidar satellite information, digital mapping datasets and city council planning documents, proved to be unsuitable; due to the datasets gathered usually not displaying a high level of accuracy to comprehend the historical features. Hence, this research conducted a desktop study to identify the quality of the data to be initially used. Later a Faro 3D laser scanner was used to gather higher quality data. The photogrammetric model produced by the scanner proved able to capture accurate information relating to the scale, position, and proportion of the architectural characteristics of the area. This produced precise measurements that help to lead to further assimilations; such as correct identification of urban patterns, as well as the different architectural elements that compose them and defining the combination of rule sets connecting them.
This methodology will enable a more thorough comprehension of the overall historic architectural characteristics of the area, and it aims to aid the design of more appropriate new buildings that consolidate their historical settings towards sustainable future development.

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