Health of iconic Vatican Basilica monitored using digital twin

digital twin
Digital twin created to monitor health of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.

A digital twin project developed to monitor and preserve the architectural heritage of St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, has won an award.

The Italferr project required extensive surveying of the iconic Renaissance structure, creating more than three terabytes of multi-sourced data.

The six-month project scooped the top prize in the surveying and monitoring category in Bentley’s Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure.

Data from the Basilica, which famously features work from genius polymath Michelangelo, was put into a reality mesh where it could be shared among multiple disciplines and stakeholders to facilitate continued monitoring.

Italferr used integrated and open 3D modelling and digital twin technology to generate the digital twin model that was then shared among 30 people. The project playbook included: iTwin, iTwin Capture, LumenRT, MicroStation, OpenBuildings, OpenCities, ProjectWise

Italferr estimated that by working in a “collaborative” digital environment it saved 50 hours of modelling time and was able to deliver the model 20 days ahead of schedule.

The iTwin structural monitoring system allows data collection and is connected to the digital twin to monitor the basilica’s health.

Winning use of digital

Other winning projects in the digital infrastructure awards included a huge Australian level crossing removal project. The Victorian government’s project aims to remove 110 level crossings from across its jurisdiction to improve safety, support sustainable transport and ease congestion.

WSP Australia won the bridges and tunnels category for its Parkdale level crossing removal scheme that involved creating a digital twin using Bentley’s open modeling applications and ProjectWise.

Meanwhile, Laing O’Rourke won the construction category for its Surrey Hills level crossing removal project. It used Synchro to create a detailed 4D model, visualising the entire construction programme in a cloud-based platform.

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