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Preserve the Future with the Past: how historical buildings can be preserved through monitoring and predictive maintenance

February 7, 2023

Preserve the Future with the Past: how historical buildings can be preserved through monitoring and predictive maintenance

Cultural heritage is a fundamental component of a country's history and identity. Historical buildings, in particular, are tangible symbols of our heritage and have to be preserved for the upcoming generations. However, the preservation of these buildings is often complicated due to several practical facts and how to implement the proper systems of prevention without compromising the architectural aspects.

Luckily, technology is offering new solutions to preserve these precious treasures. Structural monitoring and predictive maintenance are two technologies that are making a significant difference in the preservation of historical buildings.

IoT Platform for Monitoring and Preventing Signs of Time

Monitoring involves the use of sensors and surveillance technologies to constantly monitor the structural integrity of buildings. Thanks to an IoT platform it is possible to collect and process a huge amount of data, which are collected from sensors installed in the structure. Monitor, detect, control the signs of degradation such as cracks or settling, and provide the maintenance team with useful information. This allows anomalies to be quickly identified and measures taken to prevent further deterioration. 

On the other hand, AI algorithms are implemented for predictive maintenance, as a matter of fact algorithms analyse and train data collected from sensors and the outcome is a prediction about the maintenance plan that should be followed. This allows conservation managers to plan preventive maintenance instead of having to react only when problems become severe.

Examples of Intelligent Monitoring Applied to Historic Buildings in Italy 

In Italy, these IoT technologies are already making a big difference in the preservation of historic buildings. For example, the Colosseum in Rome has been equipped with an advanced monitoring system that constantly monitors its structural integrity. This has allowed the identification of the anomaly and prevention from worsening.

Another example is the Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma, which has been equipped with a monitoring system that includes predictive maintenance. This system uses sensors and AI algorithms to constantly monitor the structure and predict future maintenance problems. This has reduced maintenance costs by scheduling preventive interventions and ensuring long-term preservation of the palace itself.

Advantages of an IoT Monitoring System for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage

To sum up, the overall benefits of intelligent monitoring of historic buildings and sites are:

  • Damage prevention: intelligent monitoring can help prevent future damage by providing information on environmental conditions and the effects of stress on the building's structure.
  • Maintenance planning: Predictive monitoring allows preventive maintenance to be planned, reducing the risk of future damage and minimising costs.
  • Time and money savings: Intelligent monitoring of historic buildings can save time and money, as it allows for maintenance problems to be predicted and dealt with promptly, avoiding more serious and expensive damage to be repaired in the future.
  • Cultural heritage preservation: Intelligent monitoring allows for the preservation of cultural heritage for future generations, ensuring that historical buildings remain intact and accessible for a long time.
  • Improved safety: Constant monitoring of historical buildings can contribute to ensuring the safety of people who work or visit there, by identifying any problems or dangers.

In conclusion, the past offers many opportunities to preserve our future. Through monitoring and predictive maintenance, we can protect historical buildings for future generations and ensure our legacy is preserved forever.

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