Using Digital Twin Models (DTM) for managing, protecting and restoring historical buildings


  • Federico Cinquepalmi Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Fabrizio Cumo Dipartimento di Pianificazione, Design, Tecnologia dell'Architettura, Sapienza Università di Roma



Digital Twin for heritage, built environment management, climate change impacts, extreme events prevention


Historical buildings are essential cultural assets to be preserved and maintained for the sake of future generations. However, they are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters and other extreme events, which can cause irreparable damage or even their total loss. To manage these risks, a growing number of experts are turning to Digital Twin Models (DTM), conceived as more than a mere virtual replica of physical objects or systems. They can be used to monitor, inspect, and simulate the functioning and behaviour of a building in real-world scenarios. In the context of reconstruction, DTM can be used to create virtual models of damaged buildings, allowing experts to assess the extent of the damage and plan restoration. By creating a DTM of a historical building, experts can gain valuable insights into its construction technique, structural integrity, maintenance needs, and potential vulnerabilities in real time. This can help to extend the lifespan of the historical building and ensure that it remains in good condition for future generations. In case of an extreme event, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, war or vandalism, a DTM, together with all related enabling digital technologies, can be used to plan for and respond to the crisis, also simulating the effects of a disaster to develop emergency response plans accordingly. Therefore, the use of DTM can enhance the current vision of a historical building thus helping it to increase its resiliency to potential damaging, preserving, and maintaining its historical and cultural value and characteristics through time.




How to Cite

Cinquepalmi, F., & Cumo, F. (2023). Using Digital Twin Models (DTM) for managing, protecting and restoring historical buildings. Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage, 22(1), 425–445.