Context 161 - September 2019

30 C O N T E X T 1 6 1 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 3D video of Stirling Castle built up from multi- layered data sets, which could be used to engage and empower the public. ‘Digital technology can bring buildings to life,’ Wilson said. It was surprising how many other organisations and partners are using these technologies over a wide range of projects. The technology has been used to monitor coastal erosion on the neolithic village of Skara Brae as part of the Dynamic Coast: Scotland’s Coastal Change Assessment. The monitoring has enabled HES to understand how effective the coastal defences are in protecting the site and to plan for future safeguards. The case study of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art was showed how the pre- vious data was compared to data after the fire, to help the team assess the building’s movement and inform the decision-making process. The fire took place on a Friday; by the Monday the team at HES had collected its data and gener- ated information to show that the top section of the western gable of the library needed to be taken down and rebuilt. Digital data was also used to assist taking down the gable. The 3D data was turned into a 2D CAD system to identify each stone of the gable. These were marked up on site so that the gable could be reassembled accurately.The 3D models and video walk through brought home how the digital world can allow us to access dangerous buildings and gain a better understanding of their condition without contact. Wilson pointed out that we need to exercise caution when assessing the value of these data sets as digital preservation is not a substitute for physical preservation. For more information on the use of digital tech- nology in the historic environment, see the short guide by HES: Applied Digital Documentation in the Historic Environment. Janine Dykes The legal consequences of destroying heritage assets Charles Mynors, a lawyer with the Law Commission of England and Wales, set out the legal remedies for the destruction of heritage assets, whether through deliberate neglect or demolition. A thread running through this talk was that while legal avenues exist, enforcement and prosecution should be approached with care. As Mynors put it: ‘remember justice as well as law’. A balance needs to be struck between preventing harm to heritage assets and the confusions that owners of listed buildings often experience. For a breach of planning control (breaching the conditions of a planning application or of lead from a church roof could have disastrous consequences for weddings, probably leading to them being cancelled. It was important that the police recorded these as ‘heritage crimes’. CCTV was useful in tracking down criminals, so it should be among the security measures on a property. It was one of the few ways of potentially identifying criminals after the event, and it could be sensitively designed. Measures such as landscaping, including defensive planting, could be options for historic sites as they were often sympathetic. Armson-Smith emphasised that it was impor- tant to consider security at all times, such as in a disaster recovery plan, when the collection or contents were no longer secure within the building. It could be easy to get caught out in disaster situations. He recommended consulting Historic England’s Heritage Crime Prevention Measures: a guide for owners, tenants and managers of heritage assets and talking to heritage specialists in local police forces. Ian Pritchard and Melanie Jane Campbell Digital against disaster Lyn Wilson, a heritage scientist who is digital documentationmanager atHistoric Environment Scotland (HES), spoke about digital technology for future proofing against disaster. Based at HES’s new Engine Shed, Wilson’s role involves leading and enabling the sector in strategic development and the application of innovative digital technologies. Her talk demon- strated how digital technology can have multiple uses and applications, including documenting and monitoring heritage assets. Wilson explained how HES is undertaking a multi-year project to capture all 3,336 assets in the care of Scottish ministers. She showed a Lyn Wilson: digital technology can bring buildings to life

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