The Historic Building Information Management (HBIM) tool serves multiple purposes, many that have been defined in our previous blog posts on data and usage. Still, there are some that have yet to be realized.  
How can HBIM be utilized going forward, beyond its standard purposes for AEC professionals? Here are a few ways that preservationists and consumers can use it. 

  • Drawing correlations: In the future, preservationists may expand the purpose of their HBIM system beyond a repository for historic documents and data. They can harness it to chart how landmarks relate to their present-day environments and communities. This could give them the foundation necessary to more proactively manage how sites evolve over time.
  • Telling stories: As HBIM grows, it has the capacity to create links and better understanding between historical sites. The information in HBIM at one historic location may one day be viewed and understood in the context of another, and platforms could be linked to enhance the education or experience of visitors. A docent or preservationist who wants to enhance the information at their site with details from another, or attempt to fill in murky details about an unknown past, may be able to rely on another site’s HBIM to connect the dots.
  • Enhancing education: HBIM can offer new insights into telling old tales. For children especially, it may engage their imagination and trigger excitement about iconic or defining events and upcoming trips to a site. Historical maps could be displayed with an interactive component at various locations on the map, where a person could learn about what happened along an ancient journey. Sharing information between different landmarks from one location could better help explain complex histories with regard to other factors such as the economy during that time in history.


  • Reliving history: Perhaps the most exciting and entertaining use of HBIM could await people who visit landmarks. Teamed with augmented reality functions, HBIM could enable a user to step into the location as it appeared generations ago, or step into the future to see how it will evolve. This technology could be deployed as a mobile app for smartphones and tablets. Virtual reality could be just as fascinating. Using audio tools, a person could view the property as it was in the past.
  • Differing perspectives: A user may be able to see the location through the eyes of a U.S. president who passed through, or a slave who worked at the property. Audio recordings and recollections could create a truly immersive experience—something that school textbooks couldn’t compete with.

These possible modalities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how HBIM could be advanced in the future. Right now, though, the current platform paves the way for a beginning. And where that could take HBIM is yet to be determined. 
Learn more about how we can bring your historic preservation site to life by downloading the guide here.