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Where Historic Preservation and Technology Merge

CADD MicrosystemsNovember 22nd, 2016

Life's pretty busy over here at CADD Microsystems, so this blogpost is a bit delayed, but better late than never!

I have the great privilege of being a member of the Association for Preservation Technology (APTI) for many years now. About 3 years ago, a new committee was formed - the Technical Committee on Documentation, and within a year, we had organized and presented a 2 day workshop at the annual conference! This workshop was such a rousing success that it went on a road. The first stop was sunny Honolulu, Hawaii in September of 2015. I unfortunately was not able to attend, as I had just given birth to twins 2 weeks prior, but my co-presenter, Brandon Friske, did an amazing job.

The next stop was Philadelphia, PA, in March of 2016. Over 120 people attended, which was more than expected and it was again a great success. That time I presented alone.

Third stop was this past September in the beautiful Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, at the historic Trinity Church. For this presentation, my co-presenter and I updated and revamped our presentation, to add in additional technologies that we had discovered since the first time, about 2 years ago. We had a pretty great turnout of about 100 people this time.

The workshop brought together architects, engineers, historic preservationists, conservators, and building owners, to learn about the different technologies out there to work on and with historic buildings. The first day was a series of lectures, followed by a second day of hands-on demonstrations, using the historic church as our laboratory.

We learned about:

  • Advances in laser scanning and photogrammetry
  • how the regulations surrounding commercial drone usage just changed at the end of August (less stringent, hooray!)
  • ways to evaluate the conditions in your non-destructively (ground penetrating radar, infrared thermography, acoustics, metal detectors, laser scanning)
  • evaluating how your building handles moisture and energy (energy simulation, air leakage testing, infrared thermography, wall analysis)
  • using x-rays to determine the elements within a material (XRF spectrometer)

My presentation was about technology related to  the 5 categories below.

  1. Survey
  2. Design
  3. Construction
  4. Maintenance
  5. Collaboration & Communication


If you're interested in finding out more about APTI or the local DC chapter, please click on the links below.

Association for Preservation Technology International

Association for Preservation Technology - Washington, DC Chapter

I leave you with some amazing images of the church. It was a fantastic space for this very important topic.

Amazing goldwork and stained glass window at the alter.


Flying a drone INSIDE the sanctuary!


Interested in learning more? We'd love to chat!

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