The importance of digital twins in historic preservation

M. Christian Davis
2 min readMar 25, 2023


Photo by AG Z, Building restoration with scaffolds

Digital twins, which are digital copies of real-world structures or objects, have grown in prominence recently in several industries, including historic preservation.

Preservationists may now document and study historical structures while also preserving them for future generations, thanks to the usage of digital twins. We’ll talk about the value of digital twins in historic preservation in this post.

To record and preserve historical structures, preservationists have long depended on conventional documentation methods, including pictures, drawings, and written descriptions. These techniques, while helpful, don’t necessarily give a complete picture of the structure.

In contrast, digital twins offer a three-dimensional depiction of the form that considers physical shape, spatial relationships, and structural specifics. These details are essential for accurately documenting historic buildings, especially those deteriorating or in danger of disappearing.

Preservationists may now evaluate and comprehend historic structures in previously impossible ways because of digital twins. For instance, a digital twin can simulate how environmental elements like wind and sunlight affect the structure construction. Preservationists can then determine structure maintenance.

Digital twins aid in the study, documentation, and practical preservation of historical sites. Digital twins can be utilized to direct restoration activities by offering a complete and precise depiction of the structure. Ensuring restoration work is carried out appropriately and in a way that maintains the building’s historical integrity.

Digital twins could completely alter the public’s perception of historical architecture. Preservationists can enable visitors to explore and experience historical sites in ways not feasible by developing interactive digital twins.

For instance, a virtual tour allows individuals to explore a historical building from the comfort of their own homes using a digital twin of the building.

The skill needed to generate digital twins is one of the difficulties with using them in historic preservation. Specialized software, technology, 3D modelling and data analysis knowledge are needed to create a digital twin.

Digital twins in historic restoration are likely to become more widely used as the technology becomes more widely available and the advantages become more evident.

In conclusion, digital twins are an effective strategy for protecting historical sites, offering a thorough and realistic picture of old buildings for research, study, preservation, and public outreach. Although developing digital twins has its difficulties, their advantages make them vital for safeguarding our cultural heritage for future generations.



M. Christian Davis

Co-Founder at Narrative VR, Awesome hair doing Blade Runner stuff. 100% magic. I never have a common place solution or am boring.