WG 2

Underground Built Heritage Conservation & Monitoring


Leader: Alfonso Bahillo

Universidad de Deusto (ES)


Co-Leader: Robert Olbrycht

Institute of Electronics Lodz University of Technology (PL)

Starting by reviewing sectoral literatures, the WG individuates the main methodological approaches and defines new research questions for the UBH conservation, which are incorporated in the case-studies assessment and in future research needs. The WG pays attention to technologies for UBH non-invasive diagnosis, innovative ICT tools for on-site monitoring tools of the cavities (sensoring) techniques for evaluating the stability of the site, integrated approaches to the stability of cavities, techniques of simulation of underground failures, detailed high-resolution visualisation and reconstruction of the more interesting items of the heritage. The WG contributes to the case-studies assessment and to the training school modules, and finally publishes the results.


  • Fernando Álvarez Franco (ES)
  • Kerim Aydiner (TR)
  • Alfonso Bahillo (ES)
  • Antonino Barba (IT)
  • Julijana Bojadjieva (MK)
  • Natália Botica (PT)
  • Sergio Ciocanu (MD)
  • Aníbal Costa (PT)
  • Ana Rosa Cruz (PT)
  • Sebastiano D’Amico (MT)
  • Mirjana Devetaković (RS)
  • Pasquale Di Pace (IT)
  • Marco Leo (IT)
  • Giovanni Leucci (IT)
  • Zili Li (IE)
  • Marta Lorenzon (FI)
  • Eva Savina Malinverni (IT)
  • Gianluca Minin (IT)
  • Robert Olbrycht (PL)
  • Zsuzsa Eszter Pető (HU)
  • Roberto Pierdicca (IT)
  • Fabio Remondino (IT)
  • Luis Javier Sánchez Aparicio (ES)
  • Sabrina Shurdhi (TR)
  • Rao Martand Singh (UK)
  • Pawel Strumillo (PL)
  • Alice Tavares (PT)
  • Gábor András Tomka (HU)
  • Lola Vico Lopez (IT)
  • Slobodan Zivaljevic (ME)

WG Meetings results

Ancona, June 6-7th

WG2 meeting, leaded by Alfonso Bahillo, produced the following meeting results:

Members discussed about the specific (ICT) tools that every member could provide to any of the case studies and/or living labs. These are the (ICT) tools that can be probed in any case study:

  • Thermal imaging cameras for vision in darkness and dampness detection
  • Geo-radar and geophysical surveys for locate underground structures
  • Collection and digitalization of old UBH data
  • Stress and deformation monitoring
  • Dynamic load monitoring for vibrations
  • Remote (wirelessly) sensing (cracks, water, inclination, settlement…)
  • SLAM for 3D modelling
  • Computational Modelling of UBH

Then, a list of questions helped the members to better understand each case study and living lab context, and to focus efforts in such a context. These were the specific questions to be (mainly) answered by the case study stakeholders:

  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What are they expectations?
  • What specific tools and resources do the stakeholders use for UBH conservation and monitoring (if any)?
  • Pros and Cons of those specific tools?
  • Legal requirements when installing new equipment and collecting, processing, publishing and providing UBH data?
  • Strategic approach to integrate in surroundings?

Two members of the WG2 give two technical talks: Thermal imaging by Robert Olbrych (Lodz University of Technology, Poland); Remote Sensing by Zili Li (University College Cork, Ireland).

Working Document

Presentation Results WG2 COST18110 Presentation WG2 Ancona

Naples, February 12-13th 2020

At the meeting participated 12 members from Italy, Portugal, Poland, UK, Israel, Turkey and Spain have attended the WG2 meetings. Mostly architects, geologist and engineers. Four technologies for UBH conservation were presented:

  • Underground energy structures for space heating and cooling
  • Infrared thermal imaging
  • The use of innovative SLAM solution for a fast acquisition of UBH
  • Rock Fatigue

Two case studies motivated the fruitful discussion:

  • Bourbon Tunnel in Naples
  • Megalithic Route in Central Region of Portugal

In order to identify underground structures, the WG focused on: 1. Geo-radar (when the soil is dry, if there is water it does not work); 2. Electrical Tomography (2D resolution is cheaper but 3D… and there must be coverage. It is a metter of cost); 3. Penetrometer drills after electrical tomography to identify different layer properties. For geo-referencing and mapping the underground, the WG focused on the SLAM with: 1. Laser-scanner (it provides the geometry in gray scale, good but not enough), 2. Lidar + IMU + Vision (+ GNSS) (Is the accuracy enough? Let’s try!); 3. Dead-reckoning using foot-mounted IMU (Is the accuracy enough? Let’s try!). In order to  “See behind the walls“, looking for hidden information, common position is using sound and EM waves. Finally bu using remote sensing it is possible remotely monitoring physical parameters (humidity, temperature, progression of cracks and vibrations) and presence of people.

An important issue sorted out from the Living Labs is the dynamic monitoring of the underground structures. One hypothesis is using Polarimetric imaging. 

Getting heating/cooling energy from underground using ground source heat pump  is seen as a possible collateral application.

As answer to this COST Action needs for a future APP is applying DARIAH (The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities)

Working Document

Presentation Results WG2 CA18110 Presentation WG2 Naples