The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Dr Weiwei Chen launches new project 'INHERIT'

30 November 2023

A pioneering project 'INHERIT' by Dr Weiwei Chen has been launched, to advance sustainability and preserve cultural heritage in historic buildings through ICT and innovative technologies.


On average, 21.6% of the building stock in the European Union dates to before 1945, with a notable portion possessing heritage value. This not only enhances the cultural richness of communities but also positions Europe as a preferred destination for cultural tourism. Nevertheless, preserving, restoring, and managing these heritage buildings present diverse challenges and dilemmas. To address these issues, the INHERIT project was launched on 02 November 2023 in Athens, aimed at promoting energy and resource efficiency, sustainability, and inclusiveness of historic buildings.

UCL, represented by Dr Weiwei Chen, from The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, is one of the 18 partners getting involved in this project. Dr Chen's research group will develop a ‘design & renovation’ service, i.e., the interactive screen use and AR-VR interfaces for heritage building design and renovation construction, which encompasses the hardware and software tools enabling H-BIM and Digital Twins.

Over the next 42 months, INHERIT aims to elevate Europe's cultural heritage by addressing energy, circularity, climate resilience, and accessibility challenges. Leveraging cutting-edge ICTs like Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and big data analytics, the team strives for sustainable, inclusive, and resource-efficient solutions.  

Beyond individual buildings, INHERIT envisions socially innovative interventions at urban levels. The project spans the entire life cycle of heritage structures, evaluating solutions at eight EU cultural sites. INHERIT aspires to transform the landscape of heritage preservation, ushering in a new era of sustainable and resilient historic buildings.  

Dr Chen said: “Our cultural heritage serves as a vital expression of our cultural identity, necessitating protection and transmission across generations. I am delighted to be part of the promising project dedicated to crafting sustainable pathways for the cultural heritage-built environment. This endeavour involves the integration of social, scientific, and technological innovations, aligning with the principles of the New European Bauhaus.”