Catharine Arul Dass | UK Parliament

I am an architect at the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament, specialising in applying technology to digitalise conservation information for heritage buildings.

I am one of the few experts in this field and the first to introduce the heritage requirement for digital construction within the UK Parliament for building conservation.

In the past, I worked in different countries, including Malaysia, Scotland, and Dubai (UAE), before coming to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), London, in 2013. MoJ was the first public client at that time to advance the use of tech for digital construction. I was a vital team member responsible for using tech to design and create a digital representation of building components with combining use of laser scanning technology to design buildings for MoJ in England and Wales.

Since coming to the UK, historic buildings have always drawn my attention. They tell stories of our cultural heritage, development, and progress dating back thousands of years. As an architect, it is my privilege and duty of care to make the right decisions to help conserve and protect our UNESCO World Heritage site for future generations.

I combine my passion for architecture and heritage with the knowledge and experience gained in digital construction to transpire innovative solutions for heritage and conservation at the Houses of Parliament (HoP). There is a gap between the people with knowledge of heritage and conservation versus the younger generation who exhale in using new technologies. I am using my passion and expertise to bridge this gap by introducing new tech requirements for capturing building conservation information within the Parliament.

I can proudly say that my pioneering work using tech to classify heritage assets working closely with National Building Standards (NBS) and BIM4Heritage group, has enabled the introduction of setting requirements for digital conservation requirements for heritage projects.