Students: Angela Busheska, Leigh Jacobsen, Louisa Rose

Project: Thermal Imaging Applied to Building Pathology Documentation: an Initial Modeling Approach

Poster: Vertical (PDF) | Horizontal (PDF)

Institution: Lafayette College

Major: AB Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor: Nara Almeida


This research project is part of a larger investigation that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) models to help stakeholders determine the viability of reusing existing buildings. Among other factors, the models apply infrared thermography to identify pathologies of buildings. Infrared cameras detect the radiation emitted by materials and translate it into color-coded different temperatures to visualize the pathologies of buildings. However, not all materials present an ideal emissivity, which means that the radiation emitted by these materials is not translated into accurate temperatures, making the interpretation of the thermal images difficult. Although the emissivity of certain materials can be found in the literature, there are several techniques to measure each material’s emissivity in-situ that provide more meticulous results. In the current phase of the investigation, one specific building located at 214 North Bank Street in Easton PA, will serve as a case study for the application of infrared thermography. Infrared thermal images will be compared with photographs of the building and façade damage maps, produced both in AutoCAD and SketchUp. Image recognition machine learning models to recognize the presence of distinct pathologies will be developed as well. The results will serve as important tools for the development of further phases of this investigation.

Keywords: buildings; reuse; machine learning; artificial intelligence; façade damage map.

Angela Busheska

About Angela Busheska

Angela Busheska is a 20-year-old engineering and computer science student at Lafayette College. Her research work is focused on utilizing machine-learning models in the areas of education and sustainability. She is the founder of EnRoute, a non-profit organization that focuses on helping citizens to reduce their carbon footprint. For her endeavors, she was named as a 2021 Global Teen Leader and a National Geographic Youth Explorer. Out of her academic career, Angela is part of the Youth Advisory Board for SEWF and serves as a UN Climate Delegate.

Leigh Jacobsen

About Leigh Jacobsen

Leigh Jacobsen is a senior civil engineering major at Lafayette College, from Stamford, CT. She has been involved in two research projects under the guidance of Dr. Nara Almeida on urban mining strategies in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) educational buildings. The most recent project Jacobsen has worked on is developing an artificial intelligence model using infrared thermography to identify building pathologies. Outside of research, Jacobsen is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and has served as the Treasurer and Vice President for the SWE Lafayette chapter.

Louisa Rose

About Louisa Rose

Louisa Rose is a junior Engineering and Classical Civilization double major at Lafeytte College, from Wilmington, DE. She is involved in a research project under Dr. Nara Almeida, developing an artificial intelligence model using infrared thermography to identify different building pathologies. Outside of research, Rose is a member of the student yield committee on admissions, treasurer of Girl Up Lafayette, and is involved in multiple music ensembles.