In this paper, we outline the problem of historic preservation and the opportunities that rigorous CAD models provide to address it, describe the particular class of buildings in Makkah that we are concerned with, and discuss a modelling strategy that takes advantage of common elements, symmetry and repetition in the buildings'construction, and standard operations in current CAD programs. We briefly discuss tools for architectural heritage recording, construction of CAD models of historic buildings, and systematic analysis of built form. Finally, the paper shows how the method can streamline the construction of accurate CAD models.