- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 May 2019
Blockchains will change construction
The construction industry is ripe for disruption, greater transparency in supply chains is much needed, paperwork is still predominant, and as building components increasingly become ‘intelligent’ there is a need for a secure digital ledger for sensors, owners and operators. Blockchains, if implemented correctly, could improve construction’s transparency and efficiency in a number of ways.
First, a definition. A blockchain is a decentralised, tamper-proof digital ledger of transactions. The world’s first encounter with Blockchain technology was in 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin, a digital peer-to-peer cash system.
Bitcoin’s blockchain, among other ingredients, is the answer to a problem computer scientists had been trying to solve for years: how to create a digital asset that cannot be copied. It allows two or more parties to transfer monetary or any other representation of value, share information and run automated ‘smart’ contracts in a way that does not rely on a trusted third party like a bank, a notary or any private company as a trusted middleman.
The ability to create, validate, authenticate and audit contracts and agreements in real-time, across borders, without third-party intervention, makes Blockchain technology appealing to many professional services organisations. Many global financial and legal institutions are exploring and discussing the potential impacts and opportunities of Blockchain technology in their businesses.
The decentralised, permission-less and censorship-resistant approach of Blockchain technology opens up completely new ways to track the flow of materials, contracts and payments in supply chains. Knowing in real-time which materials have arrived at a construction site, who handled them and where they originate from, makes a blockchain potentially valuable to the operation of a circular economy.
The complex data-sets that designers and engineers produce in Building Information Modelling (BIM) software are increasingly useful to a building’s ongoing operation, and Blockchain Technology has a potential key role to play here too. This could include smart self-executing contracts between the owner, operator and component or system suppliers involved. A Blockchain could also be used to verify who added which components to the digital model.
The Internet of Things requires a ledger of things. For as more and more things become interconnected, be it in transportation, infrastructure, energy, waste or water, we will need a trusted system for transactions between these autonomously provided services and information sources. A decentralised, industry-wide Blockchain could play a central role here.
It is important to not just look into ‘Blockchain’ because everybody does but rather try and understand the fundamental change a well implemented, open and immutable Blockchain offers the industry over paper and decade old shared database systems.
Please find the original article here.
--Future of Construction 10:03, 20 Oct 2017 (BST)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 5 things leaders can do to create a truly circular economy.
- Blockchain could transform the construction industry.
- Blockchain in the built environment.
- Blockchain technology in the construction industry.
- Circular economy.
- Digital technology boost to construction industry.
- Eliminating waste at scale – opportunities for blockchain.
- How to utilise technology in construction projects.
- Is disruptive innovation possible in the construction industry?
- The future of the built environment in a revolutionary age.
- Unprecedented innovation and new technologies on the horizon.
Featured articles and news
England’s railway heritage from the air. Book review.
Identifying interim heritage areas for a neighbourhood plan.
Inspecting and reporting on moisture-related problems.
Will Norway build the world's first floating tunnel?
Domestic Retrofit training course.
Preparing to sell a commercial property.
Local Plan Route Mapper and toolkit.
Thermal mass in buildings.
CIAT's AT Academy.
The UK's most dangerous industries to work in.
Achieving an alternative route into the profession.