MEng Civil Engineering student. Brunel University
Blockchain applications for the construction industry.
BlockSense is a project aimed to bring distributed ledger services to the construction industry, contributing to smart infrastructure and industry 4.0 developments.
Initial development will focus on bringing a platform that will allow autonomous encoding from SMART sensing technologies via the Internet of Things (IoT) on a decentralised network as a service.
Proof of Concept
An early proof of concept has been developed as part of a final year major group project: Design of a Major UK Aquatics Centre.
The networking of structural health monitoring (SHM) sensors using BlockSense protocols were developed based on Bitcoin's OP_RETURN transaction.
Initial features and benefits included:
- Low cost data management and cloud based access to SHM data
- Early damage detection and contribution to project sustainability
- Adaptable data schema for all project types and scales
- Immutable, secure and private data on the blockchain
Conceptual cloud platform
BlockSense for Industry
BlockSense will be an open platform on which users may programme decentralised applications (Dapps) for construction related services.
Low Carbon Emissions
Smart energy on the blockchain will allow the network to reward those who achieve excellent emission ratings, giving incentive for low carbon emissions and recognition of performance on a distributed ledger.
Transparency and bookkeeping
Immutable bookeeping and fraud prevention are possible with blockchain. Invoices may be converted into a digital asset using the distributed ledger. The blockchain provides a low cost, paperless form of transparency between parties.
Many other financial and asset management services may be developed on BlockSense. Project management, procurement and tendering on the blockchain are also areas of interest.
SHM and BIM Services
The implementation of smart contracts allows coding of autonomous systems that can see a number of use cases within SHM and BIM functions. Parties may store their data on the chain or offer their systems on the platform as a service.
Cloud based data analysis suites and other utilities are possible with the distributed ledger.
Data Sharing and Referencing
Reference sets of data tied to hashes or transactions. Sharing information with collaborating parties is efficient and secure. Construction publications may make use of the blockchain to reference data sets and digitally assert proof of existence / ownership.
Data Mining and Parallel Computing
Serving as a databank, the network may also reward those contributing to shared computing power applied to scientific problems.
The potential use cases of BlockSense within the construction industry are boundless and will continuously grow through experimental development and innovation.
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