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Josef Hargrave

Global foresight manager

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Blockchain Technology

Blockchain Technology

Josef Hargrave
Global Foresight Manager
foresight@arup.com
+44 (0) 20 7636 1531

Enabling a network of trust for the built environment

The delivery, operation and service provision sectors of the Built Environment are plagued by a high degree of fragmentation, low margins and unpredictable performance. Experts predict that the implementation of blockchain technology — the intermediary-free network of trust that allows everyone to agree on a single truth — will soon enable considerable operational improvements which will lead to increased quality and lowered costs for projects in general.

This report offers extensive industry-specific insight into the technology. It presents potential use cases relating to BIM, Smart Cities, Supply Chain Management, the Internet of Things and the Circular Economy, as well as possible interactions between those use cases.

Insights into these fields of consideration are summarised below:

– BIM can be fundamentally improved by blockchain technology in terms of data security, liability and transferability. There is the exciting possibility of linking digital components to their physical counterparts, enabling live data collection for BIM models.

– Smart contracts with an interface to BIM, construction or operational software can automate many types of tasks traditionally performed by people, thereby reducing the time, costs and risks associated with conventional ‘paper’ contracts.

– Supply chains managed by blockchain technology give all participants real-time information about an asset’s location, ownership and audit history, thereby increasing transparency and efficiency during the course of the whole process.

– Internet of Things transactions between machines and/or individual users via a blockchain allow a secure transfer of value and information — such as payments, operational data and even commands. Therefore, blockchain can be the Ledger of Things for the Internet of Things.

– Material passports via blockchain enable recovery and re-use of materials, thereby helping realise a truly Circular Economy.

The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second generation — powered by blockchain technology — is bringing us the internet of value.

Don Tapscott
Author, Blockchain Revolution (2016)