Presently, the construction engineering management industry is suffering a myriad of challenges including establishment of trust, efficiency of data sharing and adequacy of automation processes. The blockchain technology, as a decentralized data management and transaction solution, has the potential to address many of the challenges facing the construction engineering management sector.
A recently published paper aimed at investigating the potential of implementing the blockchain technology onto the construction management sector. The paper presented three types of blockchain based applications which were proposed to improve the present processes of supply chain management, equipment leasing and contract management.
Notarization based applications:
To minimize the time needed for verification of documents’ authenticity. Businesses in the construction sector are faced by great pressure to meet the regulation requirements of both the industry and the governments. Much time and effort are consumed in the process of preservation of authenticity and integrity of construction documents during both storage and retrieval. With the use of the blockchain technology, every document will be saved onto a distributed ledger; thus, there will be an ideal notarization of each instant of creation, modification and deletion across the system. The blockchain based platform will know exactly the source of each document and the technology will make authentication readily possible. Such platform can be utilized for storing construction quality data such as the quality of installations and raw materials; information related to the progress of construction and information related to consumption of resources e.g. steel, scaffold, concrete, formwork and equipment.
Transaction based applications:
To promote automated payment and procurement. It is simple to undergo title transfer for any property, whether tangible or intangible, whose ownership is determined by the blockchain. When the construction management sector is in question, there are multiple challenges related to payment, equipment leasing, technology transfer and selling of real estate. With blockchain based applications, significant time and effort can be saved.
Provenance based applications:
To enhance transparency and traceability of various construction supply chains. Given the fact that every transaction is visible to anyone across the blockchain network, it will be easy to trace the origin of each service and/or product, when authenticity or quality assurance is considered. For example, during maintenance, if a serious product defect is discovered, the total supply chain history will be always available to examine starting from the preparation of raw materials, all the way through to offsite manufacturing, site construction and final commissioning. As such, the party responsible for a defect can be readily pinpointed without having to go through tedious arguments, simply because all records stored on the blockchain are authentic and cannot be tampered with.
The paper presented the potential applications of the blockchain technology to help address the challenges facing the construction management industry. It proposed three types of blockchain based applications that can markedly improve the construction management industry sector; Transaction based applications, provenance based applications and notarization based applications.
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