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Bringing Blockchain to the Construction Jobsite

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Blockchain has taken the tech world by storm. This secure method of storing and sharing information is becoming increasingly common in the financial and industrial sectors. But what if blockchain could also enhance the construction industry? There are ways blockchain can improve productivity and connectivity on the jobsite.

Unified ledger system

One of the biggest advantages of blockchain is its ability to distribute information among parties without compromising security. In construction, this is beneficial for creating a unified ledger system of jobsite tasks. Essentially, each construction company on a project using blockchain can receive its own contract. All contracts are available for viewing anytime by the project manager.

Tasks can be assigned in order of importance using the ledger. When a task is completed, the contractor can upload documentation, initiate payment and notify the next contractor that work may begin. This process is entirely paperless and unalterable.

Unique identification system

Contractors who complete work using blockchain are given a unique identifier as a user in the blockchain. Any contract, plans, photos or reviews associated with the contractor are available under the unique identifier. This information can be utilized by the contractor to earn future jobs. Project managers are also able to keep track of contractors who may be working on more than one jobsite.

Decentralized building information modeling

There are numerous benefits of moving design plans to a decentralized ledger. For instance, if a change is made to the building plan, everyone in the blockchain is notified instantaneously and workflow will be adjusted accordingly. This also provides an immutable record for home and business owners. If they are a user in the blockchain, they will have the most current building plan at all times. Should renovations be made at a later date, the current design is easily accessible and can be updated to reflect any changes.

Improved supply chain management

Disruptions to workflow can be costly in terms of time and money. With blockchain, the cost of disruptions can be reduced. If building material can’t be delivered on time, or the wrong material is shipped, the project managers affected by these problems have limited ability to discover them ahead of time. They can adjust hours or delivery, effectively containing the disruption. This enables project managers to focus more on efficiency and other LEAN principles.

While construction firms have yet to take advantage of all the benefits of blockchain, contractors and clients can expect to see some of the advantages on future jobsites.

O’Rourke, Shawn. 2019. Reprinted from Construction Executive. A publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. Used with permission.

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