Think of a ledge at a bank. They own a private record of every banking transaction made. It tells them how much money is divested, invested paid out, received and more. A ledger like this is vulnerable to hackers because the bank is in sole control over it centrally. That means there's a place to access and alter funds or steal data contained within.
What's the Blockchain?
The blockchain is also a ledger, but decentralized. The benefit is that it's not owned or kept by a single entity, allowing it to be visible to everyone participating in the transaction. As you can probably tell, this has unparalleled advantages within data or fiscal transactions.
Blockchain gets its name from the way that at scheduled intervals, transactional information is entered and added to this chain as a block.
As an ever-growing necklace of records and information, it gives us all the benefits of chronological fulfillment and historical transaction transparency.
How Would Construction Benefit?
This construction management software would assist in two main ways.
More money would be saved from removing the majority of the intermediaries involved in contract payment and processing (meaning fewer administrative contract documents and fewer fees).
Project payment and delivery would be streamlined.
As a regulation-laden industry, construction developments have been stuck against an increasing line on every level.
Oddly enough, economic progress has been backboned by a high or increasing level of productivity with construction being at least a few of the main producers. Today, construction is on a flatline. It's been building at the same level of production for the last 5 years.
The reason construction productivity is lagging.
Perhaps the largest major factor had been the regulations that have led to businesses looking for more innovation and not more productivity. They're looking to streamline satisfaction and compliance of legislation.
A lot of this regulation is to benefit workers' security and safety and there's little doubt that this will keep being the case, however, directing a portion of our resources on productivity helps with accomplishing more projects ahead of time and under budget.
New construction software such as 3D scanners and robotic total stations and even advanced processes like AEC serve to aid us in making more revenue from more efficient projects. Still, a core focus to see immediate improvements is within the automation and reduction of administrative or financial arrangements.
Technology has transformed the industry of construction in a plethora of ways recently from using smartphones to oversee projects to handling mapping with aerial drones. What's in store for the future of the industry? We strongly believe blockchain is going to transform construction more than ever before, here's why.
What's the blockchain?
The blockchain all started with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It affords the ability for digital information to be issued, but not altered or copied.
In what ways can blockchain and construction work together?
As a field with enormous amounts of resources at stake and so many complex moving parts, it invariably suffers from litigation and disputes. A lot of the time, things such as confidentiality, payment terms and additional crucial matters are described in a contract. However, disputes usually come up because of the conditions of a contract. To bypass this, the blockchain would be applied to make “smart contracts.”
A smart contract would have the terms embedded within the transaction. This means that there's no payment until the instructions are met. It makes sure that every party involved is satisfied and no one needs to chase people down to make a payment. Payment disputes can't arise with such a technology.
Because the smart contract is available for everyone who views the blockchain, there isn't any doubt about the conditions or instructions.
In what ways will the blockchain benefit you?
If you're a veteran of the construction management software world, you’ve most likely had to deal with a multitude of disputes. Most of them were probably because of payments. The agreements are often multi-faceted or are designated for various lengths of time, so the settlements aren't always straightforward on what payment have or have not been fulfilled. Out of this, costly litigation arises which can set your project even further behind schedule.
How would you go about applying the blockchain?
Although the promise of blockchain technology is exciting, integrating it with building information modeling (BIM) programs isn't at all clear yet. After all, the software is still quite new.
The reason wide-scale availability isn't feasible at the moment rests on the fact that a special IT platform is needed in order to handle devices and link them with the backend.
With new technology like the blockchain comes resistance to change. This is the case in almost all industries, but, as AEC Business notes, it's going to take a large cultural shift for this construction software to catch on.
It doesn’t matter what field or industry you are in. Being able to function both efficiently and productively has an impact on your bottom line. This is why many leaders in areas like construction are searching for beneficial options, such as blockchain technology. The use of this construction software allows for more accuracy and ability to execute activities and transactions.
The field of construction is usually thought of as ripe for disruption. In the same breath, it's often criticized for being slow to embrace change. There's been notable research on this matter that indicates a bad combination of practical and cultural barriers that impeded change. Still, the tide has made a turn for the better lately.
One problem with the construction industry that impedes change is the extreme regulations. Consider all the things we expect from the buildings we inhabit. They primarily afford a place for shelter so they have to be structurally sound and made from flame retardant materials.
Due to the complexity of the industry and the steep amount of standards and regulations, problems with verification and trust still remain — which is where Blockchain comes into play. Construction software draws large teams together to outline and shape the building zone quickly.
Using technologies that are becoming more widespread such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), openness to new construction management software is increasing all over the industry.
What is the Blockchain and How Does it Impact Business?
A Blockchain is a database that's decentralized which securely and chronologically records transactions.
An exchange can be with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But Blockchain dealings can add representation to the transference of value with systems such as Ethereum and more. The possible applications of Blockchain technology are:
• Conducting smart contracts
• Registering value exchanges
• Verifying proof of occurrence for particular data (for example, presenting a secure digital identification)
• Employing the use of smart contracts in the creation of a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO)
How each one of these utilizes the Blockchain is going to be pressing in the construction industry's future. A good example of a smart contract would be in the distribution of goods. A client can make a purchase directly off the supplier, providing a more trustworthy interaction. Supplier payments can be spaced out and liability can be assigned to different entities.
Imagine the example with a piece of mechanical plant. The client would be able to purchase directly off the supplier. They would give a part of the payment when it's been verified that the plant has left the origin country.
Then liability would be transferred to the shipping firm and further payment would be released when the plant arrived on site. Further liability is transferred, but this time to the contractor accountable for installation.
Each one of these steps can be recorded on the Blockchain. This gives more of a chance for direct transactions without the middlemen.
The construction industry was one of the first industries to adopt new technology ranging from bulldozers to computer aided design. Gardner Builders recently completed a project where they used blockchain technology to solve one of the most pervasive problems with the construction business. Blokchain is able to protect construction management software and documents while creating files that cannot be altered.
How Blockchain Protects Construction Documents
Blockchain is a relatively new technology that is able to use multiple databases in order to create a digital item that cannot be duplicated or destroyed. Blockchain is best known for it being used to create cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Blockchain is useful in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry as it is an industry that requires the use of many valuable documents to prove such things if the site was designed safely or if the budget was ethically used.
Blockchain has the advantage of protecting this data during the construction process by protecting trade secrets. It is also useful after the project has been completed as it preserves inalterable documents that can be used to settle legal issues.
The Importance Of Protecting Construction Data
The company Brickschain is headed by their CEO Bassem Hamdy who has over nineteen years of experience in the AEC industry. He developed the idea of using blockchain in the construction industry by noticing how often companies tend to lose data. He estimates that around ninety-five percent of all documents are lost during a typical construction project.
This is due to the complexity of completing even a small construction project. There will be emails and documents surrounding things like design, budget, supplies, employment, zoning, and safety. These documents tend to disappear as the result of a business closing, the property being sold, or simply as the result of time and carelessness. A blockchain is a simple and easy way to make sure that these documents do not get lost.
Blockchain may relate in many ways to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and even Litecoin. Moreover, blockchain has been deemed an industry disruptor that is very appealing for companies who are looking to reap the benefits of this technology.
When it comes to cutting-edge blockchain companies that are involved in the construction milieu, AEC is one to consider. AEC fits the category of a company that is competent enough to use construction management software to get things done. And when it comes to the blockchain, many may relate it to Bitcoin (BTC). However, blockchain is an industry disruptor that is very appealing for companies looking to reap the benefits of the blockchain.
Moreover, the construction industry sees a reliable protocol with blockchain. And when it comes to entrepreneurs in the construction sector who are utilizing blockchain, CEO of Brickschain, Bassem Hamdy, stated that nearly 95 percent of all construction project datum goes missing. It gets lost for whatever reason.
Because the phases of planning, budgeting, and managing in the construction sphere can be very complicated, there can be critical information gaps in construction projects as it concerns transactions being recorded.
Indeed, the strength in the record is with the full blockchain. Even though blockchain technology is relatively new, companies can quickly adapt to the elements. Even firms like Gardner Builders, which is a Minneapolis-based contractor, is utilizing blockchain to make sure that finished projects are well documented. The blockchain is a crucial part of Gardner Builders' initiatives. And many construction companies are willing to adopt it -- especially those who are eager to research blockchain and reap the benefits of it.
The selling point for construction companies with blockchain is that although attempts are made to adjust those records that are stored as part of the blockchain ledger, it would end up breaking part of the synchronization protocol. However, since firms use blockchain technology like Brickschain, any violations to synchronization protocols as part of this blockchain would be exposed, then prevented.
Indeed, this construction management software can help many construction firms to become more robust when it comes to using the blockchain to provide a backup for all of a company's critical files.
The good news is that construction software is in demand more than any time in modern-day history based on the complexity of the business world. Moreover, many milieus are part of the streamlining methodology. The good news is that companies like Bassem Hamdy's Brickschain are vital solutions.
Brickchain has a common file-structure display that looks like something Microsoft Windows would have. The overall look and feel are typical to what computer users may be used to using Microsoft's technology.
Entrepreneurs and business managers are still coming to grips with what blockchain technology represents. Most people have concluded it is some kind of digital money, and that is largely because the tech press and media in general haven't done a very good job of distinguishing between the underlying technology and its applications.
The truth is blockchain represents the next major step forward in information technology, and it has applications across industries including everything from transportation to construction to retail. One of the most exciting and potentially valuable applications is in the field of construction software. Organizations like AEC Labs and forward-thinking engineering and construction firms nationwide are leading the way.
Distributed and Encrypted
Blockchain is ultimately a tool for maintaining accurate and resilient data records. Each "link" in a blockchain is not only encrypted and keyed to the other records in the data store, but is also distributed throughout a network of all the participants in that chain's transactions. This two-layer approach to security is one of the things that makes blockchain so secure. The applications in construction software are numerous and highly valuable.
What is included in those records can be pretty much any arbitrary data. How the information is recorded, however, can be both proprietary and industry-specific. In an industry like construction, where the integrity of financial, architectural, compliance, legal and technical information is at a premium, a technology that can protect that data can quite literally change both the industry and the quality of their work in a vanishingly short time.
Even a small-scale construction project can produce an incredible volume of documentation. What blockchain technology can do for construction management software is make "digital originals" available to every participant. Consider for a moment the legal filings that must take place before a project can begin. Traditional documents aren't protected, but if they are written into a blockchain, they are not only guaranteed to be genuine, the system will have a record of who filed them and when. In other words, it will be the digital equivalent of a paper document. It can't be tampered with, and it can't be accidentally lost or erased due to hardware failure.
Blockchain has ushered the concept of "uncopyable data" into the IT world. It is clear the encrypted distributed data store will have numerous applications.
Voyage Control, the leader in onsite delivery and materials management is partnering with Brickschain, the leader in construction blockchain, to streamline the concrete and rebar supply chain. Brickschain will be powering the cross party communication and value exchange for Voyage Control clients. While a multi-trillion dollar sector globally, construction suffers from low profitability, much of which relates to manual and inefficient processes. A recent article in Fortune Magazine cites that “productivity growth in the industry has averaged just 1% each year over the past two decades, compared with a 2.8% growth rate for the global economy as a whole.”