Over the past decade, blockchain technology has revolutionised several industrial sectors. This article explores the vast impact and potential of blockchain technology in the construction industry.
Construction projects produce vast amounts of data. In the past, a large proportion of this data remained unstructured and siloed. Data, often in paper form, was collected and filed away upon completion of a construction project. However, over the past decade, things have started to change, as leading construction companies realise the benefits and insights that big data, real-time data share, and predictive analytics can unlock.
Thanks to technological advancements, today’s construction companies capture more data than ever before, through heavy equipment, GPS systems, jobsite sensors, telematics, drones, wearables, smartphones, and other mobile solutions. This massive amount of data can be overwhelming. Construction companies need structured data solutions, enabling them to analyse data and use it to make real-world decisions that improve their profitability.
As construction projects become more sophisticated, big data is predicted to become one of a construction company’s most important tools. To use these massive amounts of data effectively, firms need to have efficient systems and software solutions in place. With so much data coming in, projects can quickly become overwhelming if all of this information is not handled correctly. Find out more about the potential of AI in construction by watching the attached video.
Blockchain is nothing new. The technology has been around for nearly two decades. Nevertheless, it only recently came into the spotlight as news of Bitcoin spread around the world. This revolutionary technology works via a ‘distributed ledger system’, i.e. a decentralised network with heightened security. Each transaction creates a new block, with all blocks interlinked to form a chain. Each transaction is timestamped and tamper-proof, promoting high levels of transparency. Learn more about exactly how blockchain technology works by viewing the attached PDF.
What Is Big Data?
As the name suggests, big data is the compilation of vast datasets. Since these datasets are very large and complex, they cannot be processed effectively via traditional data processing systems.
These massive data sets may be used to anticipate market trends and consumer behavioural patterns. There is increasing demand for big data analytics across all industries, particularly the construction sector, as Chairman of the Mid Group Sahel Majali can attest.
Blockchain plays a major role today in big data analytics. It is an effective method of storing data online. In addition, the creation of a decentralised network facilitates access by many different users. In construction, this can be particularly helpful, enabling project planners, investors and contractors see accurate, up-to-date information in real-time. All of these parties can contribute project data, promoting cohesion, communication and co-operation. This can be particularly useful when problems arise, enabling all parties involved to work together to overcome challenges.
How Can Blockchain Benefit Construction?
Experts have identified several key benefits of using blockchain technology in construction. One aspect where blockchain could be particularly useful is in the creation of ‘smart contracts’.
Known as the ‘land of disputes’, the construction industry is fraught with legal hazards, the majority of which are inextricably linked to payments. Blockchain technology could serve as a trustworthy advocate in this context, introducing error-free processes within which smart contracts could be created and monitored by all parties.
Blockchain promotes optimal project workflow and enhanced collaborative working. It provides transparency throughout the construction process, and better control of the project in general. Blockchain could also be used to make BIM technology more effective, since BIM (Building Information Modelling) relies heavily on peer-to-peer networks.
To find out more about the key benefits of blockchain technology within construction, view the attached infographic.