BIM and Blockchain

In 2008, a seemingly modest proposal was made to make secure electronic cash transactions directly between interested parties. Called Bitcoin, it is now a worldwide phenomenon with the potential to disrupt money as we know it. But what exactly is Bitcoin and why should we in the AEC technology industry care about it?

In this article, Jim Forester, a long-time AEC technology veteran and enthusiast, attempts to shed some light on the underlying concepts of Bitcoin technology, Blockchain, and how it is immediately applicable to many aspects of built environment projects as well as the BIM technologies used to realize them.


4 thoughts on “BIM and Blockchain

  1. Very good fresh thinking. However …

    “… sets of design goals and constraints are all that’s necessary to derive a series of potential solutions.”

    glad you put in ‘potential’ there, because

    “These results must be vetted and agreed upon by the relevant stakeholders …”

    – the human element enters in.

    “Thus, the constraints and agreements between the stakeholders … become what’s necessary for permanent retention since the solution can always be re-derived.”

    Why do I doubt that, with the human element rightly in play, all subsequent ‘reconstructions’ would come out the same, in complete detail, every time?

  2. My paper developed 2016/2017 focusing on how an AEC Blockchain can incentivise “culture change” for a true collaborative building profession.

    BIM+Blockchain: A Solution to the Trust Problem in Collaboration?

    CITA BIM Conference 2017, November 2017: Malachy Mathews DIT., Dan Robles IEBC., Professor Brian Bowe. DIT (School of Architecture, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland)

  3. @Tom Foster: Thanks for your thoughts! One could imagine the same design criteria given to two separate design teams and getting different experiences. I agree that even with the blockchain as retentive ‘source of truth’ to agreements between stakeholders, there is room for divergent derivations that still meet the specified criteria. Either greater levels of specificity will then be required in terms of the smart contracts themselves, and/or more subjective controls imposed on the AI’s doing the re-instantiation to constrain the model (with these constraints saved to the blockchain as well).

  4. @Malachy Mathews Good stuff… thank you for the links! I really like some of your concepts and also agree that organizational and social challenges are always the biggest obstacles to overcome when any disruptive force is encountered. “Teal” organizations are much more adaptive! (“Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness” by Laloux and Wilber: A good read from a few years ago on decentralizing organizational structures that I found quite compelling).

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