International Seminar, Innovating in Construction: The impact of Blockchain technologies.



Pending matters regarding sustainability indicators and the imminent arrival of a new regulation on construction waste under the of Law on Extended Responsibility of the Producer and the Promotion of Recycling (REP), are pushing local firms to explore new technological alternatives to meet these and other demands that are already installed in the construction sector.

In this scenario of growing challenges, many construction companies are exploring different solutions for technological innovation, such as facial recognition, time lapse video and thermal insulators based on native nature from the South of Chile. In addition, they are also looking for blockchain technology potential in construction processes. All these alternatives and developments were discussed last November 22nd at the International Seminar, Innovating in Construction, organized by the Technological Center for Construction (CTEC) in the magnificent new home of the main local builder business association in Las Condes, Santiago Chile, where we had the opportunity to collaborate and participate.

This was the first time that the impact of blockchain technology on construction was discussed in Chile and the BlockBim team together with IBM,, iconstruye and the Technological Metropolitan University (UTEM) contributed to make this possible.

IBM and Mifuturo like BlockBim, are working on the promotion of blockchain as a real solution to close gaps in this sector. The other two guests, representatives from the builder’s world are already exploring the real possibilities of Blockchain in contract management, inputs traceability, and professional and sustainable housing certifications.

It was a good mix of knowledge and perspectives that allowed us to capture some relevant things regarding how to introduce technologies in such a complex sector and with so many bad practices installed. Is it possible to introduce high and complex technology into construction, without first solving its problems in the real world?

What is very clear is that, on this side of the world, incentives in construction contracts are in a wrong place, and that risks are assumed by the investor, but especially by the person who buys and use the property. If quality is not what was expected, the only instance of complaint is civil justice.

On the other hand, because companies claim workers lack of commitment and knowledge, hiring is by project, giving rise to the proliferation of thousands of independent contractors with weak regulations, in a fragmented and no transparent supply market.

Both situations were mentioned by representatives from iconstruye and UTEM, as main gaps to be filled with blockchain technology.

Since new technologies must be absorbed in order to increase welfare, efficiency and productivity, we believe that the first learned lesson is to start solving gaps between people in the real world that technology is not able to solve. Technologies like blockchain are thought to be inclusive instead of a supervision mean in a control scheme.

Second, rather than directly apply this technology, it will necessary to previously study possible business models and how blockchain introduction in construction can generate important improvements in processes such as: coordination and collaboration; access to reliable and fast information; and, access to investments in known and certified quality properties at a fair price. Technologies are tools that, under the right framework and model, will re- shape the construction sector and the new economy.

In this context, the second lesson indicates that it is important to understand how new business models would work in order to optimize enabling technologies. That is the key when taking a risk involved in new and unknown economic and social schemes such as those that are opening up thanks to #blockchain technology implementation.

BlockBim management and its network of collaborators: Chile Green Building Council, College of Architects- Valparaiso Delegation, Bauhaus Digital Architecture and Technological Center of Construction (CteC) invites you to keep talking about these topics and exploring what the new economy is bringing to us- We will announce our Worktables very soon. Keep in touch in our community www.blockbim.oi

By BlockBim Team 

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