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Blockchain and Building Information Modeling (BIM): Review and Applications in Post-Disaster Recovery


Medium: journal article
Language(s): English
Published in: Buildings, , n. 6, v. 9
Page(s): 149
DOI: 10.3390/buildings9060149

Blockchain Technology (BCT) is a growing digital technology that in recent years has gained widespread traction in various industries in the public and private sectors. BCT is a decentralized ledger that records every transaction made in the network, known as a ‘block', the body of which is comprised of encrypted data of the entire transaction history. BCT was introduced as the working mechanism that forms the operational basis of Bitcoin, the first digital cryptocurrency to gain mainstream appeal. The introduction of decentralized data exchange technology in any industry would require strengthened security, enforce accountability, and could potentially accelerate a shift in workflow dynamics from current centralized architectures to a decentralized, cooperative chain of command and affect a cultural and societal change by encouraging trust and transparency. BCT aims at creating a system that would offer a robust self-regulating, self-monitoring, and cyber-resilient data transaction operation, assuring the facilitation and protection of a truly efficient data exchange system. In the state of Florida, climate change and unpredicted weather disasters have put pressure on state and local decision-makers to adapt quick and efficient post-disaster recovery systems. Part of the recovery efforts is the reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure. The introduction of new technologies in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry can contribute to addressing recovery and rebuilding after the event of a natural disaster. With parallel technological advancement in geospatial data and Geographic Information System (GIS), as well as worsening climatic conditions, concerns can be suitably addressed by employing an integrated system of both Building Information Modeling (BIM) and BCT. While several potential applications of BIM must provide solutions to disaster-related issues, few have seen practical applications in recent years that indicate the potential benefits of such implementations. The feasibility of BIM-based applications still rests on the reliability of connectivity and cyber-security, indicating a strong use case for using BCT in conjunction with BIM for post-disaster recovery. This research depicts a survey of BCT and its applications in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industries and examines the potential incorporation within the BIM process to address post-disaster rebuilding problems. Moreover, the study investigates the potential application of BCT in improving the framework for automating the building permitting process using Smart Contract (SC) technologies and Hyperledger Fabric (HLF), as well as discussing future research areas. The study proposes a new conceptualized framework resulting from the integration of BCT and BIM processes to improve the efficiency of building permit processes in post-disaster events.

Copyright: © 2019 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This creative work has been published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) license which allows copying, and redistribution as well as adaptation of the original work provided appropriate credit is given to the original author and the conditions of the license are met.

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