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Blochain for BIM | Smart Contracts Lawyer

Blochain for BIM | Smart Contracts Lawyer

As the use of Blockchain and Smart Contracts grows in many sectors including Financial Services [FinTech] and Regulatory Technology [RegTech], the potential for use in the construction sector, especially in conjunction with BIM has been overlooked.

Blockchain was originally introduced for crypto-currencies and it became popular with Bitcoin but is now recognised to have far-reaching potential in other areas, such as finanicial services, regtech, supply-chain traceability and personal data management

Blockchain is defined as follows.

'At its core, the blockchain is a technology that permanently records transactions in a way that cannot be later erased but can only be sequentially updated, in essence keeping a never-ending historical trail. This seemingly simple functional description has gargantuan implications. It is making us rethink the old ways of creating transactions, storing data, and moving assets, and that's only the beginning.'

'In the same way that billions of people around the world are currently connected to the Web, millions, and then billions of people, will be connected to blockchains. We should not be surprised if the velocity of blockchain usage propagation surpasses the historical Web users growth'.

'It is more of a new protocol that sits on top of the Internet, just as the World Wide Web sits on top of the Internet via its own technology standards.'

William Mougayar The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology . Wiley. Kindle Ed.

Another interesting definition was given by Arvind Krishna of IBM at the Washington Digital Chamber Blockchain Summit in on 3rd March 2016'

'These techniques increase the speed of capital in the same way as the internet increased the speed of information’        

Understanding Smart Contacts.

Understanding of the role of Blockchain requires consideration of certain capabilities.:

Smart Property;  ie a digitised asset that that includes specific rights to use creating value

Timestamping: recording that a specific act or transaction took place at a particular time or place

Multisignature Transactions [multisig]  is a process where more than one signature is required to authenticate a transaction

Smart Contracts;  which are neither smart nor contracts in the true legal definition, but are computer programs that police and execute themselves. See

Smart Oracles: real world depositories of information to be used in conjunction with smart contracts.

It is now recognised that Blockchain is truly transformational software, especially in FinTech, where over $19 billion has been pouredinto startups, many of which are based on this technology. Proposals are currently being developed in intermediaries, back end processes, trading and capital markets, B2B services and consumer facing services. The Research consortium R3 now has the support of over 40 banks and insitutions and is commissiong leading edge research into smart contracts for the financial sector.

The construction industry is finally being disrupted by innovation and new business methods. It won’t be long before the buildings and projects currently development  are more connected than ever. 

BIM [Building Information Modelling] is information and technology that creates a  digital representation of a project that integrates data from many sources. It  evolves in parallel with the real project across its entire timeline, to form a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.

In respect of the term smart cities,  BIM is one of the main generators of the embedded digital information required to achieve the connected globe. more smart building sensors, and what’s called the Internet of Things.  Peoples understanding of how people really use the built environment (and their own projects) will improve beyond anything you could have previously imagined.

There is no doubt of potential for the use of Blockchain in construction. One of the key area for research is in the area of designing a Common Data Environment. . Other areas of research are in the field of Automated Dispute Resolution  [AuDR] and automated regulation and compliance.

The author is regultory Barrister and former visiting professor in Law Informatics at Leeds University. He is currently involved in a project to develop a leading edge research capabiltiy in this field. Please contact him at if you are interested in contributing to the research.

Twitter   @tbar.barnett      #Blockchain4BIM

For any advice and assistance for issues like these please do call Jeremy on 0844 2722322 or submit a comment below. Jeremy will come back to you at the earliest convenience.

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