The Power of Blockchain

09th September 2022
The Power of Blockchain

Have you seen the latest CIBSE journal? Samreet Singh one of IN2’s Environmental Engineers is featured in this month's issue!

Samreet discusses the value of blockchain and its potential transformative applications for the building services industry touching on its use in BIM, Energy Microgrids, Circular Economy, and the Internet of things (IoT).


Key Takeaways

What is Blockchain?

  • Blockchain is a shared digital ledger that records transactions. It enables the tracking and trading of virtually anything of value, as well as storing transaction-related data. As new entries are made onto this digital ledger several transactions are grouped and become known as blocks. Newly formed blocks arc then chained to older ones - hence the term blockchain.

BIM & Blockchain

  • Blockchain has potential advantages over traditional radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking due to its ability to track vastly more data publicly while providing a more secure tracking base for the data.
  • The life cycle of construction components can be tracked from manufacture to installation on site. Allowing for a precise measurement of quantities needed, preventing needless waste from overproduction and live progress tracking for project management to minimise delays and plan efficiently.
  • Blockchain can boost trust and transparency in the BIM collaboration process preventing unauthorised use of intellectual property.

Energy Microgrids & Blockchain

  • Microgrids linked to blockchain encourage better optimisation of energy use. Providing producers of clean energy to sell surplus energy to local consumers during high production periods incentivises investments in generation such as solar.

The Circular Economy & Blockchain

  • The circular economy aims to prevent the one-time-only use of products, such as encouraging recycling and reuse of materials and products, from production, manufacturing, and post- initial consumption.
  • Blockchain helps the circular economy by enabling engineers to view data related to the life cycle of a product and have better information about a building's life-cycle analysis, carbon footprint, and use of newly obtained raw materials.

The IoT & Blockchain

  • There are many uses of blockchain and IoT that can assist toward an evolving digital future. loT devices integrated with blockchain can enable for example a track record of parts or systems in a building. Blockchain data can be viewed by relevant parties and may contain data on the expected remaining operation lifespan of components.
  • On a larger scale, loT and blockchain can transform the way we interact and manage city infrastructures, transportation, water resources, energy and residents can all benefit from IoT. Commuters can pay for public transportation with smart devices rather than with cards or cash and public infrastructure can be maintained or newly built with fully transparent data for anyone to look at, ensuring no misused funds.