In this context, the employment of distributed ledger technologies, such as a blockchain, may provide the ideal solution for such implementations. A blockchain is “a distributed database, shared via a peer-to-peer network, that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. Blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data, managed autonomously and hence highly efficient in recording transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way”. The ledger itself can also be programmed to trigger events or transactions automatically, i.e., a “smart contract”, which can have several rules and hence provide multiple use cases.
In fact, a distributed ledger platform (e.g. Ethereum, Hyperledger) is capable of compiling all the information regarding a structure starting from the public procurement project and design stages, to construction, service, and maintenance phases. Its use guaranteeing interoperability and collaboration between clients, project directors, architects, and the different engineering specialties that participate in a civil structure or infrastructure project. Concurrently, several processes are expected to be enclosed in smart contracts that automatically trigger pre- and post-action fulfilment actions, thus simplifying user-experience by means of codifying and automating several processes throughout those phases.
Moreover, using logbooks should improve the understanding, management and operation of buildings resulting in lower costs and reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. This should also contribute to improved occupant comfort, satisfaction and productivity.
The logbook should give FMs ready access to information on the design, commissioning and energy consumption of their building. It will enable fine-tuning of the building with consequent improvements in energy efficiency. The logbook will also provide explicit information about the metering strategy implemented about the building, and on the scope for monitoring and benchmarking energy consumption.
Finally, the distributed ledger technology and its evolutions, together with the information made available within it, can further enable predictive maintenance practices. This possibility expands the scope of its implementation towards smart cities, in which the maintenance of structures and infrastructures is autonomously and ubiquitously managed by the blockchain and done preventively instead of reactively.