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Smart contracts for decentralised building information modelling

Dounas, Theodoros, Jabi, Wassim ORCID: and Lombardi, Davide 2020. Smart contracts for decentralised building information modelling. Presented at: 38th Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe(eCAADe 2020), Virtual, 16-18 September 2020. Published in: Werner, Liss C. and Koering, Dietmar eds. Proceedings of 38th Education and research in computer aided architectural design in Europe (eCAADe) conference 2020: anthropologic: architecture and fabrication in the cognitive age. , vol.2 Berlin: pp. 565-574.

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The paper presents a model for decentralizing building information modelling, through implementing its infrastructure using the decentralized web. We discuss the shortcomings of BIM in terms of its infrastructure, with a focus on tracing identities of design authorship in this collective design tool. In parallel we examine the issues with BIM in the cloud and propose a decentralized infrastructure based on the Ethereum blockchain and the Interplanetary filesystem (IPFS). A series of computing nodes, that act as nodes on the Ethereum Blockchain, host disk storage with which they participate in a larger storage pool on the Interplanetary Filesystem. This storage is made available through an API is used by architects and designers creating and editing a building information model that resides on the IPFS decentralised storage. Through this infrastructure central servers are eliminated, and BIM libraries and models can be shared with others in an immutable and transparent manner. As such Architecture practices are able to exploit their intellectual property in novel ways, by making it public on the internet. The infrastructure also allows the decentralised creation of a resilient global pool of data that allows the participation of computation agents in the creation and simulation of BIM models.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Blockchain, Decentralisation, Immutability, Resilience, Building information modelling
ISBN: 9789491207211
ISSN: 2684-1843
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 25 May 2020
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:23

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