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Civil engineering, Architecture engineering, Construction engineering, Business and Management., Interdisciplinary, Architectural design
This paper provides an overview of historic and current organizational limitations emerging in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Building Owner / Operations (AECOO) Industry. It then provides an overview of new technologies that attempt to mitigate these limitations. However, these technologies, taken together, appear to be converging and creating entirely new organizational structures in the AEC industries. This may be characterized by the emergence of what is called the Network Effect and it’s related calculus. This paper culminates with an introduction to Blockchain Technology (BT) and it’s integration with the emergence of groundbreaking technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Financial / Insurance products. To illustrate this process, we use choose Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology as our model network database for the AECOO industry. Interaction with the BIM database is an activity that generates economic value which may be measured into existence by an electronic token that rewards disassociated parties for maintaining and improving the database for the benefit of all, thereby replacing the 3rd party intermediary characteristic of legacy hierarchies with a simple and efficient “digital handshake”. Not unlike feudalism before it, hierarchical structures are being disrupted by emerging network platforms. In the age of the Internet, social network structure are now more efficient and massively scalable. As with all social revolutions, people naturally reorganize to the system that provides better security, greater fault tolerance, ease of regulation, and greater market efficiencies. There is evidence all around that we are witnessing a digital transformation in the AECOO industry. The technologies of this transformation are disruptive to the existing professions, project procurement and building operation processes. The underlying calculus that threatens the AECOO industry is related to the process of legacy organizational structure. Hierarchical structures are being replaced by network structures in many industries simply because networks are more efficient, enjoy higher market valuation, they are fault tolerant, and self regulating whereas hierarchy requires substantial managerial and administration overhead to secure individual nodes. This can be a good thing because the incentive to disrupt older processes will often spring forth new systems and methods that have the potential to be leaner, more efficient, less error prone, and more cost effective across the enterprise. However, there is one essential element that is still problematic. Everyone trusts the old system with its inherent faults and may even be deeply vested in mitigating those faults. The same or greater level of trust must be demonstrated and maintained in any new system in order to be adopted and lead to commercial success.
Mathews, M., Robles, D. & Bowe, B. (2017) BIM+Blockchain: A Solution to the Trust Problem in Collaboration? CITA BIM Gathering 2017, November 23rd-24th November 2017
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