Chip of the new block: Blockchain and the building sector

Overview

What does Blockchain mean for the construction sector?
Will it change how we manage building assets?
How will distribution and supply be altered by new digital technologies?


There is extreme hype around Blockchain. In many sectors spanning Shipping, Law, the Arts and Finance, entrepreneurs, scholars and researchers are looking at Blockchain’s implications and exploring where and how it might be applied. Early adopters like Maersk, the international shipping company, are demonstrating how it can streamline complex business processes.

How can Blockchain help construction?

That is what the ‘Chip of the new block’ research project aims to find out. An industry must first understand a new technology before it can make informed decisions about where it can add value. This is the first challenge of Blockchain—understanding what it is and what it can do for the industry.

Blockchain has been associated with Bitcoin, and criminal activity: most people do not understand Blockchain’s application beyond cryptocurrencies. The first 12 month phase of our research during 2019 will work with industry stakeholders to grow an understanding of Blockchain, its potential and identifying where it can be applied to the industry. The second 12 month phase during 2020 will develop industry resources for Blockchain as well as target specific cases where we can work with stakeholders to implement Blockchain ‘technology demonstrators’ to test its viability.

Research Team

Dr Dermott McMeel
Dr Dermott McMeel

Dr Dermott McMeel - Faculty of Creative Arts and Industry, The University of Auckland

Dermott McMeel is a lecturer and researcher in Design and Digital Media at the University of Auckland. He has degrees in Architecture from the Queens University in Belfast (1995, 1999) and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh (2009). Dermott’s research focuses on the social, organisational and cultural disruption that technology causes in the built environment. He has sustained a critical inquiry into how buildings, public space and design processes are influenced by communication technology through a variety of installations, funded research, journal articles and conference publications.

Contact:
Dr Dermott McMeel
Email: d.mcmeel@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 9 923 1926

Associate Professor Alex Sims
Associate Professor Alex Sims

Associate Professor Alex Sims - Faculty of Business and Economics.

Alex Sims is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law. She teaches a wide range of commercial law subjects. Her primary areas of research and publication are on blockchain technology, in particular, DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations) the regulation of cryptocurrencies and legal issues surrounding smart contracts. Alex's legacy areas of research and publication are consumer law and intellectual property law (in particular copyright law).

Contact:
Associate Professor Alex Sims
Email: a.sims@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 9 923 4901