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Exploring the feasibility of blockchain technology as an infrastructure for improving built asset sustainability

Alireza Shojaei (Building Construction Science Department, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA)
Jun Wang (Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA)
Andriel Fenner (M.E. Rinker Sr School of Building Construction, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 13 November 2019

Issue publication date: 27 April 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the feasibility of blockchain technology to perform as an infrastructure for improving built asset sustainability by providing all the necessary information for better decision making at all the stages of its life cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

Blockchain technology can be used as a tool to build a reliable and secure decentralized information system to capture and disseminate all the data required for different sustainability assessment models. A model is designed and tested through a synthetic scenario to substantiate the research objective with empirical work.

Findings

It is shown that blockchain can revolutionize the current state of knowledge for long-term sustainability thinking and provide necessary information in different stages of the life cycle of a built asset. With the proposed decentralized, transparent and comprehensive database using blockchain, the life cycle assessment methods can become much more inclusive and reliable. The new holistic analysis of the built asset sustainability enables better decision making in design, build, operation and demolition of each asset.

Originality/value

This paper proposes and tests a model for using blockchain as an infrastructure to support built asset sustainability. Practitioners from different backgrounds at different stages of a built asset life cycle can use such a network to make better decisions and better assess the sustainability of their built assets.

Keywords

Citation

Shojaei, A., Wang, J. and Fenner, A. (2020), "Exploring the feasibility of blockchain technology as an infrastructure for improving built asset sustainability", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 184-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-11-2018-0142

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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