City economies are dependent upon construction related spending, which delivers 13% of annual GDP globally. Trust in the safety and quality of construction is a pre-requisite for investment to occur, but widespread non-compliance has reduced confidence in the sector.
The Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety in the UK is being led by Dame Judith Hackitt.
Its purpose is to make recommendations that will ensure the UK have a sufficiently robust regulatory system for the future and to provide further assurance to residents that the complete system is working to ensure the buildings they live in are safe and remain so.
It examines building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement, with a focus on high rise residential buildings.
The key issues underpinning the system failure include:
The Shergold Weir Report ("the Report"), "Building Confidence: Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia," contains 24 recommendations.
The goal of the Report was to enhance public trust through effective implementation of building and construction standards that protect the interests of those who own, work, live, or conduct their business in Australian buildings.
The Report follows a series of reports and compliance issues in the construction industry at state, national and international levels. One such issue is combustible cladding and its involvement in the devastating fire in London’s Grenfell Tower, various high-rise building fires in Dubai and two serious incidents in the Lacrosse and Neo 200 buildings in Melbourne. Another issue is building defects in new developments, such as those identified in the interim report for the Opal Tower.
In this respect, the Report found:
"After having examined the matters put to us, we have concluded that their nature and extent are significant and concerning. The problems have led to diminishing public confidence that the building and construction industry can deliver compliant, safe buildings which will perform to the expected standards over the long term.We have read numerous reports which identify the prevalence of serious compliance failures in recently constructed buildings. These include non-compliant cladding, water ingress leading to mould and structural compromise, structurally unsound roof construction and poorly constructed fire resisting elements."
The Report found that inaccurate designs mean that certifiers can never fully ensure compliance because they then must rely on inspections and “some of the most important safety elements are hidden from view and a point-in-time inspection cannot properly assess essential construction processes”
There have also been significant recent catastrophic failures within the transport infrastructure sector. 2018 saw both the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse due to a flawed design and lax oversight tragically killing 6 people, and the collapse of the Ponte Morandi in Italy killing 43 people.
Errors made during the design, engineering and certification processes have led to costly and sometimes catastrophic failures during and post construction.
Current reliance on in-house Quality Assurance management systems and data flows in the industry are not robust.
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the issue, with significant remote working meaning the actual identity and credentials of the Professional Engineer or Building Certifier cannot be easily verified.
This has led to poor outcomes for the construction industry. For example in Australia, the cost of Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance has risen significantly and even key PI insurers have exited the Australian market.
The Title-Block platform provides drawing and document certification management using permissioned consensus based blockchain technology.
Title-Block is built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open-sourced permissioned blockchain. Using this permissioned blockchain Title-Block ensures data privacy and security that enables trusted collaboration. The Title-Block platform protects and controls the end to end governance of regulatory compliance across the construction lifecycle.
Title-Block harnesses the benefits of blockchain technology supported by biometric identity verification and asset tracking using QR codes to provide a world first certification management system.
Key benefits provided by the Title-Block blockchain solution are:
Using secure consensus mechanisms and the key blockchain nodes of:
the Title-Block platform:
The Title-Block secure protocols ensure vital information regarding the construction project certification is captured and immutably stored.
All key data verification nodes must agree before the record of the certified drawing or document is stored on the blockchain. This happens in near real time using secure consensus protocols within the Title-Block platform.
The history of certified and de-certified drawings and documents can be viewed and interrogated by all leveraging the decentralised properties of blockchain technology.
Title-Block uses mobile cryptographic wallets with biometric identification to verify the ID of the Professional Engineer and Building Certifier.
Title-Block tracks the digitally certified drawings and reports across the construction lifecycle using QR codes, ensuring that the drawing being used for construction is certified and hasn't been superseded by a new revision. The QR codes store details of the certification transaction and can easily be scanned to reveal this information for audit purposes.
Using cryptography Title-Block stores a 'digital fingerprint' of each certified drawing and document on a blockchain with associated timestamp providing un-disputable proof of certifications.
The Title-Block solution adds significant value across the construction ecosystem, the figure above describes a number of key value propositions for each of the Title-Block platform actors.
If you would like more information on the Title-Block platform please send us a message: