A blockchain-based framework for on-site construction environmental monitoring: Proof of concept

Botao Zhong, Jiadong Guo, Lu Zhang, Haitao Wu, Heng Li, Yuhang Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

On-site construction environmental monitoring (OCEM) can help to govern the behaviors of construction stakeholders in terms of pollutant emissions and environmental protection. Current OCEM systems, nevertheless, were built utilizing a centralized architecture, such as the government's local database, which leads to information imbalance and disputes among multiple stakeholders. When there are no trustworthy data records to justify construction companies' compliance, for example, arguments or even conflicts may emerge between neighboring residents and the contractors. Blockchain has the potential to be a reliable platform for environmental monitoring due to its decentralization, immutability, transparency, and autonomous enforcement of agreements. However, there has been limited investigation into the blockchain's possibilities in OCEM. Aiming to bridge the knowledge gap, this paper proposed a blockchain-enabled framework for OCEM. To begin, an overall conceptual framework was created, in which construction pollutant data was collected via sensors and then uploaded to the blockchain network. Then, based on the consensus algorithm, the on-chained information flow was introduced. Smart contracts were programmed to automatically monitor the level of construction pollutants and evaluate environmental performance. Finally, a case study was carried out to validate the theoretical viability of the proposed framework in a laboratory environment, in which a blockchain prototype based on the Hyperledger Fabric architecture was presented. The results indicate that blockchain can assist OCEM by supplying trustworthy environmental data and allowing for continuous monitoring. This research investigated the blockchain's potential in OCEM and created a prototype system that can be fine-tuned for use in real-world scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109064
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Construction industry
  • Construction pollutant
  • On-site construction environmental monitoring
  • Smart contracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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