Accountancy giant KPMG is partnering with Australian property group Mirvac to create a blockchain platform to track the provenance of buildings, Forkast.News has been told. The project, understood to be a world first, is being developed for the state government of New South Wales, and its backers hope it will have applications internationally.

Fast facts:

  • Closely based on a blockchain network used by Australia’s beef industry, the new platform will check materials used, construction methods and all parties involved in processes from design through to construction.
  • Laszlo Peter, head of blockchain services at KPMG Australia told Forkast.News that the project aimed to create a system that, based on data collected, was able to generate other products and services, such as calculating the embodied carbon of a building. He said: “So, if we know how trustworthy that particular concrete slab is, we can also calculate, based on the supply chain and material traceability, what was the incurred greenhouse gas emission on that particular asset.”
  • An investigation following the deadly 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London found that many Australian buildings were unsafe. Building defects such as combustible cladding were estimated to cost more than AU$6 billion (US$4.5 billion) to replace. It is hoped that the planned blockchain network will address not only safety concerns related to future building projects but also boost consumer confidence.
  • The announcement of the project came as news broke of the collapse of a 12-storey condominium building in Miami. At press time, 99 people were still missing and one person had been confirmed dead after part of the building collapsed without warning around 2 a.m. local time. The cause of the collapse is not yet known.