Building Information Management (BIM) and blockchain (BC) for sustainable building design information management framework

At present, sustainable design is experiencing energy consumption and cost-effectiveness challenges in the building industry. A recent body of literature argues that the development of emerging smart digital technologies, such as Building Information Management (BIM) and blockchain (BC), offer immediate benefits to the industry. However, the current application of BIM and BC in the sustainable design and construction process focuses on smart energy and construction management, with little attention to addressing challenges for applying BIM to sustainable design and proposing strategies in terms of the usability of these technologies in the management of building construction projects. Therefore, this paper sets out to explore the potential roles of an integrated BIM and BC approach for sustainable building design information management. The first attempt is presented to use BC aided BIM for sustainable building design coordination and collaboration in multiple building stages. BC has the potential to address challenges that hinder the industry from using BIM for sustainable design, which has been unearthed. An innovative BC enhanced transaction process in BIM is required for sustainable building development. Roles of a user level driven smart contract system of BC can be used to enhance BIM system in the sustainable buildings process. The role of BC is primarily at user level driven smart contracts and their record value exchange capabilities. A user level (BIM stakeholders) driven BC technology for transaction in BIM process flow is revealed, and the user level (sustainable building design project stakeholders/BIM clients) driven and the smart contract enabled BIM+ BC architecture to address challenges of BIM for sustainable design has been further circulated according to the literature. Subsequently, a conceptual architecture of BIM + BC for Sustainable Building Design Information Management Framework in building project management has been proposed, validated, and refined. The Framework has two level encompassing structures and flow. The high-level framework is focused on strategy, whilst the low-level framework demonstrates technical components in detail. This architecture supporting project stakeholders in managing information, has the potential to achieve and ensure the realization of sustainable design goals through the interactive realization of smart contracts integrated into the user level driven BIM + BC system and its recording value exchange function through three user-driven levels, namely user, system, and transaction.