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The software will track the materials, subcontractors, and building process utilised to create Australian homes.
KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, has collaborated with Mirvac, an Australian property developer, to create a blockchain-based platform for tracking the provenance of buildings.
The platform was commissioned by the state government of New South Wales.
Taking inspiration from supply chain initiatives to track beef products using blockchain, the platform will allow property insurers, investors, and owners to access verified data on the resources, subcontractors and building processes employed during a property’s construction.
A functioning model is expected to be online within six months and will be tested on existing buildings undergoing repair as a result of the recent hazardous cladding incident, as well as a forthcoming Mirvac construction.
After the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy in the United Kingdom triggered a national enquiry into the safety of materials used in Australian buildings in 2019, the integrity and trustworthiness of Australian property construction has surfaced as a key concern.
The subsequent report estimated that it would cost roughly $4.2 billion to fix thousands of homes that are fitted with dangerously combustible cladding. As of February 2021, it was estimated that just 11 of the more than 3,400 affected buildings had been fixed.
William Payne, Mirvac’s chief digital officer, emphasized the challenge faced by consumers seeking to access certification and detailed records about the safety of the materials and processes used while building a property:
“The more insight you have into what has gone into a building and understanding not just the physical materials but also who has been involved in installing them and so on, the more confidence that all parties will have in the quality of the building.”
Australia has lately emerged as a global leader in blockchain provenance initiatives, with the federal government announcing two $3 million grants to blockchain teams working on mineral certification and excise taxes solutions.
The government also unveiled its five-year National Blockchain Roadmap at the beginning of 2020, citing supply chain tracking for agriculture and wine exports, as well as certifying educational qualifications and identity verification for the finance industry, as three of the most promising use cases for DLT.