|Title||Construction Payment Automation Using Blockchain-Enabled Smart Contracts and Reality Capture Technologies|
|Publication Type||Technical Report|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Hamledari, H, Fischer, M|
|Place Published||Stanford University|
|Keywords||Automation, blockchain, payments, reality capture, Robotics, smart contract|
This paper presents a smart contract-based solution for autonomous administration of construction progress payments. It bridges the gap between payments (cash flow) and the progress assessments at job sites (product flow) enabled by reality capture technologies and building information modeling (BIM). The approach eliminates the reliance on the centralized and heavily intermediated mechanisms of existing payment applications. The construction progress is stored in a distributed manner using content addressable file sharing; it is broadcasted to a smart contract which automates the on-chain payment settlements and the transfer of lien rights. The method was successfully used for processing payments to 7 subcontractors in two commercial construction projects where progress monitoring was performed using a camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) equipped with a laser scanner. The results show promise for the method’s potential for increasing the frequency, granularity, and transparency of payments. The paper is concluded with a discussion of implications for project management, introducing a new model of project as a singleton state machine.