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Blockchain Timber Chain of Custody (Brain Dump) G#20312

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Blockchain Timber Chain of Custody Brain Dump

Blockchain Timber Chain of Custody Brain Dump


  • What does GBE know about Blockchain?
  • Nothing, is it related to making cyber money BitCoins?
  • If it is GBE are not interested
  • Why are you asking?
  • Because yesterday I was asked to consider it in construction materials Certification processes.
  • Okay what is it all about?

Blockchain’s role in preventing illegal deforestation:

Cost Planning Green V Violet:

  • Ideally a building is right for the occupant,
    • Low cost and low impact to occupy,
    • Financially and mains services autonomous,
    • Well insulated, ventilated with heat recovery and topped up with competent renewable energy
    • Passive or low active services
    • Cost plan focused on Operational Expenditure (OPEX)
    • Creating a Greener Building
  • Cost planning is often wrong
    • I.e. cheap to build, cheap materials; a preoccupation of QSs,
    • Focused on Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)
    • Creating a Violet Building
  • Cost plans could be about better investment
    • Balanced budget based on TOTEX = CAPEX + OPEX

If the Cost Plan is wrong

  • If the Cost plan is wrong (artificially low) and the tender right (too high compared with the wrong cost plan)
  • Then setting out green agendas and procedures to ensure you got what you asked for are futile
    • All decisions will be based on getting the cheapest price (Business as usual BAU)
    • Driven away from compliance, bypassing the Employer’s Requirements, with agreement or surreptitiously
    • And towards substitution to meet the cost plan or the tender or worse to increase profit margins
  • If you cannot tell the difference between FSC timber and non-FSC timber the temptation will be to deliver non-FSC timber to FSC projects
    • And if need be get some wrong paperwork approved
    • Or if procedures are lax let them slip through inspection
  • Blockchain will not help if the activities are off radar or out side of procedure

Suicide Bidding

  • When Contractors tender at cost or below with low profits or without profit margin with low or without overheads, without allowance for risk.
  • The only way back from this is to strangle the subcontractors with late payments and demand lower cost and potentially substandard materials
  • Substitution (Defects) G#756 N#778
  • Contractors have warned of a culture of so-called ‘suicide bidding’ across the country, as they were asked to assess the state of the market 12 months on from the collapse of Carillion.
  • Law firm CMS, in conjunction with business research group Explain the Market, interviewed senior decision makers representing 15 companies from across the sector to find out how they are faring.
  • It found that contractors’ margins were under “immense pressure” and that 60% of those surveyed were concerned about the long-term health of the UK market.
  • Meanwhile, CMS said many respondents had expressed worries about the problem of suicide bidding, with some calling on the government to take action.
  • “A culture of suicide bids…is creating an insidious race to the bottom,” one told the survey.
  • Another top 150 contractor commented: “We are not proud to compete on a lowest price basis but I am afraid this is simply unavoidable for many decent firms out there.”
  • And another warned that firms were being forced to take on too much risk: “Government has a lot to answer for. Local and national.
  • We can’t go on being expected to take all the risk on our shoulders,” they said.

Product Data Collection & BIM

Legal Timber

Accountability: for decision taking

  • Post-Grenfell (accountability is going to be more important)
  • Built2Spec (Horizon2020 Funded project) planned software to digitalise all decisions points to address accountability)
  • They planned to have readymade project templates with all decision points preset,
    • editable by every project to be project specific
  • Based on the NBS specification, already planning to work with Uniclass classification (BIM ready).

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI)

Project Passports

  • Proposed by EU for second life materials in a Circular Economy
  • Originally aimed at 2nd hand materials (there may be lessons to learn)
  • End of project conference in Brussels in February.

Things to consider

  • QA showed us how new procedures can become a burden rather then…
  • “Say what you do, do what you say, and keep a record that you did”
  • We regularly get “QA check next week, get your QA paperwork in order”
  • Avoid extra admin processes (but okay to replace processes with digitally efficient ones)
  • Okay to consolidate many processes into one place
  • Avoid extra costs (or an excuse to add on costs) common with FSC certified timber
  • Make the process so efficient that it reduces costs of the product
  • Get some real benefits from the process

Timber sector & NGOs:

  • Involve FSC, FoE, Greenpeace, RAN, etc. to be sure that we are not fooling ourselves into thinking we are doing well using blockchain.

More to follow when I have time to GBE BrainStorm.

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
15th January 2019 – 16th January 2019

Blockchain Timber Chain of Custody Brain Dump


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
15th January 2019

Blockchain Timber Chain of Custody Brain Dump
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GBE Defects

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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
15th January 2019 – 16th January 2019

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