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Autodesk CEO: Blockchain Can Stem Corruption in the Construction Sector

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:11 PM
Jimmy Aki
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:11 PM

The CEO of design software maker Autodesk Andrew Anagnost believes blockchain technology can end corruption and improve trust in the construction industry, the Australian Financial Review reports .

Anagnost was speaking at the 2018 Autodesk University conference in Las Vegas when he made the comments while speaking with journalists at a roundtable discussion. California based Autodesk was founded in 1982 as design software for professionals in architecture, construction, engineering, manufacturing, media, and entertainment.

Autodesk’s CEO said the construction design software maker had considered the integration of blockchain for its design software, but the company has refrained from making its view public.

Autodesk’s Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Collection,  which is an all one package, has evolved over the years to cover Building Information Modelling (BIM), which is a tool that gives AEC professionals the tools to plan and manage construction and architecture of buildings. The new shift, which sees Autodesk hosting large data sets in the cloud, opening rooms for collaboration between different professionals leaves room for traceability and accountability.

Anagnost believes the integration of the blockchain technology will help deliver trust in the sector.

“What is blockchain good at? It’s a distributed, trusted ledger that cannot be altered and allows traceability and accountability. A technology like that in an environment like construction where various people involved in the process don’t trust each other is going to find some application.”

The design maker is also working on a digital escrow system to improve the trust environment in the construction industry. But trust is not the only area in the construction sector that needs the blockchain technology; corruption is another area.

“Let’s face it, corruption in the construction industry is not uncommon,” Anagnost explained.

“When people are paying hundreds of millions of dollars on large projects, something is always happening somewhere that isn’t quite right. There’s always someone bleeding off resources or money in some inappropriate way.”

But there is a bigger issue at play for using blockchain in the sector, according to Anagnost. Those who don’t want “a clear record of who did what, when and how,” who he believes would make it difficult to enforce.

“I’ve been on construction sites, and I’ve been with quality checkers. They’re taking pictures, and I notice sometimes they log the issue and sometimes they don’t. So I ask them – why didn’t you log that one? ‘Oh, because I know that guy, I’ll tell him about it.’ So the subcontractor he knows doesn’t get their issues logged, but the subcontractor he doesn’t know gets logged,” he concluded.

Featured image from Shutterstock.