1. ABOUT BIMCHAIN
1.a What is BIMCHAIN for?
BIMCHAIN secures your digital process and reinforces your BIM Execution plan, helping to produce BIM data of a better quality through accountability and incentive mechanisms.
BIMCHAIN puts the BIM Model at the centre of your contractual and legal process – today paper based – making stakeholders legally bound to what they publish and limiting their liability.
1.b Who benefits from BIMCHAIN ?
Project Owners in the first place. They have the guarantee to receive valuable information out of the BIM process, since data are certified and traceable, allowing them to use it with high level of trust for Facility Management and Asset Management purposes.
They also benefit from an increase in efficiency by removing hidden cost such as low level of trust in the collaboration process, paper-based mechanism of engagement, high insurance premium due to low traceability mechanisms.
Each and every AEC actor also benefits from BIMCHAIN, they can now concentrate on their job as doubts regarding the quality and reliability of the data received, scope of their liability, their IP, as well as their payment dates, are removed.
1.c Who is using BIMCHAIN ?
Data Producers, who can verify their input and commit on their outputs. This is the reason why we integrate with AEC software, to enable commitment and protection mechanisms directly from their tools; official signatures, comments, validations, certifications are performed directly on BIM data by BIM Managers and Testing/Inspection/Control agent, instead of papers.
Project Owners who can now process automatic payments based on the proven track of quality delivered.
And finally, Insurance companies based on the legally binding traceability can solve quicker claims issues.
1.d Is BIMCHAIN only for BIM ?
It has been designed to reinforce the BIM processes. Because it is a process with various data format distributed amongst many stakeholders using different AEC tools; this means BIMCHAIN can also start to be leveraged in “CAD environment”: if a multi-partners digital collaborative process is in place, reinforcing trust in the data shared is very important. Having BIMCHAIN in place will secure already your transition to BIM afterwards.
2.a What is the Pricing Model?
For Project Owners, to secure their Project: Price is on Request. We define along with your Project and BIM Managers, the configuration needed to deploy BIMCHAIN on your project: complexity of the BIM execution plan, number of stakeholders, software to integrate, features needed, etc.. We have started experimenting on pioneer projects so for more information contact us
For AEC, to secure their Contribution: Monthly subscription based on usage. We have launched our Beta Program, so to be part of the community of early players, contact us
2.b How to Install it ?
Core features are accessible from the Web, no installation is needed. Specific add on (for Revit, ArchiCAD .. ) are to be downloaded from your BIM Software editor platform.
2.c What File formats are compatible?
We’re agnostic regarding file format. You can commit, verify, approve, sign file of type RVT, IFC, DWG, XLS, PDF. However, the Proofs of Consistency <link to technology section> between 2 formats are linked to the converter; we’re leveraging for instance RVT to IFC or RVT to DWG formats.
2.c Can we apply BIMCHAIN at Objects level rather than File level?
Yes, we’re developing the technology to sign, certify, verify Objects within the model itself. It is important for manufacturers to certify and protect their Digital Asset. And we believe that connecting BIM Objects and Data through Blockchain is the path to accelerate BIM Level 3 implementation.
2.d What if I use software not integrated with BIMCHAIN ?
Please contact us so that we can verify the feasibility of integration and whether your software is in our roadmap of integration. By then, you can use our generic Web application to perform the desired actions.
3. THE BLOCKCHAIN
3.a What is a Blockchain and how does it work ?
A blockchain is “a shared, open, distributed ledger” that can record transactions between parties in a secured, verifiable and permanent way. This ledger is managed autonomously by a peer-to-peer network that can’t be controlled by a single entity.
New transactions are cryptographically secured in a block, linked to the previous one: once recorded and duplicated in every nodes of the network, this block cannot be altered retroactively. For more information, we like the explanation provided in the following link here
3.b And why the Blockchain?
The technology allows to build a digital history of commitments that is independent from any Stakeholders or Vendors – including us.
On top of this ‘trustless’ traceability capability, the technical infrastructure of the Blockchain itself can be leveraged to build electronic signature system (to go paperless) and time-stamped digital proofs of authenticity (to manage copyright), addressing seamlessly contractual and legal issues.
3.c I already have logs in the system I use, is it enough to trace the commitments ?
Logs do not have probative force, they are not secured as electronic signature systems are. And since the system is centralized, there’s no way to prove that data have not been changed by an administrator.
Furthermore, once the project is finished and your data history moved to a cold storage, the logs are gone. With BIMCHAIN, the binding proofs of commitments remain accessible wherever your data were or will be stored.
3.d Are my Data and Identity Published to the public in a Public Blockchain ?
No, your data are not published on a Blockchain, your data are private, and not be shared on such ledger. And moreover Blockchain are designed to record ‘Proofs’ – transactions or events on data – not the data itself. You identity also is kept secret,and is only revealed to stakeholders sharing the same project .
3.e What is the link between the Proof and the Data ?
The proof is a unique fingerprint of the data, signed by you and your counterparts – may be inviolable, perennial, accessible: it is useless without the data itself. You must ensure reliable management of this data. This is why, we offer also a Data Vault solution to store snapshots of the data you committed on.
3.f What is the Blockchain you use ?
We developed BIMCHAIN on Ethereum, which is the first, main and mature public Blockchain designed to developed “Decentralized Applications”.
It is supported by the widest Blockchain developer community, and by the Industry through the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance <link to https://entethalliance.org/>
It is true that today, the consensus mechanism of Ethereum, called Proof of Work, has a high energy impact. However, we’re confident that the intended migration to a ‘Proof of Stake’ consensus mechanism will radically change this impact. We’re also contemplating other public Blockchain, such as EOS, that could be promising, once stabilized.
4.a How is the authenticity addressed ?
A generic term of “Proof of Existence” is used to describe the mechanism of computing the unique digital fingerprint of a document and store it on the Blockchain. This mechanism allows us to work with any kind of formats to prove the authenticity of a document. For example, check during a tender that the two counterparties have exactly the same version of a contract, or that the version of the Model you are working on is the same as your peers.
4.b Is the solution a digital signature ?
Yes, we provide you with private “cryptographic key” to sign your commitments. Our signature solution is called ‘advanced’ according to the standards in force in Europe: it is probative in the legal sense of the term.
It has the advantage of conventional electronic signatures without the disadvantages, thanks to its decentralized and agnostic approach: no need for certificate installation, no file format constraint (PDF, Word, IFC, Revit ..), no need for specific application – accessible on the web or integrated directly into your tools (Revit ..)And no need to physically bind the document and the signature: the document and the legal proof are decorrelated: their management, transmission, storage have their own life cycle.
4.c How is the copyright issue addressed ?
The Blockchain is able to prove both the authenticity and the date when it comes to Digital copyright. But law differ from one country to another. Proofs supplied by the Blockchain can be sufficient, or need to embed an ISO timestamp we can provide, or be verified by a trusted authority. In all cases, the Proofs we produce are admissible in court.
4.3 I would like all exchanges to be binding, is it possible ?
It’s possible but it’s not a good idea. Any collaboration needs informal space. One reason for information retention in BIM collaborative processes, is that there is no clear boundary between engaging contribution and informal sharing. With BIMCHAIN the situation is clarified, you freely share your data and you do not engage your responsibility, as long as there is no explicit BIMCHAIN commitment on your part.