A blockchain-based tool for improving the management of assets information models

  • Azzam RASLAN

Student thesis: PhD Thesis


Recently, businesses and government bodies in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector have faced a key challenge in the delivery of effective project outcomes.
Asset Information Modelling (AIM) is aimed to serve the asset process once the project is handed over.
Considering that Blockchain is a relatively new data management technology, that is intended to provide security within a decentralized culture, it could be the foundation for improving asset processes.
Currently, owners find it difficult to manage their assets throughout their lifecycle.
The fact that Asset Information Models (AIMs) are mandatory as deliverables in Building Information Modelling (BIM) driven projects, then is a key requirement for the client to understand in detail those factors affecting assets operation.
Hence, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most significant market in the Middle East, the researcher investigated those factors where Blockchain and AIMs could impact on AM lifecycle.
The lack of an integrated system and the use of new technology lead to fragmentation in the building process. There is an urgent need, therefore, for the adoption of new technology in the construction industry, to support building assets.
With the aim of overcoming current limitations in construction and AM, by using Blockchain technology, with its novel way of managing – storing – and sharing data in various ways, it can be considered a new revolution amongst the most advanced construction applications.
Therefore, this thesis aims to assemble a Blockchain-based tool that can improve the management of AIMs.
The researcher used a hypothesis-based approach over a systematic literature review and a workshop (descriptive statistics) to understand the current challenges in Asset Management (AM) within the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
On this ground, a workshop was run to understand the impact factor analysis affecting the operation of asset lifecycle by using Asset Information Modelling and Blockchain technology over a mixed method (Phase 1).
Results have shown, amongst others such as poor communication, poor coordination, lack of a consistent approach in building construction, inconsistent language, lack of accurate data and data management, less value for investments, and unplanned decision-making.
In Phase 2, with the same group of experts, a survey was conducted using descriptive statistics to test the impact of project delivery on the efficiency of the operating asset information modeling and management.
Results show relatively strong evidence of the impact of the operating AIMs in different AM lifecycle stages including potential consequences.
Since research and systematic literature review showed evidence of a lack of sharing, transferring, and protecting the information between stakeholders then Blockchain was introduced aiming to assess whether and how Blockchain could impact AIM throughout the lifecycle.
On this ground, the researcher designed and developed a Blockchain-based tool aiming to understand these interrelationships (using C++, HTML, Java, Python, and Javascript), and ensure ISO 19650 and ISO 55000 compliance.
To validate this Blockchain-based tool the research used an experiment within the King Abdulaziz University (KAAU) in the KSA (Phase 3). A group of 5 team members was invited to test whether and how Blockchain technology could be operated and whether changes are required during asset operations.
In the running of the workshop, hypotheses were developed (different AM stages) in which assets’ stakeholders (owners, consultants, contractors, and suppliers) had the opportunity to upload, visualize, review, select, and decide the best product based on the asset information model during the tendering stage (smart contracts) of asset’s operation.
Results show that factors affecting the operation of assets are the improvement of trust and improved stakeholder influences; availability of handover process products’ accurate data; provision of details provided by manufacturers; increase in the speed of preparing holistic and integrated Asset Management Systems,
improvement of collaboration between stakeholders, and returning faster clients’ Return of Investment due to the prompt response when and as a problem occurred.
Understanding the factors affecting the AM lifecycle based on the utilization of AIMs and Blockchain will allow investors and their team members to work in a secure and collaborative environment that helps them pre-identify certain risks and become proactive, identify which digital asset data could add value to the owners (decision purposes) and innovate by elaborating and improving day-to-day business through an integrated procedure based on international standards.
Date of AwardJul 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Nottingham
SupervisorDave Towey (Supervisor)


  • Asset information models
  • Asset management
  • Blockchain technology
  • ISO19650
  • Building information models
  • Asset lifecycle

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