At the centre of all construction projects is the contract between the client and contractor and, as any construction project is a relatively complex process, the industry has demanded contracts of greater sophistication as the sector has evolved. The construction industry has a reputation for being adversarial and motivating dispute and the deep-rooted cultural aversion to trust. It is postulated that the solution to the trust issue is to make contracts trust-less. Truly autonomous, intelligent contracts would minimise the need for conventional human management. Put simply, intelligent contracts (or ‘iContracts’) are computer protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract, or that obviate the need for a contractual clause. The proposal of embedding the terms and conditions of an agreement into a digital entity contrasts immensely from a traditional paper contract which is generally only used only as a reference when parties are in dispute. By creating an all-encompassing contract process—that: ensures all parties adhere to the terms agreed; offers protection of payment, insurance and data; as well as the potential to increase efficiency and reduce risk—it should make the successful implementation of iContracts the top priority for the construction industry.
Part of the book: Smart Cities and Construction Technologies