KPMG Australia is collaborating with the construction industry to develop a Building Assurance Solution (BAS) for the sector.

Based on the KPMG Origins platform, the new blockchain-enabled system will allow insurers and property buyers to compare the trustworthiness of buildings – by putting data at the heart of the construction process.

Devised in response to the spate of recent issues in the construction industry, and developed with the support of the NSW Government, the BAS will use several advanced technologies (like blockchain) to provide a trusted and immutable source of data about a building from inception throughout its lifecycle.

It will store detailed records throughout the development and construction process, including materials and methods used, certifications achieved, and contractor details.

The end goal is to provide a transparent Trustworthy Index for buildings that has benefits for multiple stakeholders.

It will provide investors and buyers with assurance about the quality of the property they purchase, and help insurers make smarter decisions about the risks and associated premiums. The system will also allow regulators to track products from source to installation.

KPMG head of blockchain for Asia Laszlo Peter said the Building Assurance Solution is a global-first platform that will create a clear distinction between compliant, resilient buildings and non-compliant problematic buildings.

“By helping regulators focus on the riskiest players in the building and construction industry, and enabling insurers and financers to offer innovative products to reward the most trustworthy buildings and players, we can avoid some of the issues that have plagued the construction industry both in NSW and across Australia,” he said.

“This innovation is also a new model for public-private partnership that will avoid costly and difficult-to-implement new regulations. Instead, it puts data at the heart of proactive construction industry governance to create greater transparency and build consumer confidence.”

The first working model of the BAS will be built within the next six months under a NSW Building Commissioner contract won by a consortium of KPMG, Microsoft, and Mirvac, ASX and Western Sydney University. It will be piloted on cladding rectification projects, and a new Mirvac construction project.

Once operational, it will also be made available to other jurisdictions across Australia and internationally.

“The Australian and global construction markets are worth approximately AU$370 billion and US$12 trillion respectively,” he said.

“Every building now contains material from many markets around the world. This system is designed to be a multi-jurisdictional solution to meet today’s global supply chain eco-system. Future applications could include a carbon registry based on embodied and operational carbon accounting, or commercialising supply chain data for innovative new products and services.

“In backing the platform, the NSW Government are taking an innovative and market-driven industry transformation approach that is the hallmark of the modern-day regulator. Most importantly, the development of the global governance framework and associated oversight will greatly support the industry transformation and the evolution of BAS to ensure continued scalability and public interest.”