The Real Deal Miami

Blockchain will streamline project development tasks: panel

It can be used to share complex computer-generated 3D models of projects, experts say
By Francisco Alvarado | July 16, 2018 09:45AM

From left to right: Louis Archambault, Felipe Azenha, Cooper Copetas, John Dohm and Matthieu Merchadou

While a lot of the buzz surrounding the real estate industry’s emerging use of blockchain has centered on authenticating property transactions involving cryptocurrencies, the technology has the capability of completely streamlining development, according to a panel of Miami entrepreneurs developing applications for the building community.

For instance, architecture and engineering firms can use blockchain — a decentralized electronic record that is encrypted — to share complex computer-generated 3D models of projects known as BIM models with team members in various locations around the globe in real-time, said Cooper Copetas, co-founder of NOOS Labs, an incubator for start-ups focusing on real estate and logistics applications.

“With blockchain, you can integrate the data and not have to rely on any software,” Copetas said. “If someone is using a Mac on one side of the world, but another person on the other side of the world is using Windows, compatibility issues won’t matter. Blockchain unifies the information [being uploaded] and transcends different softwares and operating systems. It is really changing the real estate industry and transcending into architecture.”

Copetas, who is also an architect, was speaking before a small audience at the Commercial Industrial Association of South Florida’s discussion, “Artificial Intelligence, Blockchains and Real Estate,” held last week at the event space Curated in Wynwood. The other panelists were Noos Labs partner Matthieu Merchadou; Gridics co-founder Felipe Azenha; John Dohm, partner with Infinity Commercial Real Estate; and Louis Archambault, a partner with the Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr law firm.

Merchadou said BIM and blockchain could be combined for virtually any aspect of building construction. “During a construction project, you can predict the evolution of your budget in real time,” he said. “If you want to install a new air conditioning system, you run models that shows you how it would interact with your electrical system.”

Azenha said blockchain could also play a role in quickly disseminating information pulled with Zonar.City, the software application Gridics developed that analyzes real estate data sets, including a parcel’s zoning, in order to streamline the process of evaluating a property for development. Zonar.City can complete tasks in a few minutes that would normally take a team of planners days, sometimes weeks, to finish, he said.