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Distributed Digital Building Dossiers: Building a better world

Dirk van Barneveld and Dick Eertink

(Submission #365)


Adequate information about buildings, and real objects in general, already is key to the proper functioning of our society and becoming even more important in the future. The transition to an energy neutral and circular economy requires accurate and reliable data. Building data is also indispensable for the workings of the new (Dutch) Environmental Planning Act which promises civilians and companies an improved and easier building permit process. Unfortunately, right now building data is dispersed between many parties and data exchange is far from frictionless. On the bright side, there is a world to win – which can be understood literally: a good solution to this problem has worldwide appeal.

Kadaster envisions a future where information on real objects is readily available for authorized persons and machines in a distributed data ecosystem. Both public and private data can be tied unequivocally to a unique object identity. A distributed ledger will function as the trusted backbone for all kind of public and private services, ranging from architecture, construction, financing, maintenance, selling and buying, recycling and lots more. Considering the private nature and/or commercial confidentiality of at least some of the data, special attention must be given to ownership and access regime to the data.

As a first step, Kadaster built a proof of concept for using blockchain technology in the process of applying for a building permit. This concept features the creation of distributed digital building dossiers, enables public and private parties to add required data, uses rule based access to this data needed for the processing of applications for building permits. The concept is just a first step to a much larger ecosystem. Kadaster is convinced this ecosystem will never materialize without the commitment of third parties. Put more strongly, Kadaster will continue to be a trusted and proud player, but also just one of the players among many. Cooperation between public and private parties is key to make this ecosystem work.

The concept was tested during a blockchain hackaton. Several teams used the proof of concept as a starting point for the development of additional use cases. The winning concept featured the creation of a self-conscious house able to negotiate its own energy contracts keeping the owner’s priorities (price, sustainability, service) in mind. This concept includes an accelerating effect on energy transition and climate adaptation by means of aligning demand, supply and government policies (such as grants). Other use cases involved e.g. an improved and dynamic energy label for houses and a digital wallet for housing data. Kadaster and the Ministry of the Interior are in the process of deciding on the further development of this innovative concept.


Topic Area:  [1.15] Smart Cities – Urban Agenda – Digital Transition
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   Yes
Data Provider:   No
Data User:   No
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   Yes
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   No
Thematic specialists:   No

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