Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Secure and Trustworthy Generation of Digital Models of Existing Bridge Structures Using Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain

Jan-Iwo Jäkela, Sophie Kalischb, Peter Gölzhäuserc and Katharina Klemt-Albertd

Institute of Construction Management, Digital Engineering and Robotics in Construction, RWTH Aachen University, Germany.


To ensure intact infrastructure systems and a long service life of bridge structures in the operational phase, the establishment of a predictive maintenance management based on digital 3D models is essential. These 3D models are often not provided, especially for existing bridge structures. In addition, their creation is very complex, resource-intensive and involves many stakeholders. Through the use of digital methods and technologies, important efficiency steps have been taken in the creation of digital models in recent years. Although semi-automated modeling of digital bridge models is possible, the quality agreed upon is not always achieved at the end of each development step.

In this article, an approach is developed to create transparency, safety, consistency and traceability for the generation process of digital models of existing bridge structures. The approach involves all stakeholders participating in the process and creates a decentralized control and documentation mechanism using distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain. First, the current status on the use of DLT in the construction industry and bridge engineering is presented. Then, the system concept is presented and the basic algorithm is described. The general system architecture and the workflow are presented and described in models. Then the basic feasibility of the approach is presented and the previously shown concept is implemented. The basic functions of the algorithm are described and the results are critically reviewed.

The result of the article is showing the possibilities to use DLT and blockchain to improve the accuracy, transparency and security in the creation of digital models of existing bridge structures.

Keywords: Bridge structures, BIM, Blockchain, Distributed ledger technology, Infrastructure systems, Decentralization, Security, Transparency.

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