CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractAn inspection is a crucial construction process that ensures that building works and workers comply with prescribed codes, standards, and building progress. The traditional inspection is characterized by physical effort and onerous paperwork. The emergence of e-inspection 1.0 has meant the adoption of computerized means to ease the paperwork burden, although physical onsite presence has remained mandatory. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the dispatch of inspectors difficult and has prompted governments worldwide to explore alternative inspection approaches that harness the latest information antitamper and traceability technologies, such as blockchain. In this paper, we refer to these approaches as “e-inspection 2.0.” This research reports the urgent need for e-inspection 2.0 to guarantee construction quality, compliance, and progress amid pandemic conditions. Using the design science research method, it then proposes a blockchain-based solution to address authenticity and traceability concerns and facilitate e-inspection 2.0. The system is validated through a case study of a modular construction project in the Hong Kong–Pearl River Delta construction nexus. We find that rigorous technological solutions can render e-inspection 2.0 reliable. However, existing regulations are far from amenable to such inspections. Therefore, we call for an extension of the pandemic e-inspection 2.0 expediency to common practice in a post-pandemic era through the development of robust technological instruments and the amendment of inspection regulations.



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