Itself a complicated process that is bound by design and engineering constraints, construction bears upkeep concerns long after opening day. Building maintenance requirements are sometimes insufficiently met, and efficient tracking of timestamped records can help to prevent disasters.
By offering an oracle feed of the time between building construction and renovation dates, Analog can create smart contracts to incentivize better real-estate management. This includes rewarding or penalizing building contractors, city officials, and tenants to keep buildings in shape.
- Failure to maintain and renovate building on a predetermined schedule can result in structural damage.
- The Surfside condominium collapse of June 2021 resulted in 98 confirmed fatalities.
- There is no evidence that building insurance premiums were tied to a scheduled maintenance plan.
- A lack of incentive or easy means to communicate the concerns means no follow up on the issues.
Failure to maintain and renovate buildings on a predetermined schedule can result in an increased risk of structural damage or collapse, as evidenced by the Surfside condominium collapse of June 2021. This collapse resulted in 98 confirmed fatalities and can be regarded as one of the most preventable man-made disasters of the 21st century.
A review of the timeline preceding the event determined a litany of failings from numerous parties. If all or even some of these failings had been addressed in a timely manner, the structural decline and eventual failure could have easily been prevented. We assess below the contribution of six identified parties, and subsequently how Analog could have been utilized to prevent or mitigate their errors.
As well as employing insufficient quantities of rebar during the building’s construction, the original contractors failed to set and execute upon an agreed schedule of inspection and maintenance. This meant that the degradation of material quality over time was not identified until relatively late, making remediation efforts more expensive and difficult.
Some condominium inhabitants had previously noted the poor quality of the upkeep. For example, a resident filed a lawsuit in 2015 alleging one of the building’s outer walls had not been maintained properly. However, due in part to a lack of coordinating mechanism, the residents’ concerns were either not heard or were disregarded.
Frank Morabito, a renovation consultant, found signs of "major structural damage" according to documents released by the town of Surfside, Florida. He also found evidence of "abundant" cracking and fragmentation of the columns, beams, and walls in the garage under the collapsed Champlain Towers South, according to an October 2018 inspection report. For financial and logistical reasons, many of these findings remained unaddressed when the building collapsed.
There is no evidence that building insurance premiums covering the condo were tied to a scheduled maintenance plan. Had they been, those paying the premiums would have been incentivized to ensure the maintenance was carried out correctly, while the insurance company would have indicated had they been unsatisfied with the quality of maintenance.
Various eyewitnesses report having noticed issues with a leaking pool slab and degraded concrete (both of which contributed to the collapse). In most instances, a lack of incentive or easy means to communicate the concerns meant that the eyewitnesses did not report or follow up on the issues.
City government officials
City government officials have an active responsibility to make sure the city’s building codes, including ones revolving around maintenance, are followed. Since they are effectively the gatekeepers of building projects and violation fines, they also play a crucial part in making sure all parties are incentivized to do their part. Thus, they are indirectly culpable for the Surfside collapse, in that the relevant parties were evidently not adequately incentivized to address the growing structural risks.
- Incentivize and reward all parties for posting time data.
- Build Analog-powered dApps which allow the creation and execution of time-based smart contracts.
- Make time data public to all parties
- Enforce accountability.
The building contractor could adopt an Analog-powered dAPP, which allows the creation of time-based smart contracts, token pools for reward/penalty incentives, time data posting and verification, digital Analog wallets, anonymous communication module facilitating alerts and messaging between all parties. Using ANLOG tokens in the smart contract powered dAPP, the contractor could commit in advance to a timely repair and maintenance schedule. This would improve both the image of the contractor and the quality of the condos they are building, as well as ensuring the structural integrity of the towers is maintained.
Having publicized his findings and recommendations, the renovation consultant in 2018 could have proposed an ANLOG incentive-based schedule for the building contractors to follow. For example, he could have set up a series of milestone payments tied (via an Analog smart contract) to the building contractors carrying out satisfactorily the actions he stipulated in his report. Funding for the tokens could have come from the residents' pool.
Insurance companies should hold building associations accountable for maintenance and repairs in order to keep property insurance premiums low. If associations meet these timelines, then they should be rewarded with lower premiums in the form of ANLOG token credits. If they don’t meet these timelines, then their premiums will rise - in which case the insurance company will charge the association ANLOG token penalties.
Eyewitnesses, such as the one shown here, should be incentivized and rewarded for posting time data to the Analog ledger. The time data would be confirmed by nearby participants (nodes), and when confirmation is complete, a reward in the form of ANLOG tokens would be sent to the original poster. Participants are thus incentivized and rewarded by other participants for recording important time data. In the Surfside example, eyewitness data could have been submitted regarding the leaking pool and degraded concrete. While an imperfect solution, increased availability of time data surrounding this kind of issue would improve the likelihood that a critical alert is raised and a crisis averted.
City government officials
Government officials could monitor the data submitted to the Timegraph by the aforementioned parties. This allows them to model the status of ongoing repairs and maintenance, and observe mounting risk factors over time. In the case of the fallen tower, the Surfside city government may have identified the issues the building was facing due to delayed maintenance, and subsequently incentivized improvement by handing down stiff token penalties to residents as well as the building association itself.
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