Property Development Transaction (PDT) Blockchain Demonstrator

An integrated information property development platform that provides real-time monitoring and analytics for quicker, more efficient property development.   

The Challenge

NSW property developers undertake a complex process to convert unserviced, greenfield parcels of land, to dwellings ready for sale and occupation. It is comprised of a vast number of interactions – transactions and related documents – between multiple instances of land owners, developers, local councils, utilities and government agencies which are highly inefficient and still largely paper-based, creating substantial delays in moving property stock through the pipeline and contributing to excessive costs to housing and the economy. The aim of this project was to introduce disruptive digital technologies which transform the property development pipeline (PDP) to deliver process transparency and spatial data quality improvements.

Partners

The Spatial Services division of the NSW Department of Customer Service (DCS) is the primary project partner, supported by Business Aspect and collaborating with Microsoft and CivicLedger.

The Solution

In February 2018, a proof-of-concept (POC) platform prototype was developed using Blockchain and distributed filesystem (IPFS) technologies. In 2019, a follow on project built on that POC to demonstrate how the Property Development Transaction (PDT) Platform can be used by property development stakeholders to create, update and monitor processes and documents associated with the PDP. The approach to delivering the PDT Demonstrator was heavily reliant on stakeholder input, primarily through on-site meetings to capture the activities of each Property Development stakeholder group.

The PDT Platform is a digital infrastructure solution consisting of the following components:

  1. Ethereum Smart Contract programmable interface to the Ethereum Blockchain and provides a mechanism for automating business rules and process requirements.
  2. .NET Core Web App hosted on Azure or on Premises.
  3. A series of User Interface Application implementations for input forms and display of existing data and process state for reporting purposes.
  4. Transaction Platform (Blockchain + Document Store) – the “single source of truth” for the transaction status of the DA and its progress through the pipeline.

The PDT Platform Demonstrator environment encompasses the following stages of the PDP:

  • Plan – Development Application preparation, review, lodgement, assessment, and consent approval.
  • Design – Construction Certificate lodgement and approval for subdivision/civil works.
  • Deliver – deliver registered, serviced, saleable lots (parcels).

It was successfully demonstrated via four property development sector use-cases:

  1. Local Government
  2. Property Developer
  3. Utility/Referral Agency
  4. NSW Planning
Impact

The property sector represents the single biggest industry sector of the NSW economy and the biggest single employer. Yet, there has been little-to-no performance reporting or metrics for the PDP and, by extension, no structured way to improve its performance. Quicker, more efficient property development and construction outcomes for NSW can now be delivered through this integrated information PDT Platform that provides real-time monitoring and analytics.

Project outcomes included:

  • A demonstration of the PDT Platform, with user interfaces configured for deployment across the four participants (developers, local councils, utilities, and state government).
  • A demonstration of open API / integration interfaces supporting interoperability with contemporary programming frameworks, including native API calls to the Blockchain and document storage as well as a Business Intelligence dashboard for property pipeline performance monitoring.

Participating stakeholder demonstrations were successful and well-received. All stakeholders have identified how the PDT Platform can benefit their business and have encouraged further involvement in subsequent project stages to explore potential integration with existing business processes.

Contact

To learn more about this innovative project, contact FrontierSI at contact@frontiersi.com.au or connect with Chief Innovation and Delivery Officer, Phil Delaney, at pdelaney@frontiersi.com.au.