The research aims to implement Blockchain in Smart Contract in the design phase to reduce the financial exposition of SMEs. The adoption of Smart Contract, streamlining and accelerating the payments, shows up as a potential revolution of the traditional contractual framework. However, due to the increasing fragmentation and project complexity, the AECO sector is accused of slowness in accommodating and propagating new technologies. The Smart Contract can embed a Blockchain protocol that executes the predefined and agreed clauses by the contracting parties automatically and autonomously. It is a smooth and predictable data-driven process in which, at the after each clause, the payment is automatically issued, ensuring the shortening of payments. In the construction sector, the transaction delay represents a relevant problem that is responsible for disputes and economic disadvantages for the SMEs. Therefore, the paper investigates the process of digitalization starting from Smart Contract. The research is applied to the design phase developed in a BIM environment, pointing out both the advantages and the limitations, especially in the actual legislation. The Smart Contract features allow the entire supply chain to be protected against insolvencies due to late payments, improving process efficiency, and reducing payout times. From the results obtained in this research, the approach could be applied to a real case study and extended to the overall construction process.
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