Safecility, a Dublin-based Internet of Things specialist start-up, has won a prestigious contract to develop a blockchain-based platform to improve building safety.
With much of building safety management still heavily dependent on paper, the intention is to combine advanced satellite positioning technology with a blockchain-derived database and other tools to create a safety management platform to ensure better buildings.
Safecility has secured the contract with the European Space Agency’s space solution programme, which encourages businesses to use satellite applications and space technology in their products.
Founded and led by Cian O’Flaherty, Safecility has developed an online building compliance tool that reduces the complexity of complying with safety regulations.
The new “Safeblock” project is aimed at transforming building safety and monitoring through using satellites, sensors, geolocation tools and distributed ledger technology to provide key information on issues such as maintenance and testing that cannot be manipulated.
Mr O’Flaherty said the project, which has received funding for two years, could prove revolutionary, particularly in the wake of the Grenfell fire.
“Safeblock will fundamentally change how building safety is managed and improve transparency, trust and safety in buildings,” he said. “In the same way we have come to expect a building energy rating for any property, a building safety rating is now becoming possible.”
The entrepreneur also co-founded the “Feed the Heroes” initiative, a fundraising effort set up to deliver meals to frontline workers during the Covid crisis. It raised more than €1.4 million and delivered more than 200,000 meals during its lifetime.
Mr O’Flaherty said technology has a crucial role to play in ensuring ongoing safety of buildings to the standards everyone wants to see.
“We see Safeblock as a key tool in the regulator’s toolbox to keep owners, tenants and occupants informed and safe. It can address global challenges with a simple, truthful record of building safety built on sensors that report in real time.”
“Safeblock isn’t just location tracking as part of overall asset management, nor is it simply a distributed ledger for recording ongoing building compliance. It is a complete compliance mechanism that removes human error, creates high-quality data and synchronises the approach to building compliance and safety auditing for building owners, asset managers, compliance managers and regulators,” Mr O’Flaherty added.
Safecility, which has secured more than €550,000 in research, development and innovation grants since it was founded, is to create a number of new jobs on the back of the contract win.
The company, one of Enterprise Ireland’s “high-potential start-ups”, raised €300,00 from seed investors and the State agency last year and is shortly to commence the process of raising an additional €1.5 million.
Its partners include Cellnex Telecom, Sensori Facilities Management in Ireland and Cobalt Housing and Watford Borough Council in England.