Back in September during the Conservative party conference, UK housing minister Esther McVey was ridiculed for suggesting that architects are moving into a new age where they will be creating 3D buildings on a computer. Given that AutoCAD was released 37 years ago, the frustration within the construction sector at the lack of awareness at government level may be understandable. Listening to Stephen Slessor's keynote speech at today's inaugural Build It Inverness conference put this in even more sharp focus. 

As regional director for leading Scottish contractor Morrison Construction, Stephen is on a (self-confessed) mission to promote innovation and social value in construction. 

In keeping with that, his topic today was "How blockchain and artificial intelligence can drive a Highland construction revolution". From using shared access portals to track the movement and provenance of equipment and materials; recruiting data scientists and data analysts, tracking everything from weather fronts to people, Stephen highlighted things that are happening right now, today to harness the potential and benefits of blockchain for the construction sector. 

The discussion about the potential impact of blockchain on the construction sector has been gathering intensity for some time now. Used smartly, it could help the sector immeasurably in terms of real-time project delivery, collaboration and costs. There's a strong argument that construction isn't yet digitised enough, but there's no doubt the sector is already years ahead of the "doing it with it on a computer" suggested by the Housing minister.