Exploring barriers towards modular construction – A developer perspective using fuzzy DEMATEL

Feldmann F, Birkel H, Hartmann E (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 367

Pages Range: 133023

Article Number: 133023

DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.133023


Modular construction (MC) has been regarded as a feasible solution to significantly improve productivity, shorten building times, and reduce the enormous environmental burden the construction industry has to shoulder. Although there has been considerable uptake of this construction method in several countries worldwide, widespread adoption is still held back by various interlinked barriers. In Germany – one example of a well-established off-site construction (OSC) market – the adoption of MC by housing corporations is still relatively low. This is surprising when considering their key role in quickly creating living spaces in areas with increasing housing shortages. Therefore, this study explores the interconnectedness of MC barriers from a developer's perspective. Based on a literature review, critical barriers (B1–B8) were identified; these barriers were evaluated by industry experts regarding their influence on each other by applying the fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) approach. The results provide in-depth insights into the relationships of barriers that impede further uptake of MC and highlight the factors that should be given the most attention by practitioners and researchers to promote this cleaner production method. Based on these analyses, the barriers supply (B4), demand (B5), and process (B8) can be regarded as strongly interconnected and highly relevant, while the industry's attitude (B7) is the most critical barrier. In contrast, regulatory (B1) and knowledge (B6) factors are fundamental prerequisites but are largely detached from the network of barriers; therefore, they do not constitute crucial barriers in the context of this study. The technical barrier (B2) has neither strong interconnections in the network nor strong influences on other factors. The financial hurdle (B3) was found to be highly relevant for promoting MC while also being highly influenceable, indicating that there are several possible ways to raise the economic attractiveness of this construction method.

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Feldmann, F., Birkel, H., & Hartmann, E. (2022). Exploring barriers towards modular construction – A developer perspective using fuzzy DEMATEL. Journal of Cleaner Production, 367, 133023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.133023


Feldmann, Finn, Hendrik Birkel, and Evi Hartmann. "Exploring barriers towards modular construction – A developer perspective using fuzzy DEMATEL." Journal of Cleaner Production 367 (2022): 133023.

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