Automating the modular construction process: A review of digital technologies and future directions with blockchain technology

Timothy O. Olawumi, Daniel W.M. Chan, Stephen Ojo, Michael C.H. Yam

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Modular integrated construction (MiC) method has come to limelight in recent years due to its enormous potentials. Although several digital tools and technologies (DTT) have been employed in MiC projects, no previous research study has critically reviewed and analysed their implementation in MiC projects. The current study addresses this gap using a three-tier research approach– data curation, science mapping, and systematic analysis to evaluate modular construction research studies. The findings revealed minimal application of DTT in the MiC prefab transportation phase and the potentiality of blockchain and other integrated DTT for use in MiC projects. Globally, Canada, China, and the USA are the leading countries that have applied DTT in MiC projects. Also, simulation, building information modelling (BIM), and optimization algorithms are the most frequently deployed DTT in modular construction. This study has provided valuable insights into the digital technologies adopted in MiC projects and potential areas for its future use in modular construction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103720
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Blockchain technology
  • Digital tools
  • Modular integrated construction
  • Prefabrication
  • Technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials

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