Major barriers to off-site construction: The developer's perspective in China

Chao Mao, Qiping Shen, Wei Pan, Kunhui Ye

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

318 Citations (Scopus)


Off-site construction (OSC) has been regarded as an effective means of improving construction quality and efficiency. The adoption of OSC has been slower in developing countries such as China than in developed countries, and research on the barriers inhibiting the sector's growth is inadequate. This paper aims to investigate the major factors inhibiting the adoption of OSC with reference to the Chinese construction market. Thirty factors influencing the use of OSC were identified through a literature review, questionnaire survey, and face-to-face interview with professionals in the construction industry. A questionnaire was sent out to developers in China, and 83 completed questionnaires were retrieved. Ranking analysis was used to identify 18 critical factors. The top three barriers are "absence of government regulations and incentives," "high initial cost," and "dependence on traditional construction methods." Factor analysis enables grouping of the 18 critical factors into five categories, namely, "government regulations and policies," "technological innovation," "industry supply chain," "cost," and "market demand." The paper also indicates that the most dominant of the five groupings pertains to regulations and policies. These findings provide a valuable reference for the developers to understand the major barriers to their decision making and for government bodies aiming at promoting OSC in the construction industry to put forward relevant policies and incentives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04014038
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Barriers
  • China
  • Critical factors
  • Developing countries
  • Off-site construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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