Industrialization of construction

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The industrialization of construction is the process through which construction aims to improve productivity through increased mechanization and automation.[1][2] The process commonly involves modularization, prefabrication, preassembly, and mass production.[1][3][4][5]


Traditionally, construction has made use of manual labor such as tradesmen and subcontractors for tasks such as the installation of prefabricated elements.[6] In the industrialization phase, construction uses manufacturing processes and technology to perform off-site prefabrication, assembling building components off-site rather than at the point of installation.[6][7][2] Pre-assembled components are then sent to the building site in modular units.[6][8] This type of prefabrication done away from the construction site is often referred to as externalizing work.[9]

The industrialization of construction also implements principles such as the Toyota Production System[7][10] and agile construction[5][11] for developing work information systems. These systems and information technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) create real-time feedback loops for improved decision making.[3][12]

Scholars name five stages for the industrialization of construction: management of labor, management of work, lean operations, modeling and simulation, and feedback of the source based on the study of industrialization in other industries.[13][14]


Productivity in the construction industry has been far behind productivity in general manufacturing, due to the increased industrialization in general manufacturing and construction's continued reliance on field labor.[5][15] The main aim of industrialized construction is to increase productivity and reduce costs and project time through mechanization.[1][3][5][16] Industrialization makes production processes and methods more efficient and reduces loss of working hours due to adverse weather conditions.[2]

The industrialization of construction can have positive or negative effects on subcontractors and construction workers based on how well they are able to adapt to off-site working opportunities.[6] Increased mechanization may result in a shift from price to performance competition for contractors.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Industrialization of the Construction Industry (2013) by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore With Contribution from Greg Bau.
  • Winds of Change: Industrialization of Construction (2017) by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore With Contribution from Phil Nimmo.
  • Applying Scalable Prefabrication to Industrial Construction Work (2015) by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore.
  • The Profitability of Agile Construction (2006) by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore
  • Prefabrication Handbook for the Construction Industry (2019) by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore
  • Agile Construction for the Electrical Contractor, 2nd edition, 2020, Dr. Perry Daneshgari, and Dr. Heather Moore.
  • Daneshgari, D. P., & Moore, D. H. (2020). INDUSTRIALIZATION: Is Construction Next? CFMA, 43–49.
  • Daneshgari, D. P., & Moore, D. H. (2020). THE OPERATIONAL MODEL FOR Modular Construction. CFMA.
  • Daneshgari, D. P., & Moore, D. H. (2020). JOBSITE TO GARAGE: Changing the Mindset of Prefab and Modular Construction. CFMA, 35–43.
  • Taiichi, O. (1988). Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-scale Production. New York: Productivity Press.
  • Taiichi., O. (2009). Workplace Management. (J. Miller, Trans.) Makilteo, WA: Gemba Press.
  • Winds of Change: Industrialization of Construction (2018) by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore With Contribution from Phil Nimmo.
  • Taylor, F. (1911). The Principles of Scientific Management. Harper & Brothers.
  • Shewhart, W. A. (1923). Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product. ASQ Quality Press.
  • Shingo, S. (1987). Non-Stock Production the Shingo System of Continuous Improvement. Productivity Press.
  • Shingo, S. (1989). A Study of the Toyota Production System. Productivity Press.
  • Sloan, A. P. (1972). My Years with General Motors. Doubleday.


  1. ^ a b c Industrialized Construction in Academia.
  2. ^ a b c d[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ a b c BorjeGhaleh, Reza Mohajeri; Sardroud, Javad Majrouhi (2016). "Approaching Industrialization of Buildings and Integrated Construction Using Building Information Modeling". Procedia Engineering. 164: 534–541. doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2016.11.655. ISSN 1877-7058.
  4. ^ The epic rise of industrialized construction.
  5. ^ a b c d Industrialization of the Construction Industry.
  6. ^ a b c d Goh, Edward; Loosemore, Martin (2016). "The impacts of industrialization on construction subcontractors: a resource based view". Construction Management and Economics. 35 (5): 288–304. doi:10.1080/01446193.2016.1253856. ISSN 0144-6193.
  7. ^ a b Tatsuhiko, Yoshimura (2002). "Mizenboushi Method. Japan". JUSE Press.
  8. ^ Industrialization in Building Construction –Production Technology or Management Concept?.
  9. ^ Daneshgari, Perry; Moore, Heather; Said, Hisham (2016). "Measuring and Tracking Externalized Work to Support Industrialized Construction". Modular and Offsite Construction (MOC) Summit Proceedings. doi:10.29173/mocs17. ISSN 2562-5438.
  10. ^ Gann, David M. (1996). "Construction as a manufacturing process? Similarities and differences between industrialized housing and car production in Japan". Construction Management and Economics. 14 (5): 437–450. doi:10.1080/014461996373304. ISSN 0144-6193.
  11. ^ Agile Construction.
  12. ^ How the Internet of Things is Impacting the Construction Industry.
  13. ^ Industrialization of Construction a Compilation to Lead the Way-Book Four: Efficiency and Continuous Improvement: Survival of the Unfits.
  14. ^ Industrialization of Construction.
  15. ^ Four dimensions of industrialized construction.
  16. ^ "Construction Executive - October 2015".