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Factors impacting BIM application in prefabricated buildings in China with DEMATEL-ISM

Cheng Gong (Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Hongyu Xu (Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Feng Xiong (School of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Jian Zuo (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Na Dong (School of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 24 October 2021

Issue publication date: 3 January 2023




Some papers have investigated the complex factors impacting building information modeling (BIM) application in prefabricated buildings (PBs), but few paid attention to their interaction relationships. Ignoring the fact that different factors are not isolated may lead to some key factors being overlooked without appropriate improvement strategies being proposed. This paper aims to analyze those factors and their inter-relationships, with the view to identify the critical factors and their interaction relationships so as to derive constructive strategies that would effectively facilitate BIM adoption in Chinese prefabrication.


First, factors influencing BIM application in prefabrication are extracted and collated by literature review, expert interview and analysis of PBs characteristics. Thereafter, an evaluation laboratory (decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory) and interpretive structural modeling are used to explore the relationships and hierarchy among the factors. Based on the degree of cause and centrality, critical factors are extracted and the interaction relationship are investigated.


The results show that BIM policies and standards for PBs are the main causal factors. The maturity of BIM software and BIM data interface for PBs, willingness to share data, the strategic goals of the enterprise, BIM law and BIM input and benefit are the main transitional factors while BIM staff and workflow, enterprise attitude, distribution of BIM liability and cooperation of participants are the main direct factors.


Based on the above findings, corresponding improvement strategies are proposed so as to promote BIM application in prefabrication and the rapid development of China’s PBs efficiently.



Gong, C., Xu, H., Xiong, F., Zuo, J. and Dong, N. (2023), "Factors impacting BIM application in prefabricated buildings in China with DEMATEL-ISM", Construction Innovation, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 19-37.



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