Project completed in 2024
Level: M.A.Sc.
Areas of research : Automation, Industrialization.

Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) challenges in off-site construction (OSC) and on-site construction


Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) has emerged as a promising approach to improving productivity in the construction industry. In the most recent studies, the most widespread adoption of DfMA is expected in off-site construction (OSC), so there is a misconception that DfMA is only for OSC, whereas not all projects are suitable for OSC or even entirely for OSC, but can still benefit from DfMA’s design principles. In this context, “on-site construction” refers to work carried out on site as part of an OSC project, as well as to specific projects carried out on the site itself that are not considered traditional construction. Given that the adoption of DfMA as a systematic procedure is set to become widespread in the construction sector, it is essential to identify the challenges associated with its implementation at the various stages of a construction process. This article aims to identify, verify and analyze the challenges of DfMA, focusing on on-site construction. The study used a mixed-methods approach, including an in-depth literature review and interviews with industry experts. The information gathered from the literature review and expert contributions was analyzed and synthesized using NVivo 14 pro and prioritized using mean score (MS) analysis and the weighting function.

Areas of research : Automation, Industrialization.

Project results

Based on the research methodology, 41 DfMA challenges were validated and grouped into 9 main challenges. Further analysis has led to the conclusion that the three main challenges to implementing DfMA in on-site construction are economic and financial, technological and legal. These DfMA challenges formed the basis of the DfMA challenges framework.

Project contributions

By identifying and understanding the challenges associated with adopting DfMA in CSO and on-site construction, this article aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in construction management and provide valuable information for industry professionals, researchers and policy makers. Ultimately, the results of this study can guide organizations in the effective implementation of DfMA strategies, which will improve the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of the built environment.

Research team

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