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

Design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) challenges in off-site construction (OSC) and on-site construction


Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) has emerged as a promising approach to enhance productivity in the construction industry. In the most recent studies, the most widespread DfMA adoption is foreseen in off-site construction (OSC), so there is a misconception that DfMA serves OSC only, while not all projects are suitable for OSC or even fully OSC, but can still benefit from DfMA design principles. In this context, “on-site construction” refers to work completed on-site as part of an OSC project as well as specific projects that are carried out at the actual location that are not considered traditional constructions. Since the adoption of DfMA as a systematic procedure is anticipated to be widespread within the construction sector, it is crucial to identify Challenges associated with its implementation in the different stages of a construction process. This article aims to identify, verify, and analyze the DfMA challenges with a focus on the on-site constructions. The study utilized a mixed-method approach, comprising an extensive review of the literature and industry expert interviews. The information gathered from the literature review and expert inputs was analyzed and synthesized using NVivo 14 pro and prioritized using the mean score (MS) analysis and 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 concluded that the most three important challenges in implementing DfMA in on-site construction are economic and financial, technological, and legal contractual challenges. These DfMA challenges formed the basis for developing the DfMA-related challenges framework.

Project contributions

By identifying and understanding the challenges for DfMA adoption in both OSC and on-site construction, this article aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in construction management and provide valuable insights for industry professionals, researchers, and policymakers. Ultimately, the findings of this study can guide organizations in effectively implementing DfMA strategies, leading to enhanced construction productivity, sustainability, and competitiveness in the built environment.

Research team

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