Validating the relative importance of technology diffusion barriers– exploring modular construction design-build practices in the UK

Hector Martin*, Maia Garner, Anupa Manewa, Aaron Chadee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This research investigates the low use of modular construction despite its recognized cost, time, quality, safety, and sustainability advantages. Using technology diffusion theory, this study seeks to identify and rank the characteristics that impede modular building adoption, such as relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. A survey of industry professionals in the United Kingdom was undertaken, and the results, validated by a one-sample t-test, showed that attitudes toward modular building, rather than technical difficulties, are the key impediments to broad adoption. The degree to which modular construction resonates with prospective adopters’ current values, past experiences, and requirements determines its acceptance. Traditional mind-sets, the presence of traditional constructs, resistance to change, prior attitudes, bid prices, hesitation, and skepticism are all associated with non-adoption. Professional positions serve as a bridge between adopters and non-adapters. The research also emphasizes the importance of design-build project delivery systems and early supplier chain participation in accelerating the mainstream adoption of modular construction.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Education and Research
Early online date28 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 28 Feb 2024

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