Decision support for construction method selection in concrete buildings: Prefabrication adoption and optimization

Ying Chen, Gül E. Okudan, David R. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Prefabrication offers a substantial opportunity to improve projects' sustainable performance. However, decisions to employ prefabrication are still largely based on familiarity and personal preferences rather than rigorous data. Methodical assessments of an appropriate construction method for a concrete project have been found deficient. This paper presents an objective and transparent tool, the Construction Method Selection Model (CMSM), which is designed to aid building team members during early project stages in evaluating the feasibility of prefabrication and exploring an optimal strategy to apply prefabrication in concrete buildings. The model is divided into two sequential levels: the strategic level and the tactical level, respectively. The Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique (SMART) is used in the first level for preliminary feasibility evaluation of prefabrication. The Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT), which considers uncertainty and risk attitude, is employed in the second level to assess to what degree of prefabrication is appropriate for the project at hand. A detailed case study through in-depth personal interviews with four decision makers is presented to illustrate the use of the model and to demonstrate the capability of the model. The results show that the proposed model is a useful and effective decision-making tool for prefabrication adoption and optimization in concrete buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-675
Number of pages11
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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