Sustainable performance criteria for construction method selection in concrete buildings

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

348 Scopus citations


The use of prefabrication offers significant advantages, yet appropriate criteria for applicability assessments to a given building have been found to be deficient. Decisions to use prefabrication are still largely based on anecdotal evidence or simply cost-based evaluation when comparing various construction methods. Holistic criteria are needed to assist with the selection of an appropriate construction method in concrete buildings during early project stages. Following a thorough literature review and comprehensive comparisons between prefabrication and on-site construction method, a total of 33 sustainable performance criteria (SPC) based on the triple bottom line and the requirements of different project stakeholders were identified. A survey of U.S. experienced practitioners including clients/developers, engineers, contractors, and precast concrete manufacturers was conducted to capture their perceptions on the importance of the criteria. The ranking analysis of survey results shows that social awareness and environmental concerns were considered as increasingly important in construction method selections. Factor analysis reveals that these SPCs can be grouped into seven dimensions, namely, economic factors: "long-term cost," "constructability," "quality," and "first cost"; social factors: "impact on health and community," "architectural impact"; and environmental factor: "environmental impact." The resultant list of SPCs provides team members a new way to select a construction method, thereby facilitating the sustainable development of built environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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