Investigating the Level of Sustainability in Off-Site Construction

  • Milad MoradibistouniEmail author
  • Brenda Vale
  • Nigel Isaacs
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 155)


Prefabrication or off-site construction is claimed to be more sustainable than traditional methods when it comes to use materials and environmental impacts. After distinguishing the most important factors that make a construction system sustainable, this paper, which builds on an earlier paper (Moradibistouni et al. in evaluating sustainability of prefabrication methods in comparison with traditional methods. Springer, Berlin, 2018 [1]), begins with a literature review to compare prefabrication with traditional methods over the life span of a building. This helps in understanding the stages of a building’s life cycle where prefabrication might be more sustainable. A prefabricated house is then compared with three conventional houses in order to examine the energy efficiency of off-site compared with on-site construction. The primary results showed prefabrication is more sustainable than traditional methods regarding the two factors of water consumption and waste generation. However, when it comes to energy use and environmental pollution the differences between prefabrication and conventional methods are not great. This analysis shows it is not possible to compare prefabrication with other construction methods without considering other factors affecting the sustainability of construction such as choice of materials and design approaches. The other point to emerge was the lack of reliable data regarding the benefits and disadvantages of prefabrication over the life cycle of a building.


Prefabrication Sustainable construction Life cycle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milad Moradibistouni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brenda Vale
    • 1
  • Nigel Isaacs
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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