Thinking inside the box : factors that influence the adoption of modular construction in Western Canada
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Modular building holds the promise of overcoming challenges facing Canada’s construction industry. However, construction companies have been slow to embrace the benefits. Despite studies addressing the engineering challenges of this innovative building system, the Canadian modular industry lags the developed world. Seven potential non-engineering barriers to modular construction were identified in the literature reviewed. They are the perception of poor quality, challenges in securing financing, a lack of mechanization in the production process, general contractors unfamiliar with modular products, architects unfamiliar with designing for modular projects, engineers unfamiliar with modular design requirements, and transportation challenges. Using a five-factor model identified in the literature reviewed that explains the uptake of innovative practices in the construction industry, the seven potential barriers were developed as a base for this research. These seven potential barriers were examined by a non-random survey of 10 participants in British Columbia and Alberta and found, to varying degrees, to be likely impediments to the broader adoption of modular construction in Western Canada.
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