Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Ortega, J., Mesa, H, and Alarcón, LF (2023) The interrelationship between barriers impeding the adoption of off-site construction in developing countries: The case of Chile. Journal of Building Engineering, 15, Vol 73, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2023.106824 (2023)

The interrelationship between barriers impeding the adoption of off-site construction in developing countries: The case of Chile

Revista : Journal of Building Engineering
Volumen : 73
Número : 15
Tipo de publicación : Revistas Ir a publicación


Off-site construction (OSC) has been recognized for its capacity to transform the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry from a labour-intensive to a modernized and sustainable industry. OSC is growing in developed countries; however, in developing countries, there are deep barriers that do not allow for significant changes in favour of OSC adoption. To understand and overcome these challenges, many studies have identified numerous OSC barriers but mostly consider them isolated. This approach has been shown to be ineffective because several barriers interact simultaneously, and many of them are not easily visible. Therefore, this research develops a systemic approach to understanding the interrelationship of OSC barriers, doing so in the context of the AEC industry of Chile. Based on a multidimensional analysis, the current methodology consisted of (i) an extensive literature review and several discussions with experts to determine the main OSC barriers and their dimensions, (ii) impact measurement and prioritization of OSC barriers, (iii) qualitative and quantitative correlation using statistical tools, and (iv) network analysis. The research identified ten dimensions containing 74 OSC barriers. These dimensions address the areas related to cultural aspects, quality, market, finance, design and development, innovation and technology, people’s skills, policies and regulations, documentation and communication, and logistics. The results suggest that the main OSC barriers are the poor leading role of the government in promoting OSC, lack of early integration of the value chain, lack of collaborative work among stakeholders, and conservatism of the AEC industry. Furthermore, the research results show that this approach rigorously identifies the interrelationship among OSC barriers, demonstrating the systemic behaviour of OSC barriers in which they enhance their impact by interacting with each other even with barriers outside their own dimensions.