The drivers and challenges of adopting the Malaysia industrialised building system for sustainable infrastructure development

Sushilawati Ismail, Carol K.H. Hon , Philip Crowther, Martin Skitmore, Fiona Lamari

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Abstract

Purpose
Malaysia’s industrialised building system (IBS) has been increasingly adopted for sustainable development by the country’s construction industry. However, although it has been used for commercial building projects, its application to sustainable infrastructure development has been limited to date. This study aims to examine the drivers and challenges involved.

Design/methodology/approach
A preliminary conceptual framework was initially developed based on a systematic literature review. Semi-structured interviews involving 20 participants were undertaken to gain insightful thoughts from the construction practitioners to discover the perception towards IBS application in the construction industry, the applicability of IBS, particularly in infrastructure projects, the strategies of IBS delivery and the sustainable potential of its application. A two-round Delphi study was conducted with 15 experienced and knowledgeable panellists to further identify, verify and prioritise factors developed from the literature review and interview findings. Then, the results were synthesised and triangulated to demonstrate a holistic insight.

Findings
The results show the main drivers to be better productivity, quality, environmental, safety and health, constructability design and cost, policy and requirements, with the main challenges being project planning and cost-related issues, inexperience and industry capacity.

Originality/value
The study’s main contribution is in systematically determining the practical implications involved in applying the IBS to sustainable infrastructure developments in Malaysia and other similar developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConstruction Innovation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2022

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