Building Code Compliance for Off-Site Construction

Marwan Gharbia, Alice Chang-Richards, Xun Xu, Matilda Höök, Lars Stehn, René Jähne, Daniel Hall, Kenneth Park, Jingke Hong, Yingbin Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are increasing concerns over building code, regulation compliance, and quality assurance issues in adopting off-site construction techniques in the construction industry related to meeting client expectations and regulatory requirements. Performance-based building regulations often allow for space for innovation but not a safe space for those who intend to introduce new construction techniques not prescribed in building regulations. Through a series of surveys conducted in Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, China, Singapore, and Australia, this study identified approaches and practices used in these countries that overcome compliance challenges when off-site construction techniques are used. The findings showed that manufacturer self-certification is the predominant approach for meeting code compliance requirements. A fit-for-purpose regulatory compliance system also warrants fair allocation of risks and liabilities to anyone involved in the supply chain. However, a healthy and functional regulatory system for off-site compliance requires third-party certification for products and factories and traceability. It is hoped that the lessons learned from this study can help policymakers introduce changes in product standards and legislation in order to improve the compliance and performance of off-site construction. This study concluded that a chain of custody approach is necessary in order to address quality concerns surrounding the adoption of prefabrication technology in countries that are increasingly exploring greater use of manufacturing in construction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04522056
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Building code
  • Compliance
  • International practice
  • Off-site construction
  • Off-site manufacturing
  • Prefabrication


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