Investigating the mechanism of developers' willingness to adopt prefabricated housing using an integrated DEMATEL-SD framework

Zezhou Wu, Kaijie Yang, Zhangmin Wu, Hong Xue*, Shenghan Li, Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Prefabricated construction is an innovative technique for decreasing carbon emissions in the construction industry. However, as the investors of housing projects, a majority of developers are unwilling to adopt prefabricated housing in practice. To promote prefabricated housing, this study aims to develop an integrated framework of fuzzy-decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (fuzzy-DEMATEL) and system dynamics (SD) to understand the underlying influencing mechanism of developers' willingness. Design/methodology/approach: Through literature review, a total of 17 influencing factors were identified. Then, the interrelationships among the factors were evaluated by 10 experienced professionals, and the impacts given and received by each factor were further analyzed through fuzzy-DEMATEL. Based on the technology acceptance model (TAM), a SD model was developed to explore the influencing mechanism. Findings: The major cause factors were identified, including mandatory implementation policies, economic incentive policies, environmental protection policies, component standardization and developers' economic strength. This group of factors was expected to be given priority attention in the case of limited resources. On the other hand, the results indicated that economic incentive policies and mandatory implementation policies could affect the developers' willingness via perceived usefulness, while the others mainly influenced perceived ease of use. Originality/value: Little research has focused on the interrelationships among the influencing factors of developers' willingness to adopt prefabricated housing. This study contributed to understanding the mechanism of developers' willingness from a systematic view and providing the priority of influencing factors. Several strategies were proposed to improve the practical implementation of prefabricated housing development.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Early online date10 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their valuable and constructive suggestions for improving this paper. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 72001148), the Foundation for Basic and Applied Basic Research of Guangdong Province (No. 2019A1515110247), the Research Start-up Funding in Shenzhen (No. 000376), the Natural Science Foundation of SZU and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (Grant number ZR202102250380).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Carbon reduction
  • Developer
  • Fuzzy-DEMATEL
  • Prefabricated housing
  • Resilience
  • System dynamics
  • Technology acceptance model


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