Purpose: This study aims to focus on model development to analyse key factors affecting trust in virtual project teams (VPTs). Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey was conducted on construction professionals participating in virtual teams. Structural equation modelling technique was performed to establish the effect of relevant factors on trust-building in VPTs. Findings: Team performance is highly affected by the trust among the team members. Trust building can be enhanced by improving the quality of team communication, organisation culture, team bonding and team members’ characteristics. Originality/value: The model developed in this study would benefit team productivity and team members’ learning in VPTs.