It is well known that building prefabrication has numerous prominent advantages, including shortening construction time, promoting efficiency, reducing air pollution, and so on. As a result, the Chinese government is promoting prefabricated buildings (PBs) but many difficulties occur during promotion of prefabrication. One of the most effective ways to overcome these difficulties is to study the factors affecting the motivation of adopting PBs and their relationships, which has rarely been studied by previous literature. In this paper, 13 critical factors affecting the choice of adopting prefabrication were identified by reviewing literature and interviewing experts. A hierarchical graph of factors was obtained through interpretative structural modelling (ISM). It can be concluded that ‘safety’, ‘quality’, ‘cost’, ‘schedule’, ‘corporate image’ and ‘environmental benefits’ are direct factors. ‘Supply capacity of component factory’, ‘structure type’, ‘capacity of the contractor’, ‘transportation of components’ and ‘function of project’ are indirect factors. ‘Project height’ and ‘project size’ are fundamental factors. Through using the Matriced’ Impacts Croise’s Multiplication Appliquee a UN Classement (MICMAC), factors were classified into two groups based on their driving power and dependence. This research states the benefits of PBs in detail such as schedule, quality and safety and offers a comprehensive view on factors.