Unexpected Challenges in the Modular Construction Implementation: Are UK Contractors Ready?

Niraj Thurairajah, Akila Pramodh Rathnasinghe*, Mehvish Ali, Shashwat Shashwat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the growing attention given to modular construction in the UK, a lack of investigation into the practical challenges and limitations experienced by contractors has been noted. Hence, this study aims to critically assess the feasibility of volumetric modular construction from the perspective of contractors who have applied this method in real‐world projects. The study adopted a qualitative research approach using a case study technique and selected two modular construction projects in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, as case studies. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with nine professionals from the contracting organisations involved in these projects in addition to project document reviews from the selected cases and data analysis using a content analysis approach. The study found that while modular construction can be costly, it is appreciated by contractors for its ability to reduce construction schedules and save costs. However, program delays, skill gaps, and reduced design flexibility pose significant challenges. This study offers unique insights into the practical challenges and limitations of volumetric modular construction and provides recommendations for improvement. Its contribution to the body of knowledge is significant as it sheds light on the trade‐offs involved in using modular construction and highlights the need for further research to enhance its application in real‐world projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8105
Number of pages20
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2023

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