Construction industry 4.0 and sustainability: an enabling framework

Balasubramanian, Sreejith ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0475-7305, Shukla, Vinaya ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2546-4931, Islam, Nazrul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0515-1134 and Manghat, Shalini (2021) Construction industry 4.0 and sustainability: an enabling framework. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management . pp. 1-19. ISSN 0018-9391 [Article] (doi:10.1109/tem.2021.3110427)

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Abstract

Governments worldwide are taking actions to address the construction sector's sustainability concerns, including high carbon emissions, health and safety risks, low productivity, and increasing costs. Applying Industry 4.0 technologies to construction (also referred to as Construction 4.0) could address some of these concerns. However, current understanding about this is quite limited, with previous work being largely fragmented and limited both in terms of technologies as well as their interrelationships with the triple bottom line of sustainability perspectives. The focus of this article is therefore on addressing these gaps by proposing a comprehensive multi-dimensional Construction 4.0 sustainability framework that identifies and categorizes the key Construction 4.0 technologies and their positive and negative impacts on environmental, economic, and social sustainability, and then establishing its applicability/usefulness through an empirical, multimethodology case study assessment of the UAE's construction sector. The findings indicate Construction 4.0’s positive impacts on environmental and economic sustainability that far outweigh its negative effects, although these impacts are comparable with regards to social sustainability. On Construction 4.0 technologies itself, their application was found to be nonuniform with greater application seen for building information modeling and automation vis-à-vis others such as cyber-physical systems and smart materials, with significant growth expected in the future for blockchain- and three-dimensional-printing-related technologies. The proposed novel framework could enable the development of policy interventions and support mechanisms to increase Construction 4.0 deployment while addressing its negative sustainability-related impacts. The framework also has the potential to be adapted and applied to other country and sectoral contexts.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Theme:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Construction 4.0, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, Industry 4.0, social sustainability, sustainability framework, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation
Item ID: 35276
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 10:07
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2022 10:03
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/35276

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