Prefabricated buildings (PBs) help alleviate housing pressure, reduce building energy consumption and solve environmental problems. However, the adoption of PBs in China has not been widespread. Despite being major suppliers of PBs, developers are still reluctant to actively adopt PBs. Thus, understanding the attitude and behaviour of developers is imperative to effectively promote PBs. This study takes the behaviour of developers towards the adoption of PBs as the entry point to discuss the critical factors affecting developers in China. Two additional variables: ‘government regulation’ and ‘economic viability’, are included in the classic theory of planned behaviour model to construct the developers’ PBs adoption behaviour model. On the basis of 198 samples, an empirical analysis of developers’ PBs adoption behaviour was performed using structural equation modelling. Attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control were observed to exert significant positive effects on the behavioural intention of developers. A highly positive correlation was noted between developers' behavioural intention and adoption behaviour. Government regulation and economic viability also presented a significant positive promoting effect on adoption behaviour. The additional variable ‘EV’ had the most influential impact on developers’ behaviour. This study theoretically demonstrates the influencing mechanism of developers' PBs adoption behaviour and serves as an important reference for the adoption of PBs in China.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Abidin, N. Z. (2010). Investigating the awareness and application of sustainable construction concept by Malaysian developers. Habitat International, 344, 421–426.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, 502, 179–211.
Ajzen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control, and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 324, 665–683.
Arif, M., Bendi, D., Sawhney, A., & Iyer, K. C. (2012). State of offsite construction in India-Drivers and barriers.
Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behavior a meta analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 404, 471–499.
Bagozzi, R. P. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: A comment. Journal of Marketing Research, 183, 375–381.
Banfi, S., Farsi, M., Filippini, M., & Jakob, M. (2008). Willingness to pay for energy-saving measures in residential buildings. Energy Economics, 302, 503–516.
Barr, S., Gilg, A. W., & Ford, N. (2005). The household energy gap: Examining the divide between habitual- and purchase-related conservation behaviours. Energy Policy, 3311, 1425–1444.
Beerepoot, M. (2007). Public energy performance policy and the effect on diffusion of solar thermal systems in buildings: A Dutch experience. Renewable Energy, 3211, 1882–1897.
BIM, B. N. (2019). Available https://www.uibim.com/. Retrieved Accessed 22 February 2019.
Bortoleto, A. P., Kurisu, K. H., & Hanaki, K. (2012). Model development for household waste prevention behaviour. Waste Management, 3212, 2195–2207.
Boyd, N., Khalfan, M. M. A., & Maqsood, T. (2013). Off-site construction of apartment buildings. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 191, 51–57.
Cao, X., Li, X., Zhu, Y., & Zhang, Z. (2015). A comparative study of environmental performance between prefabricated and traditional residential buildings in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 109, 131–143.
Cao, X., Lu, X., & Wang, Y. (2018). Quality management of component production of prefabricated building based on BIM-RFID technology. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, 35, 102–106.
Congreve, A. (2012). Housing developers and sustainability. International Encyclopedia of Housing & Home, 408–414.
Cornell, B., & Shapiro, A. C. (1987). Corporate stakeholders and corporate finance. Financial Management, 161, 5–14.
Davies, J. D., Foxall, G. R., & Pallister, J. (2002). Beyond the intention-behaviour mythology: An integrated model of recycling. Marketing Theory, 21, 29–113.
Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. Mis Quarterly, 133, 319–340.
Development, B. M. C. o. H. a. U.-R. Available http://zjw.beijing.gov.cn/. Retrieved Accessed 27 May 2018.
Fielding, K. S., Mcdonald, R., & Louis, W. R. (2008). Theory of planned behaviour, identity and intentions to engage in environmental activism. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 284, 318–326.
Gallego-Álvarez, I., & Prado-Lorenzo, J. M. (2011). Corporate social responsibility and innovation: A resource-based theory. Management Decision, 4910, 1709–1727.
Gan, X., Chang, R., & Wen, T. (2018). Overcoming barriers to off-site construction through engaging stakeholders: A two-mode social network analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 201, 735–747.
Gibb, A., & Isack, F. (2010). Re-engineering through pre-assembly: Client expectations and drivers. Building Research & Information, 312, 146–160.
Goodier, C., & Gibb, A. (2007). Future opportunities for offsite in the UK. Construction Management & Economics, 256, 585–595.
Hong, J., Shen, G. Q., Mao, C., Li, Z., & Li, K. (2016). Life-cycle energy analysis of prefabricated building components: An input–output-based hybrid model. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 2198–2207.
Husted, B. W., & Allen, D. B. (2006). Corporate social responsibility in the multinational enterprise: strategic and institutional approaches. Journal of International Business Studies, 376, 838–849.
Jaillon, L., & Poon, C. S. (2008). Sustainable construction aspects of using prefabrication in dense urban environment: A Hong Kong case study. Construction Management & Economics, 269, 953–966.
Jaillon, L., & Poon, C. S. (2009). The evolution of prefabricated residential building systems in Hong Kong: A review of the public and the private sector. Automation in Construction, 183, 239–248.
Jiang, R., Mao, C., Hou, L., Wu, C., & Tan, J. (2018). A SWOT analysis for promoting off-site construction under the backdrop of China’s new urbanisation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 173, 225–234.
Kaiser, F. G. (2006). A moral extension of the theory of planned behavior: Norms and anticipated feelings of regret in conservationism. Personality & Individual Differences, 411, 71–81.
Kaiser, F. G., & Gutscher, H. (2010). The proposition of a general version of the theory of planned behavior: predicting ecological behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 333, 586–603.
Kang, H., Hahn, M., Fortin, D. R., Yong, J. H., & Eom, Y. (2010). Effects of perceived behavioral control on the consumer usage intention of e-coupons. Psychology & Marketing, 2310, 841–864.
Lei, Z., Zhijian, C., & Guozhu, H. (2015). Analysis of Low-carbon consumption behavior intention of rural residents—Based on the theory of planned behavior. Economy and Management.
Li, C. Z., Zhong, R. Y., Fan, X., Xu, G., Ke, C., Huang, G. G., & Shen, G. Q. (2017). Integrating RFID and BIM technologies for mitigating risks and improving schedule performance of prefabricated house construction. Journal of Cleaner Production, 165, 1048–1062.
Li, J., Zuo, J., Cai, H., & Zillante, G. (2018). Construction waste reduction behavior of contractor employees: An extended theory of planned behavior model approach. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 1399–1408.
Li, Z., Shen, G. Q., & Alshawi, M. (2014). Measuring the impact of prefabrication on construction waste reduction: An empirical study in China. Resources Conservation & Recycling, 915, 27–39.
Liu, X., & Li, D. (2019a). Research on the influencing factors and promotion policieses of assembly building development intention. Mathematics in Practice and Theory, 491, 88–98.
Liu, X. J., & Li, D. D. (2019b). Research on the influencing factors and mechanism of development intention of prefabricated building. Construction Economy, 40, 53–57.
Lovell, H., & Smith, S. J. (2010). Agencement in housing markets: The case of the UK construction industry. Geoforum, 413, 457–468.
Lu, W., Huang, G. Q., & Li, H. (2011). Scenarios for applying RFID technology in construction project management. Automation in Construction, 202, 101–106.
Malerba, F. (2005). Sectoral systems of innovation: Concepts, issues and analyses of six major sectors in Europe. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 729, 1153–1154.
Mao, C., Shen, Q., Pan, W., & Ye, K. (2015). Major barriers to off-site construction: The developer’sperspective in China. Journal of Management in Engineering, 313, 1–8.
Mao, C., Shirong, L. I., & Jing, X. (2016). Critical impetus and paths for off-site construction in China. Journal of Chongqing University.
Mao, C., Xie, F., & Liu, G. (2017). Research on the development and evolution of off-site construction ecosystem: Based on LV model. Construction Economy.
Miao, W., He, D., & Zhou, C. (2019). Innovation heterogeneity and the effect of government technological innovation expenditure. Economic Research Journal, 541, 85–99.
Mueller, R. O. (1997). Structural equation modeling: Back to basics. Structural Equation Modeling A Multidisciplinary Journal, 44, 353–369.
Murtagh, F., & Heck, A. (2006). Multivariate data analysis. Technometrics, 1910, 549–563.
Noguchi, M. (2003). The effect of the quality-oriented production approach on the delivery of prefabricated homes in Japan. Journal of Housing & The Built Environment, 184, 353–364.
Pan, W., Gibb, A. G. F., & Dainty, A. R. J. (2007). Perspectives of UK housebuilders on the use of offsite modern methods of construction. Construction Management & Economics, 252, 183–194.
Park, M., Ingawale-Verma, Y., Kim, W., & Ham, Y. (2011). Construction policymaking: With an example of singaporean government’s policy to diffuse prefabrication to private sector. Ksce Journal of Civil Engineering, 155, 771–779.
Rahimian, F. P., Goulding, J., Akintoye, A., & Kolo, S. (2017). Review of motivations, success factors, and barriers to the adoption of offsite manufacturing in Nigeria. Procedia Engineering, 196, 512–519.
Rui, J., Wu, C., Chao, M., & Shrestha, A. (2016). Ecosystem visualization and analysis of Chinese prefabricated housing industry. Procedia Engineering, 145, 436–443.
Sambasivan, M., & Soon, Y. W. (2007). Causes and effects of delays in Malaysian construction industry. International Journal of Project Management, 255, 517–526.
Sha, K. (2003). Cost and value: Thinking on economics of green building. China Environmental Management.
Son, H., Kim, C., Chong, W. K., & Chou, J. S. (2011). Implementing sustainable development in the construction industry: Constructors’ perspectives in the US and Korea. Sustainable Development, 195, 337–347.
Tam, V. W. Y., Tam, C. M., Zeng, S. X., & Ng, W. C. Y. (2007). Towards adoption of prefabrication in construction. Building & Environment, 4210, 3642–3654.
Taylor, S., & Todd, P. (1995). Decomposition and crossover effects in the theory of planned behavior: A study of consumer adoption intentions. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 122, 137–155.
Tonglet, M., Phillips, P. S., & Read, A. D. (2004). Using the theory of planned behaviour to investigate the determinants of recycling behaviour: A case study from Brixworth, UK. Resources Conservation & Recycling, 413, 191–214.
Venkatesh, V., & Davis, F. D. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: Four longitudinal field studies. Management Science, 462, 186–204.
Wang, G., & Liu, M. (2017). Empirical analysis and research of comprehensive benefits of prefabricated concrete buildings. Building Structure.
Wang, J. H., & Qin, X. (2013). Evolutionary analysis on green buildings' development behavior of real estate developer groups. Building Science.
Wang, Z. Q., Zhang, Q. M., & You, W. B. (2019). An evolutionary game and simulation study on government incentive strategy of prefabricated buildings—From the perspective of government subsidy. Systems Engineering, 37, 151–158.
Whitmarsh, L., & O’Neill, S. (2010). Green identity, green living? The role of pro-environmental self-identity in determining consistency across diverse pro-environmental behaviours. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 303, 305–314.
Wu, Z., Yu, A. T. W., & Shen, L. (2017). Investigating the determinants of contractor’s construction and demolition waste management behavior in Mainland China. Waste Management, 60, 290–300.
Yuan, Z., Sun, C., & Wang, Y. (2018). Design for manufacture and assembly-oriented parametric design of prefabricated buildings. Automation in Construction, 88, 13–22.
Zhang, X., & Skitmore, M. (2012). Industrialized housing in China: A coin with two sides. International Journal of Strategic Property Management, 162, 143–157.
Zhang, X., Skitmore, M., & Yi, P. (2014). Exploring the challenges to industrialized residential building in China. Habitat International, 4141, 176–184.
Zhu, H., Hong, J., Shen, G. Q., Mao, C., Zhang, H., & Li, Z. (2018). The exploration of the life-cycle energy saving potential for using prefabrication in residential buildings in China. Energy & Buildings, 166, S0378778817305534.
The paper was conducted by Yanjie Wang, Fucheng Wang, Peidong Sang, and Huanbin Song. Yanjie Wang contributed to design the study and write the paper. Peidong Sang contributed to conceive the study. Fucheng Wang and Huanbin Song contributed to data collection and analysis.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Wang, Y., Wang, F., Sang, P. et al. Analysing factors affecting developers’ behaviour towards the adoption of prefabricated buildings in China. Environ Dev Sustain (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-021-01265-8
- Prefabricated building
- Adoption behaviour
- Theory of planned behaviour