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Accepted Manuscript

Title: A selection model based on SWOT analysis for


determining a suitable strategy of prefabrication
implementation in rural areas

Authors: Jingyang Zhou, Pengwang He, Yanjun Qin, Dandan


Ren

PII: S2210-6707(19)30113-1
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2019.101715
Article Number: 101715

Reference: SCS 101715

To appear in:

Received date: 12 January 2019


Revised date: 3 April 2019
Accepted date: 12 July 2019

Please cite this article as: Zhou J, He P, Qin Y, Ren D, A selection model based on SWOT
analysis for determining a suitable strategy of prefabrication implementation in rural
areas, Sustainable Cities and Society (2019), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2019.101715

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A selection model based on SWOT analysis for determining a suitable strategy of prefabrication

implementation in rural areas

Jingyang Zhoua*, Pengwang Hea, Yanjun Qina, Dandan Rena

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School of Management Engineering, Shandong Jianzhu University, China

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* Corresponding author, Tel: +86 531 86361579; Email: zhoujingyang7810@163.com

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Highlights
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 Twelve factors influencing prefabrication implementation in rural areas were identified.


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 A strategy selection model integrating SWOT analysis and strategic vector method was
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designed.

 Four scenarios of strategies were presented and some useful implications were provided.
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 A case study of Jinan city was conducted to demonstrate the applicability of this model.
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Abstract

The construction of rural residential buildings has a great impact on the achievement of
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sustainable countryside. It needs a cleaner construction method. This study argues that

prefabrication should be adopted in rural areas, but different strategies should be designed based on

the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). This issue has not been involved in
previous studies. This paper aims to design a model for determining the suitable strategy of

prefabrication implementation. Twelve factors affecting the prefabrication implementation were

firstly identified for SWOT analysis, including prefabricated construction standards, ecological

benefits, transportation capacity, and so on. A strategy selection model expressed by strategic vector

(θ, ρ) was then designed, in which strategic azimuth (θ) determines the strategy type and intensity

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coefficient (ρ) determines the attitudes that should be taken to the selected strategy. Four types of

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strategies (aggressing, pioneering, reverse, and avoidant) and two development intensities

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(conservative and proactive) were summarized. The model was substantiated in a village of Jinan

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as a case. It was identified that aggressing strategy with conservative attitude is the optimal strategy

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to the current conditions in rural Jinan. The developed model can be adopted by other rural areas
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for devising their suitable prefabrication development strategies.
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Keywords: prefabrication; sustainable society; rural; strategy


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1 Introduction
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Cast-in-situ construction was the traditional and widespread adopted method in residential
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building industry in the past decades (Jaillon and Poon, 2008). However, the labor-intensive
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characteristics and high non-recycled resources consumption has made residential building

construction as the main contributor to the poor environmental performance (Shen et al., 2010). For
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this reason, prefabricated construction method was introduced by many countries around the world

for eliminating the environmental challenges caused by traditional building industry (Hosseini et al.,

2018). Prefabricated building refers to an innovative construction technology which includes the
production of prefabricated components in a manufacturing factory, transporting prefabricated

components to the construction site and finally assembling the prefabricated components to

buildings (Tam et al., 2007). Successful practice of prefabrication in developed countries

demonstrated that prefabricated buildings have obvious advantages in improving the quality of

construction (Blismas and Wakefield, 2009), increasing construction efficiency (Chiang et al., 2006),

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reducing construction waste and materials consumption (Goodier and Gibb, 2007; Jiang et al., 2018),

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and preserving the ecological environment (Tam et al., 2015). Comparatively, the good performance

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of prefabrication in environmental aspect got great appreciation (Zhou et al., 2018). However, the

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prefabricated construction market is not as prosperous as expected in some developing countries

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such as China (Mao et al., 2015). Moreover, the promotion of prefabrication in China currently
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remains concentrated in urban areas and the rural areas have been neglected. In fact, rural residential
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buildings in China have experienced a rapid development in the past few decades and have been
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considered as an important part of construction industry (Evans et al., 2014). Building green and
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livable rural housings has been identified as a vital mission by Chinese government for achieving

the goal of rural revitalization and green countryside (Liu, 2018; Ma et al., 2018). It was also
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emphasized by Chinese government as a significant part of the new-type urbanization strategy and
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the sustainability of social development (The State Council, 2018). However, the lack of unified
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planning and the extensive construction method in rural buildings consequently caused a series of

problems such as environmental pollution (He et al., 2014), poor safety (Dong and Jin, 2013), heat
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preservation (Evans et al., 2014), and high energy consumption (Liu et al., 2014). All these

challenges faced by rural buildings construction bring bad influence on countryside construction

and thus impact the sustainable development of the construction industry (Rocchi et al., 2018).
Accordingly, it can influence the achievement of sustainable development of society. The

prefabrication method can realize the unified planning in rural housing design and can reduce the

consumption of materials and labors in comparison to the current construction method. Therefore,

the attempt of prefabrication in rural residential buildings may be an effective way for achieving the

goals of green rural area launched in Rural Revitalization Strategy of China (2018). However, the

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foundations of rural area required for implementing prefabrication such as economic development

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level, transportation, and farmers’ consciousness are different. The strengths (S), weaknesses (W),

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opportunities (O), and threats (T) of rural areas in implementing prefabrication must be analyzed

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and different strategies should be adopted based on the results of SWOT analysis. It is important to

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find a strategy selection method for determining the suitable strategy for the effective
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implementation of prefabrication in different rural areas.
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The low application of prefabricated buildings has aroused the interests of scholars from all over
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the world. Some helpful researches about the implementation of prefabrication buildings were
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achieved. In summary, previous researches focused on the perspectives such as development

strategy of prefabrication industry (Cash et al., 2003; Nadim and Goulding, 2010), prefabrication
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technology (Leskovar and Premrov, 2011; Pan et al., 2012), prefabrication management(Chen et al.,
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2010; Li et al., 2018), prefabrication environmental assessment (Aye et al., 2012; Pons and Wadel,
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2011). Moreover, some innovative methods such as BIM (Building Information Modelling) and

other information technologies were applied in the practice of prefabrication implementation (Li et
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al., 2016; Singh et al., 2015).Taking the perspective of development strategy of prefabrication

industry as an example, some efforts have been devoted to the promotion of prefabrication

implementation. Arif and Egbu (2010) highlighted that the problems China faced in the promotion
of prefabrication were similar to those in the United Kingdom. In summary, the major problem is

the contradiction between the high initial construction cost of prefabricated buildings and the

increased demand of sustainability of buildings. It a large strategic challenge for governments and

policy makers to promote prefabrication implementation. The successful experience that the United

Kingdom tackled these problems can be used to the practice of China. Some strategic implications

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for China were presented based on the experience of the United Kingdom and the manufacturing

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capacities and market demands of China. Jaillon and Poon (2008) analyzed the limitations of

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applying prefabrication from the perspective of additional construction costs and proposed some

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suggestions to reduce both the higher initial construction and transportation costs of prefabricated

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components. Mao et al. (2015) stated that the regulations and policies launched by the governments
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have a crucial effect on the extensive application of prefabricated buildings. Governments should
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take a positive attitude to develop strategies and policies for motivating the implementation of
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prefabricated buildings. This opinion was echoed by Jiang et al. (2018), in which, exhaustive policy
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system, workable guidelines, and vocational education and training for practitioners were proposed

for addressing the current obstacles in implementing prefabricated buildings.


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Rural residential buildings have also been considered as a research hotspot for its importance to
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the achievements of livable and sustainable countryside. Therefore, the sustainable performance of
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rural residential buildings was gradually concerned by scholars around the world. He et al. (2014)

pointed out that energy consumption of rural building has become a critical part of energy
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consumption in China, which would influence the national and global sustainable development.

Shan et al. (2015) conducted a large-scaled survey of energy consumption and indoor environment

quality of rural buildings in China. The rural residential buildings in Europe also faced the same
challenge because most of them were without thermal insulation and double glassing (Gaglia et al.,

2019). The results showed that typical indoor thermal environments and air quality were largely

unsatisfactory due to low efficiency heating equipment and poor thermal insulation of the building

envelopes. In order to improve the environmental performance of rural residential buildings, Picuno

(2016)introduced some traditional construction materials such as adobe bricks within the earthen

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mixture and suitable natural fibers and analyzed their contributions to the sustainability of rural

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environment. Garg et al. (2016) introduced the cool roof technology to rural residential buildings

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for improving the environmental benefits such as reducing energy consumption, increasing

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occupant comfort, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. All the use of sustainable construction

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materials and methods effectively promoted the sustainability of rural residential buildings and rural
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environment.
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The previous researches provided meaningful and helpful suggestions in improving the
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sustainability of rural residential buildings and promoting the implementation of prefabrication.


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However, it should be noticed that prefabrication method has not been discussed from the

perspective of rural residential buildings. Moreover, most of the previous researches about
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prefabrication implementation just proposed promotion suggestions based on the macroscopic


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analysis on the prefabrication market. Few studies offered a quantitative model for assisting the
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selection of promotion strategy of prefabrication. Moreover, few studies put their efforts on the

market of rural areas, which caused the lack of theoretical knowledge and effective methods in
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promoting the implementation of prefabrication in rural areas. To this end, this research addresses

this deficiency and aims to establish a strategy selection model as an assistant tool for rural

construction managers in implementing prefabrication. The following works will be conducted for
achieving the overall research objectives: (1) to identify internal and external factors that impact the

application of prefabrication as the indicators for conducting SWOT analysis; (2) to establish a

strategy selection model which is determined by strategic azimuth (θ) and development intensity

(ρ); (3) to determine the selection criteria and strategy types in each scenarios classified based on

the values of strategic azimuth (θ) and development intensity (ρ); (4) to propose a case study in the

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perspective of China to demonstrate the application of this model and to verify its applicability.

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2 The background of rural residential buildings in China

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There has been a debate taking place in the definition of rural (Halfacree, 1993). As summarized

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by Cloke et al. (2008), rural geography moved from a functional perspective to a political-economic

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perspective, and then to a socially constructed perspective in which the importance of the rural
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depends on the fascinating world of social, cultural and moral values. Areas classified as rural are
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in constant economic, social and visible transition. Along with the changing society, rural and urban
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are becoming blurred (Dymitrow and Stenseke, 2016). Accordingly, the scope of rural becomes
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more abundant which involves traditional land use, economic perspectives, connectivity, but also

the lifestyles (Brauer and Dymitrow, 2014). Therefore, rural development refers generally to the
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process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in relatively
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isolated areas (Moseley, 2003). It has long been considered as an efficient way to eliminate poverty
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and other challenges faced in rural areas (Hsieh, 2014; Johnson, 2000). In the last decades, a

worldwide decline in rural economies has been a widespread phenomenon (Gao and Wu, 2017).
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Moreover, it has been intensified in many countries around the world (Pašakarnis and Maliene,

2010). Therefore, rural development became an urgent need for the economic revitalization in many

countries or regions. For example, rural development policies had been launched in the European
Union for achieving valuable goals for the countryside and people living here (Brauer and Dymitrow,

2014). Different measures were currently adopted to improve the economic development in rural

areas in lots of developed or developing countries around the world. For instance, the combination

of rural and tourism had become a feasible method for revitalizing rural economy in Malaysia Amir

et al. (2015) and Korean Park and Yoon (2009). Financial assistance and skills training for local

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rural residents were introduced in Scottish for promoting the rural economic recovery (Stockdale,

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2006). The rapid development put rural areas at particular risks such as the loss of rural land (Chen

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et al., 2014; Terluin, 2003), the lack of rural culture (Hartley, 2004; Long et al., 2011), and especially

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the destruction of rural ecological environment (Pigford et al., 2018). The problems of the issues

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presented above are getting worse in rural China, especially under the action of rapid and extensive
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urbanization in recent years. Statistics from China National Bureau of Statistic (CNBS, 2006) shows
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that energy consumption in rural houses accounts for 65% of the total building energy consumption
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in China and have severely impacted the ecological environment and sustainable development of
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rural area (Yu et al., 2014). Therefore, the practice of Beautiful Countryside Construction was

carried out by Chinese government in 2013, followed by Rural Revitalization Strategy (2018-2022)
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released by The State Council (2018) for coordinating urban and rural development and
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fundamentally improving rural living environment. In both the two programs, the sustainable and
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green rural residential buildings were also mentioned and underlined. It was stated in the strategy

of rural revitalization (2018-2022) that building an ecologically livable and beautiful countryside is
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an essential step in the process of socialist modernization in rural areas. There is an explicit demand

for pursuing improvements in design and construction of rural buildings vigorously (The State

Council, 2018). In order to achieve the goals set in the Beautiful Countryside Construction Plan,
neat appearance, energy-saving design, and good environmental performance of rural residential

buildings should be firmly required (The State Council, 2014).

However, the traditional rural buildings have struggled to adapt the requirements of new

urbanization and policies (Shan et al., 2015). The rapid urbanization made rural residents realize the

growth potential of the rural houses value. A large amount of rural houses was built in a short time.

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It is unfortunately noticed that more than 70% of rural buildings are the traditional brick concrete

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structure and brick wood structure (see Table 1). However, the proportion of buildings adopting

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reinforced concrete and other sustainable materials was extremely low (Evans et al., 2014). As a

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result, the construction quality and environmental performance were not sufficient to meet the

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requirements for modern buildings (Dong and Jin, 2013). Moreover, rough construction method
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without professional design documents and drawings was the dominant construction method in the
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process of building rural houses, which would cause the rural buildings be unsatisfied with the
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requirements of construction specifications and quality standards (Qi et al., 2018). What is more
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serious is that more than 90% rural new buildings were built basically by self-organized workmen

without any professional construction technical training or conducted by several craftsmen with
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professional construction qualifications (Wu and Li, 2013). No matter unskilled workers or qualified
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craftsmen, neither of them belong to a professional and eligible construction company, which made
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the construction quality level and durability can hardly be guaranteed (Li, 2012). Unfortunately,

local governments and construction management departments neglected the management and
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supervision on the construction process of rural buildings. Self-supervision by the house owners or

employing other non-professional personnel to act as supervisors were the most common form of

supervision. It aggravated the problems such as poor safety, high resource consumption, and bad
ecological environment performance that rural residences face (Residential Industrialization

Promotion Centre of China, 2017). The status quo or problems that exist in rural building

construction were summarized in Table 1.

In summary, despite the contribution of urbanization and other economic policies in rural areas

of China, problems have emerged from the practice of rural building construction. The

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prefabrication construction method provides an efficient way for eliminating all the problems.

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However, limited efforts have been exerted to the promotion of prefabricated construction in rural

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areas in the context of China, necessitating an attempt of promotion strategy of prefabricated

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buildings under the backdrop of foundations and conditions of rural China. Such research is

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expected to provide meaningful ideas for the delivery of prefabricated buildings in rural areas, which
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is presently considered as a critical orientation and solution that drives the process of rural
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revitalization and beautiful countryside forward.


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3. Factors influencing the implementation of prefabrication


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Many researchers have conducted the studies about the identification of factors influencing the

implementation of prefabrication. A literature review was conducted for identifying the factors
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influencing the implementation of prefabrication in rural areas. The Google Scholar research engine
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was used to find the relevant publications by inserting the keywords including “prefab*”, “precast*”,
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“modular*”, and “off-site*”. The titles and abstracts of each paper were scanned for checking their

relevance to the research topic. As a result, a total of 37 articles were qualified for the literature
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review. Based on the intensive reading of these retrieved papers, factors influencing the

implementation of prefabrication in rural areas were identified and analyzed. The differences in

research backgrounds and research perspectives for each study made a disparity in the perception
of the factors. Therefore, a factor that has been referred to by at least two papers was considered as

a major one in this study. By doing this, a total of twelve factors influencing the implementation of

prefabrication were identified (see Table 2). These twelve factors fell into two categories, namely

internal factors and external factors.

3.1 Internal factors

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The prefabrication is an innovative construction method which is different from the traditional

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construction method in perspectives of design, manufacturing and assembly. Therefore, series of

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standards and guidelines including design code, production specification, construction specification,

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and quality acceptance specification should be launched for guiding the practice of prefabrication

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building construction (Jiang et al., 2018; Lou and Kamar, 2012). Moreover, a suitable and effective
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management method should be designed. On the one hand, the assembly of prefabricated
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components is a process of lean production which needs suitable locations for component stocks
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(Marasini et al., 2001), secure hoisting, and accurate assembly (Li et al., 2011). However, most of
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the prefabricated components are heavy or bulky. It is needed for a management method being

suitable for lean production. On the other hand, an integrated management model should be
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designed for transferring and sharing information among designers, components manufacturers, and
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on-site contractors (Li et al., 2014). However, the high initial cost has long been regarded as the
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major factors that inhibiting the implementation of prefabrication (Mao et al., 2015), although it can

maximize the realization of ecological benefits of prefabrication (Monahan and Powell, 2011). In
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addition, the performance of prefabricated method in enhancing the building quality and shortening

the construction period directly affects the rural residents’ acceptance of prefabrication buildings

and thus influence the implementation of prefabrication in rural areas (Goodier and Gibb, 2007).
3.2 External factors

From the perspective of policy, the support policy is the fundamental external factor that can

provide significant institutional guarantee and incentive mechanism for the implementation of

prefabrication. Moreover, it can cultivate and promote the market of prefabrication (Park et al.,

2011). From the perspective of prefabrication market, only when the prefabrication market scale

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reaches to a certain scale, the advantages of prefabrication method such as faster production and

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lower initial construction cost would be obtained (Jaillon, 2009). Moreover, the designer,

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components manufacturers, and on-site contractors are the three critical participants in the

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prefabrication market. The implementation of prefabrication needs a tight supply chain for ensuring

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the close co-operation and integration among design organizations, manufacturing factories, and
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construction organizations (Pan et al., 2007). Meanwhile, the resources should be smoothly
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distributed and shared in the participants of the supply chain and then a mature prefabrication market
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can be formed (Blismas and Wakefield, 2009). From the perspective of technology, China is at the
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stage of tentatively probing into prefabrication techniques, requiring an extensive innovation to

support the research and development of prefabrication structures and techniques, factory
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construction, and machinery deployment (Mao et al., 2015). Taking the assembly technology as an
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example, more efficient lifting and installation schemes should be adopted for matching the
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requirements of bulky and heavy prefabricated components. It requires a high level of technical

innovation ability. Another critical technology in the process of prefabrication is the transportation
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of prefabricated components. From the perspective of economy, a suitable transportation capacity

can reduce the cost of prefabricated components. It relies on road conditions and transport distance.

Most of rural areas are far from cities and are connected with city areas though country roads, which
might inhibit the transportation of prefabricated components. Apart from the objective external

factors mentioned above, the acceptance of consumers on the prefabrication buildings play a

decisive influence on the prefabrication implementation. As mentioned by Kamar et al. (2009),

although the various advantages of prefabrication buildings, the public cannot realize these hidden

values without the propaganda from the government. It would result in a low public acceptance

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(Jiang et al., 2018).

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4 Research methodologies

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A three-step research framework and the hybrid research methods such as SWOT analysis,

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qualitative and quantitative methods based on the strategy selection theory were adopted. The

procedure diagram of this research is as shown in Figure 1.


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Steps Research contents
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The factors influencing
Conducting SWOT analysis of prefabrication implementation in
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Step 1 prefabrication
rural areas and measuring its probability of the adoption
implemetation
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Establishing a strategy selection model


Based on strategic vector(θ,p)method
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Step 2
Strategic azimuth θ and Strategic intensity coefficient
strategic types ρ and Development intensity
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Strategy analysis based on


the value of θ and ρ
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Application of this model in rural


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area of Jinan, China


Step 3
Providing suggestions and
implications in implementing this
model

Figure 1 The research procedures of this research

In the first step, SWOT analysis was carried out based on the identified factors for determining
the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of prefabrication implementation in rural areas.

The result was applied to measure the probability of prefabrication adoption in rural areas. Moreover,

the effect degrees of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats were measured to analyze

how do these four perspectives affect the strategy selection of prefabrication implementation. It is

also deemed as the foundations for determining a suitable promotion strategy of prefabrication

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adoption.

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SWOT analysis is an effective qualitative method in strategy selection. However, this qualitative

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method has the shortcomings such as its simplistic, static, and subjective character (Şeker and

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Özgürler, 2012). In order to overcome some of these challenges, the second step aims to establish a

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strategy selection model through integrating the analytic results from the first step and an effective
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quantitative method. It was gradually shaped through the comparison between various strategy
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selection theories and methods. Finally, the strategy vector method which was successfully adopted
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in the selection of companies’ or industries’ development strategies was applied to establish the
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model (Wang and Gan, 1995). By applying the useful tools such as coordinate, the strategic vector

method can realize the quantitation of the process of strategy selection. Another advantage of this
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method is that the results can determine not only what kind of strategy should be adopted but also
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how the strategy should be implemented (Huang and Li, 2008). It has been applied in the strategic
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decision-making of different industries such as urban planning (Yuan et al., 2007) , forest

certification (Kurttila et al., 2000), and port competition(Chang and Huang, 2006). In the strategy
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vector, the strategic azimuth (denoted by θ) and development intensity (denoted by ρ) which were

determined by the results of SWOT analysis were the two pillars of the model. The strategic azimuth

(θ) determines the strategic direction such as pioneering strategy, struggling strategy, reserved
strategy, and resistant strategy (Jiang et al., 2012). The development intensity (ρ) reflects whether

positive or negative attitudes should be taken on the selected strategy through strategic azimuth

(θ)(Wang and Gan, 1995). The probable strategy scenarios along with election criteria were then

summarized and interpreted.

In the third step, the established model was applied to Jinan, a city of China, to analyze the

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optimum strategy of prefabrication implementation in rural area of Jinan. Based on the results, the

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suitable strategy for rural areas in Jinan was provided and some meaningful suggestions for

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implementing this strategy were offered.

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5 Establishing the strategy selection model

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5.1 SWOT analysis on the foundation of the prefabrication implementation
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The data for SWOT analysis include both first- and second-hand data. The first-hand data was
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collected through authors’ field investigation and interviews. During the field investigation, two
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prefabricated projects under construction and six component manufactures were selected for the in-
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depth knowledge about the construction information, manufacture capacity, and transport capacity.

The second-hand data such as the economic foundation, existing policies and standards was derived
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from the official statistical publications. The data of public awareness on prefabrication was
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collected though face-to-face communication with local residents. Based on the collected data, a
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data document about the conditions of prefabrication market was edited (see Appendix). In this

study, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) were based on the
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questionnaire respondents’ statements on the internal and external factors influencing the

prefabrication implementation. All the respondents were invited to evaluate the influence degree of

each factor in promoting the implementation of prefabrication in rural areas. The data document
was sent to the respondents as an attachment of questionnaire for ensuring the reasonability of

respondents’ evaluation. Four-point scale was used to express the attitudes of respondents towards

whether the twelve factors are helpful in promoting prefabrication implementation in rural areas. If

the conditions of prefabrication market represented by a factor have a positive role in prefabrication

adoption, a positive value (4= strongly helpful, 3=more helpful, 2=helpful, and 1=slightly helpful)

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would be assigned to the factor. Similarly, a negative value (-4=strongly unhelpful, -3=more

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unhelpful, -2=unhelpful, and -1=slightly unhelpful) also could be assigned to the factor when it

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impedes the prefabrication implementation. All respondents also can assign 0 to a factor if they keep

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a neutral attitude on the effect of the factor in promoting prefabrication in rural areas. The mean

score for each factor was calculated.


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Internal factors with positive mean score are classified to strengths factors (denoted by 𝑆𝑖 ).
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Otherwise, the internal factors are considered as the weaknesses (denoted by 𝑊𝑖 ). For an external
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factor, if the mean score is positive, the factor (denoted by 𝑂𝑖 ) belongs to an opportunity for
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prefabrication implementation. Other external factors with negative mean score are threat factors

(denoted by 𝑇𝑖 ). As a result, all the twelve factors are categorized into strengths, weaknesses,
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opportunities, and threats.


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In order to measure the effect degree of all factors in promoting or hindering prefabrication
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implementation in rural areas, the conception of total intensity was introduced to this study. It has

been successfully applied in previous studies (Wang and Gan, 1995; Yuan et al., 2007). As a result,
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four kinds of total intensity named total intensity of strengths (𝐼𝑠 ), total intensity of weaknesses (𝐼𝑤 ),

total intensity of opportunities (𝐼𝑜 ), and total intensity of threats (𝐼𝑡 ) were obtained. The following

equations were used to measure the four total intensities.


𝑛
𝐼𝑠 = ∑𝑖 1 𝐹𝑆𝑖 × 𝑊𝑆𝑖 (1);

𝑛
𝐼𝑤 = ∑𝑖 2 𝐹𝑊𝑖 × 𝑊𝑊𝑖 (2);

𝑛
𝐼𝑜 = ∑𝑖 3 𝐹𝑜𝑖 × 𝑊𝑜𝑖 (3);

𝑛
𝐼𝑡 = ∑𝑖 4 𝐹𝑇𝑖 × 𝑊𝑇𝑖 (4)

where 𝐹𝑆𝑖 , 𝐹𝑊𝑖 , 𝐹𝑂𝑖 , and 𝐹𝑇𝑖 represent the mean score value assigned by all respondents to

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strength factors, weakness factors, opportunity factors, and threat factors respectively. 𝑛1 , 𝑛2 , 𝑛3 ,

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and 𝑛4 are the total number of these four kinds of factors, and 𝑛1 + 𝑛2 + 𝑛3 + 𝑛4 = 12. 𝑊𝑆𝑖 ,

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𝑊𝑊𝑖 , 𝑊𝑂𝑖 , and 𝑊𝑇𝑖 are the weight of each factor in their own factor category. There are ∑ 𝑊𝑆𝑖 =1,

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∑ 𝑊𝑊𝑖 =1, ∑ 𝑊𝑂𝑖 =1, and ∑ 𝑊𝑇𝑖 =1.

5.2 Determination of strategic vector (θ, ρ)


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Based on the results of influence intensity, the strategic quadrilateral can be obtained, as shown
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in Figure 2.
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Figure 2 Strategic quadrilateral of SWOT


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In Figure 2, the strengths and weaknesses represent the two x-semi axis of the coordinate system.

The opportunities and threats represent the two y-semi axis of the coordinate system. The plane

figure surrounded by the four lines connecting points 𝑂1 (0, 𝐼𝑜 ), 𝑆1 (𝐼𝑠 , 0), 𝑇1 (0, 𝐼𝑡 ), and 𝑊1 (𝐼𝑤 , 0)
is the strategic quadrilateral.

It is supposed that the point P(𝑥, 𝑦) is the center of gravity of the strategic quadrilateral. Based

on the calculation method applied by scholars such as Jiang et al. (2012) and Wang and Gan (1995),

the point P(𝑥, 𝑦) can be determined by the following equation:

𝐼 +𝐼 𝐼𝑜 +𝐼𝑡
P(𝑥, 𝑦) = ( 𝑠 4 𝑤 , 4
) (5)

T
The strategic vector (θ, ρ) is composed of strategic azimuth (θ) and development intensity

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coefficient (ρ). The strategic azimuth (θ) is defined as the angle between the x-semi axis S and the

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line connecting the origin of the coordinate and point P (𝑥, 𝑦), as shown in Figure 2 (Huang and Li,

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𝑦
2008). Therefore, tanθ = 𝑥 , in which, 0 <θ<2π. The development intensity is defined as the

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influence degree of internal and external factors on the implementation of the selected strategy. If
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the internal and external factors have negative effect on the implementation of strategy, it is called
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negative intensity which is under combined action of external threats and internal weaknesses.
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Conversely, a positive intensity would exist, under which the external opportunities and internal
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strengths would promote the implementation of strategy. From the quantitative perspective, the

strategic intensity coefficient ρ is measured by the distance between the origin of the coordinate
PT

system and the center of gravity of the strategic quadrilateral P(𝑥, 𝑦). Therefore,
E

𝐼 +𝐼𝑤 2 𝐼 +𝐼 2
𝜌 = √𝑥 2 + 𝑦 2 = √( 𝑠 ) + ( 𝑜4 𝑡) (6)
4
CC

Because the values of 𝐼𝑠 , 𝐼𝑤 , 𝐼𝑜 , and 𝐼𝑡 are from 0 to 4 in this study, 𝜌𝑚𝑎𝑥 = 1, and 𝜌𝑚𝑖𝑛 = 0.

5.3 Strategy analysis based on the strategic vector


A

A generally accepted judgment criterion for ρ is as followed (Wang and Gan, 1995).

When ρ ∈ [0,0.5], a conservative and prudent attitude should be taken towards the selected

strategy. Moreover, the closer the ρ value is to 0, the more attention should be taken to the negative
effects from the external threats and internal weaknesses;

When ρ ∈ [0.5,1], a proactive attitude should be taken to the selected strategy. Moreover, the

closer the ρ value is to 1, the more efforts should be devoted to enhance the positive effects from

the external opportunities and internal strengths.

Based on the location of the center of gravity of the strategic quadrilateral, the strategic vector (θ,

T
ρ ) would fall into different areas of the coordinate system, in which strengths, weaknesses,

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opportunities, and threats play dominant roles respectively. As a result, the coordinate system was

R
divided into four areas, as shown in Figure 3.

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U
N
A
M
ED
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Figure 3. Coordinate of strategic types

Area I: In this area, opportunities are dominant. A “pioneering strategy” should be adopted. It
E
CC

means that there is a good chance for implementing prefabrication in rural areas. Efforts should be

devoted to take full advantage of the opportunities and to take measures for accelerating the
A

prefabrication implementation. With the increase of the ρ value, the opportunity would be better for

pioneering strategy. However, it should be noticed that there is a dangerous zone on the left of y-

axis, in which the weaknesses have an advantage over the strengths. Therefore, additional measures

should be taken for eliminating the disadvantages of weaknesses in implementing prefabrication in


rural areas.

Area II: Internal weaknesses are dominant in this area. Moreover, the more is the value of ρ, the

more unfavorable of the internal conditions for prefabrication implementation is. Therefore, a

“reverse strategy” should be adopted. It means that the internal conditions are not yet mature for

rural areas to implement prefabricated construction method. Whether it is an opportunity or a threat,

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the main things for rural areas are to strengthen the internal conditions for matching the requirements

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of prefabrication implementation.

R
Area III: External threats are dominant in this area. It means that almost no external supports are

SC
provided for rural areas to implement prefabricated construction method. Moreover, the more is the

U
value of ρ, the less external support would be received. Therefore, an “avoidant strategy” which
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means that prefabricated construction method should not be considered as a suitable method for
A

rural housing. However, if the strategic vector lies on the right of y-axis, attempt should be given
M

for converting external threats to opportunities.


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Area IV: In this area, internal strengths are dominant. It means that the internal conditions in

rural areas are sufficient for matching the requirements of prefabrication implementation. An
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“aggressive strategy” should be adopted for accelerating the prefabrication implementation,


E

especially in the areas with advantages of good opportunities. Moreover, with the increase of the ρ
CC

value, the process of prefabrication implementation should be speeded up. However, appropriate

conversion strategy should be adopted for the areas below the x-axis because of the external threats,
A

although the threats are weak in comparison with the internal strengths.

In summary, the strategies in different scenarios are presented in Table 3.


6 A case of Jinan

6.1 Data collection

To illustrate how the strategy selection model is applied, a case study was conducted in Jinan, a

capital city of China. Prefabrication is new to the construction industry in Jinan. However, it has

experienced a rapid development after Jinan was identified as the third residential industrialization

T
demonstration city in 2013 by Chinese government. With a five-year’s development under the

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government’s strong support through promotion policies and preferential measures, prefabrication

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has been implemented in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. A total of 217 projects

SC
in Jinan have passed the certification of prefabricated construction. By the end of 2017, there had

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been three national construction industrialization parks and successfully applied for ten provincial-
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level prefabricated component production bases to serve for the prefabrication market in Jinan. The
A

total areas of prefabricated construction buildings had reached to 14.71 million square meters. In
M

view of the requirements for rural centralized reconstruction, Xingjia Village, with 630 villagers
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and 10.7 kilometers far from city, was selected as the case for the research. Xingjia Village was

identified as a model village for building a new and green countryside under the funding from the
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government.
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In order to get the data about the public awareness of prefabrication, a field investigation was
CC

conducted and twenty-eight local residents were randomly selected in the village for interview on

the knowledge and acceptance of prefabrication. Moreover, sixty-eight experts from several large-
A

scale construction companies, real estate enterprises, prefabrication-related research institutions,

and building management departments were invited through email or interview. All the companies,

departments or research institutions have the experience of prefabrication construction. The


informants were invited to respond to the questionnaire and stated their viewpoints on the twelve

factors in influencing the prefabrication implementation in rural areas. All the respondents have

more than three years’ prefabrication-related experience and higher educational qualification for

ensuring the sufficient knowledge on prefabrication implementation. The coverage of the

questionnaire and the position of all respondents can also ensure the reliability of this research

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results. The details of all the sixty-eight respondents were shown in Table 4.

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6.2 Evaluation results

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The data from the questionnaire was firstly tested for ensuring its reliability. The Cranach’s alpha

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coefficient was 0.73 (KMO=0.736, Sig=0.000) for the evaluation of the twelve factors in influencing

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prefabrication implementation in rural areas. Therefore, the evaluation method in this case study
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was reliable for the purpose of this research. Table 5 shows the mean score of each factor. Based on
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the mean scores, the factors expressing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats were
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identified.
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6.3 Discussions on the SWOT of prefabrication adoption

Based on the results of mean score of each factor, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
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threats were determined, as described as follows.


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6.3.1 Strengths
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It is noticed in Table 5 that the three internal factors, building quality, construction time and

environmental benefits, obtained a mean score more than 0. It means that these three factors are the
A

strengths for prefabrication implementation in rural areas. Respondents gave the highest evaluation

to the factor of ecological benefit with a mean score of 2.971. The better environmental performance

of prefabrication buildings has been verified in previous researches (Monahan and Powell, 2011).
Moreover, the environmental performance would be more effective with the increasing number of

prefabricated components. Rural buildings have the advantage in adopting structures with high

prefabrication rate because of the simple structure and low-rise building. Therefore, the rural

buildings with prefabricated structure would have more environmental strengths. The under

construction prefabricated building with steel structure near the case village made local residents

T
experience the environmental performance such as less construction dust and noise. It can enhance

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the local residents’ acceptance of prefabricated buildings.

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From the original data of questionnaire, more than 60% of the respondents assigned a point above

SC
5 to the factor of construction time. It means that most of the respondents consider that prefabricated

U
construction method is more helpful in reducing the construction duration. This idea has been
N
echoed by Jaillon (2009) who stated that prefabricated method can save up to 15% construction time
A

in comparison with traditional construction method. The centralized renovation of rural housings
M

will make local residents have to rent houses for living. Therefore, local residents have strong desire
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to move back to new houses. The advantage of prefabrication in reducing construction time can

match the requirements of local residents.


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The houses in Xingjia village are almost self-built buildings with no unified design and quality
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supervision. It impacts the durability of buildings to some extent. Prefabricated construction method
CC

has obvious advantage in improving the quality of buildings because of the standardized design and

construction (Arif et al., 2012). Although some technology problems exist in adopting prefabrication,
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most of the respondents believed that it can be solved especially in simple structured rural buildings.

6.3.2 Weaknesses

It was identified by the respondents that prefabricated construction standards, management mode
and initial construction cost are the three major weaknesses and obstacles for prefabrication

implementation in rural areas. Some construction regulations, design disciplines, and quality

acceptance requirements for prefabricated buildings have been launched by construction

management department. However, the construction industry in rural areas is different from the

construction market in urban areas. It needs a regulation system for guiding the plan, design,

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construction and maintenance of rural prefabricated buildings. Especially, it is difficult for rural

IP
residents to maintenance prefabricated buildings because of its special construction technical

R
requirements. Therefore, the lack of relative regulations or maintenance system would influence

SC
local residents’ acceptance of prefabricated buildings.

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From the practice of the two field investigated prefabricated projects, it can be seen that there are
N
few improvements on the management model and management method. Therefore, most of
A

respondents considered that the backward management mode would be a critical barrier for
M

prefabrication implementation. In particular, the results of face-to-face interview on the 28 local


ED

residents show that rural residents have little knowledge on prefabrication. Therefore, in spite of the

technical issues with prefabrication method, answering the queries of rural residents and
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coordinating the relations between rural residents and local government must be considered. If there
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was no innovation in management mode, the effect of prefabrication in rural areas would be affected.
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Most of real estate developers and prefabrication practitioners in China complain the additional

construction cost of prefabrication buildings. Indeed, the field investigated projects verified the
A

disadvantage. Therefore, this factor obtained a negative evaluation in influencing the prefabrication

implementation. For rural residents, they all hope own a prefabrication house with relative low

prices. The weaknesses in construction cost would greatly hinder the promotion of prefabricated
construction method in rural areas.

6.3.3 Opportunities

Although there are some internal barriers in prefabrication implementation, local governments

still have great confidence in it. Several supportive policies were formulated by Chinese government

for promoting the development of prefabrication and have been responded by local government in

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Jinan through providing various incentives. All the incentives offer compensation to prefabrication

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practitioners for offsetting the additional construction cost. Meanwhile, some policies such as

R
completing the demolition and renovation of rural dilapidated houses in a short time also provide

SC
opportunities for implementing prefabrication in rural areas.

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The economic scale is another opportunity for prefabrication adoption in rural areas. Pushed by
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government, prefabrication in Jinan has experienced a rapid development in the past five years. The
A

scale of prefabrication market enlarges gradually. The market supply of prefabricated components
M

keeps enlarging. There have been six prefabricated component manufactures in Jinan with 24
ED

production lines for providing prefabricated façade panels, wallboards, floor slabs, staircases, and

other components. All the production lines own the supply capacity of 1.75 million cubic meters.
PT

The deliverability will be enhanced as the technology matures. It provides a good opportunity for
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the expansion of prefabrication from urban to rural areas.


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Prefabrication is an innovative construction method which needs continuous technological

innovation and research and development for matching the new requirements from prefabrication
A

markets. More and more scientific research funds were put into the prefabrication market. Special

funds from government have been allocated to support the research of prefabrication enterprises.

Policies also have been launched by Jinan government to promote private capital to input to the
prefabrication research area. Moreover, some advanced information technologies and tools such as

radio-frequency identification (RFID) and building-information-modeling (BIM) have been

successfully introduced for meeting the requirements of lean production of prefabrication. Although

these technologies have not yet been widely used in Jinan, it has tremendous potential for future

prefabrication implementation in rural areas.

T
6.3.4 Threats

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It can be seen from Table 5 that public awareness, supporting industrial chain, and transportation

R
capability are the critical threats to prefabrication implementation,in which public awareness (mean

SC
score=-2.632) is the greatest external threat to the promotion of prefabrication. The face-to-face

U
interview with local residents shows that local residents have a strong desire for demolition and
N
reconstruction of their houses. It maybe because that the demolition and reconstruction mean to
A

them new houses and extra financial compensation under current demolition compensation policies.
M

However, most of local residents revealed that they have no knowledge of prefabrication and scruple
ED

the building qualities and the convenience in use. They don’t concern about the environmental

benefits which can be experienced in the long run. Therefore, the public attributes to prefabrication
PT

may impose great risks to prefabrication implementation in rural areas.


E

Supporting industrial chain (mean score=-2.574) is another external threats. Prefabricated


CC

construction method makes the integration of design, production and construction come true.

Although there are various prefabricated components production lines that can match the demands
A

of prefabrication market, qualified design companies and contractors are few. Moreover, none of

the prefabrication-related companies have the integrative competence for completing all the tasks

in the whole process of prefabricated project. It can be concluded that the complete industrial chain
has not yet been established. The implementation of prefabrication in rural areas is more complex

than a simple prefabricated residential building. It depends more heavily on a matured industrial

chain to provide various services required by the prefabrication implementation.

Based on the location and the road conditions of the case village, respondents considered that the

transportation capability (mean score=-2.250) would impede the implementation of prefabrication.

T
Although the village is a public transport terminal and functions as an intersection of two

IP
expressways, the nearest prefabricated component manufacture is more than 20 kilometers far from

R
here. The manufactures providing façades and wall boards are further. It would greatly reduce the

SC
transportation capacity and enhance the transportation cost. Moreover, the road to the village is in

U
disrepair and narrow which cannot meet the requirements for transporting heavy and bulky
N
prefabricated components.
A

6.4 Strategy analysis and suggestions


M

Based on the results of evaluation and the equations mentioned in Section 5, the 𝐼𝑠 , 𝐼𝑤 , 𝐼𝑜 , 𝐼𝑡
ED

were calculated. The weight used in these equations for each factor were measured by the method

of analytic hierarchy process (AHP) (Kurttila et al., 2000). The results are presented in Table 6.
PT

Therefore, the strategic vector (θ, ρ) can be obtained. It was calculated that 𝑃(𝑥, 𝑦) = (0.167,
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0.102) and tan 𝜃 = 0.609 and thus θ≈31.3°, ρ≈0.19. The strategic quadrilateral is presented as
CC

shown in Figure 4.
A
T
Figure 4 Strategic quadrilateral of Xingjia Village in prefabrication implementation

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Figure 3 demonstrates that the strategic azimuth θ is located in area IV. Based on the strategy

R
selection standards summarized in Table 3, an aggressive strategy should be adopted to promote the

SC
prefabrication implementation in Xingjia village. However, because ρ =0.19<0.5, it means that a

U
conservative and prudent attitude should be taken for implementing prefabrication gradually. In
N
other words, although internal strengths and external opportunities already exist in the village, local
A

government should avoid blind acceleration of the progress of prefabrication implementation


M

because of the obvious internal weaknesses and external threats. Therefore, the following
ED

suggestions are provided for the steady progress of prefabrication in rural areas.

(1) Enhancing the recognition of rural residents on prefabrication


PT

Rural residents’ acceptance of prefabrication is the foundation for promoting prefabrication to


E

implement in rural areas. The purpose of the demolition and renovation of rural residential buildings
CC

is to build green countryside and thus satisfy all rural residents. Currently, rural residents have little

knowledge on the innovative construction technology. It is difficult for them to understand the extra
A

benefits that prefabrication can bring to them. Therefore, local government should propagandize the

advantages of prefabrication buildings to rural residents and make them believe that prefabrication

buildings can match their requirements such as better quality and convenience in use. Only in this
way, rural residents can give strong cooperation for ensuring the smooth advance of prefabrication

implementation.

(2) Improving the guidelines for prefabrication implementation in rural area

In comparison with the prefabrication buildings in urban area, the buildings in rural area are

different in many perspectives such as the structure, building scale, and users. Therefore, rules and

T
regulations for guiding the practice of plan, design, production, transportation, and construction

IP
based on the actualities of rural area should be formulated. Especially, different areas have their own

R
advantages and development characteristics such as tourism oriented or industrial oriented.

SC
Therefore, the general planning standard for each kind of rural areas should be formulated for

U
ensuring the planning program to accord with of the development direction of rural areas.
N
(3) Improving management mode
A

The main characteristic of prefabrication construction method is that this method can achieve the
M

integration of the whole progress of design, production, transportation, and assembly. It should be
ED

supported with an innovative management mode. Moreover, the prefabrication construction in rural

housing renovation would be more complex than new building construction in urban. The traditional
PT

management mode that management organizations separately function in different construction


E

stage cannot meet the requirements of integration of prefabrication. More advanced management
CC

ideas such as whole-process engineering management and integrated design and construction

management method should be introduced to prefabrication construction in rural areas. This requires
A

prefabrication-related companies to expand their business scope or to form industrial alliance for

qualifying in the integrated management of prefabrication construction in rural areas.

7. Conclusions
Through a detailed research, some useful viewpoints and conclusions were obtained, as follows.

(1) This study argues that prefabrication can be gradually introduced to rural areas. However, the

implementation of prefabrication in rural areas is impacted by various factors. Therefore, twelve

factors which have different influence on the prefabrication implementation were identified. These

factors were classified into internal and external groups and were considered as the base for

T
conducting SWOT analysis in prefabrication implementation.

IP
(2) This study also argues it is necessary to adopt different strategies for promoting prefabrication

R
implementation in rural areas with different result of SWOT analysis. In espousing the argument,

SC
this study designed a strategic selection model to analyze the suitable strategy for rural areas.

U
(3) Four types of strategies (aggressing strategy, pioneering strategy, reverse strategy, and
N
avoidant strategy) and two development intensities (conservative attitude and proactive attitude)
A

were summarized. The key points or tips were provided for guiding prefabrication decision-makers
M

to apply these strategies correctly.


ED

(4) To illustrate the applicability of the proposed model, it was applied to Jinan, a new city of

prefabrication, as a case. This case showed that aggressing strategy is the most suitable to current
PT

context of the selected rural area in Jinan. Limited by the obvious internal weaknesses and external
E

threats, conservative attitude should be kept in adopting this aggressing strategy.


CC

Compared with other strategy selection methods, this model integrated SWOT analysis and

strategic vector method, which can avoid de limitations of single qualitative method. This model
A

can provide information about not only the necessary strategies but also the necessary attitudes to

adopt the selected strategies. Moreover, the strategy selection model is mainly based on the SWOT

analysis of the selected rural areas; therefore, it can also be used by other rural areas for rationalizing
their prefabrication strategies. That is, this model is an open system and the factors can be

changeable.

Albeit the research purpose was achieved, there are some limitations related to this study. Because

the twelve factors were identified from thirty-four previous studies. All these publications did not

take the rural area of the research object. Therefore, it can impact on the compliance of these factors

T
to the situation of rural area. More efforts should be devoted to identification of influence factors

IP
based on an in-depth investigation of rural areas. Moreover, this model was only examined in the

R
rural areas of Jinan city. More cases need to be conducted for more information to improve the

SC
model and to gain more experience of prefabrication implementation in rural areas. Therefore, the

U
next research effort is to conduct a comparison analysis between different rural areas. Furthermore,
N
the SWOT analysis in the case study was based on the subjective assessment of all selected
A

respondents. Although the knowledge of prefabrication, the range of respondents have been
M

considered when determining all the informants, it will inevitably have some impacts on the results.
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Therefore, more effective and quantitative method should be designed in evaluating the influence

of all the factors.


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Acknowlegment
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The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support from the Shandong Social Science
CC

Foundation (19BYSJ17) and Natural Science Foundation of China (71603150).


A

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SC
U
N
A
M
ED
E PT
CC
A
Table 1 The status quo or problems in rural building construction in China

Perspectives Status quo Proportion


Type of structure Brick concrete structure 52.0%
Rubble masonry structure 8.0%
Brick and wood structure 26.0%
Steel mixed structure 0.2%
Wood structure 8.0%

T
Frame structure 5.5%

IP
Timber wall structure 0.3%
Design method Designing by professional teams. 7.0%

R
Providing just a general design document 17.0%
No relevant design information 76.0%

SC
Organization of Hiring professional construction team for construction 1.8%
construction Organizing craftsmen with construction experience or 32.2%
professional qualifications

U
Organizing several personnel with professional
qualifications to carry out construction by themselves
0.4%
N
Self -organized workmen without construction 65.6%
A
qualification
Type of supervision No supervision 8.0%
M

Supervision by professional supervisors 0.4%


Supervision being assisted by professional supervisors 0.6%
Supervision by the house-owners themselves 63.0%
ED

Supervision by other non-professional personnel 28.0%


Source:(China Industrial Information Website, 2017)
E PT
CC
A
Table 2 The factors influencing the implementation of prefabrication
Categories Factors Implications Frequency Sources
Internal Prefabricated A series of specifications should be 5 [1] [2] [17]
factors construction launched for guiding the practice of [23] [37]
standards prefabricated design, production,
and construction
Management A suitable management mode for 11 [2] [4] [5] [10]
mode matching the requirements of the [16] [19] [23]
innovated construction method and [25] [28] [34]
the features of rural renovation [37]

T
project

IP
Initial cost The additional cost from the 18 [1] [2] [7] [10]
activities of design, production, and [11] [13] [17]

R
assembly [18] [21] [24-
26] [28] [29]

SC
[31-33] [37]
Building The enhancement of building 24 [2-3] [6-9]
quality construction quality and the safe [11-15] [17-19]
use of prefabricated building
U [21] [24]
[27-31] [33]
N
[36] [37]
Construction The reduction of construction 24 [2] [3] [7] [10]
A
time period [13-19] [21]
M

[23-32] [34]
[35]
Ecological The good environmental 26 [2-8] [10-16]
ED

benefits performance of prefabricated [18] [19] [24]


construction [26-28] [30]
[31] [33] [34]
PT

[36] [37]
External Support the degree of policy support from 16 [1-4] [8] [10]
factors policy the government [13-15] [17]
E

[20-22] [26]
[32] [33]
CC

Economics The market scale of prefabrication 7 [1] [3] [4] [8]


scale effect buildings, including the supplies [15] [17] [32]
A

and demand
Supporting The degree of integration of 18 [2] [5]
industrial prefabrication design, production, [6-9] [15-18]
chain construction, operation and [25] [30]
maintenance [32-37]
Public The knowledge and understanding 7 [1-3] [13] [18]
awareness of the public on prefabricated [33] [37]
construction and the willingness to
apply the new method
Innovation The technology innovation ability 24 [1] [3-11] [14-
ability of prefabrication and the research 19] [21] [22]
input to the prefabrication area [25] [31] [32]
[34] [35] [37]
transportation The road conditions, transport 18 [1] [5-7] [10]
capability distance for the prefabricated [14-17] [19]
components from manufacturing [20] [22] [25]
factory to construction sites [28-30] [33]

T
[34]

IP
Note: [1] Mao et al. (2015); [2] Jiang et al. (2018); [3] Hosseini et al. (2018); [4] Akmam Syed Zakaria et al. (2018);
[5] Li et al. (2014); [6] Hong et al. (2018); [7] Hong et al. (2016); [8] Arif and Egbu (2010); [9] Arif et al. (2012);

R
[10] Blismas and Wakefield (2009); [11] Chiang et al. (2006); [12] Arslan et al. (2015); [13] Jaillon and Poon (2008);
[14] Jaillon and Poon (2009); [15] Khalfan and Maqsood (2014); [16] Li et al. (2016); [17] Lou and Kamar (2012);

SC
[18] Lovell and Smith (2010); [19] Lu (2009); [20] Mao et al. (2013); [21] Pan et al. (2007); [22] Park et al. (2011);
[23] Zhong et al. (2017); [24] Jaillon and Poon (2014); [25] Tam et al. (2007); [26] Tam et al. (2015); [27] Cao et al.
(2015); [28] Omar (2018); [29] Lopez and Froese (2016); [30] Teng et al. (2017); [31] Höök and Stehn (2008);

U
[32] Zakari et al. (2017); [33] Kassim and Walid (2013); [34] Zhai et al. (2018); [35] Brege et al. (2014); [36] Zhou
et al. (2015); [37] Blismas et al. (2005)
N
A
M

Table 3 The strategies based on the strategic vector (θ, ρ)


ED

Areas Dominant Type of Key points of strategy


factors strategies
Area I Opportunities Pioneering Taking full advantage of the opportunities and
PT

strategy accelerating the prefabrication implementation


Enhancing the strategy with the increase of ρ value
Paying attention to the negative effects of internal
E

weaknesses for areas on the left of y-axis


Area II Weaknesses Reverse Strengthening the internal conditions for matching
CC

strategy the requirements of prefabrication implementation


Enhancing the intensity of improvement measures
with the increase of ρ value
A

Area III Threats Avoidant Keeping the traditional construction method in the
strategy current
Making attempt to convert external threats to
opportunities for areas on the right of y-axis
Area IV Strengths Aggressive Speeding up the process of prefabrication
strategy implementation
Intensifying the strategy with the increase of ρ
value
Paying attention to the effect of external threats
below the x-axis and taking appropriate measuring
for converting external threats to opportunities

Table 4 The details of all sixty-eight respondents

T
Occupation Position Education

IP
Construction 41 13.2% Professional 7 10.3% Master degree 17 25.0%
company engineer or above

R
Real estate 9 60.3% Company 5 7.4% Bachelor 26 38.2%
enterprise manager degree

SC
Research institute 14 20.6% General 35 51.5% College 25 36.8%
staff degree or
below
Building
management
4 5.9% Constructors 21
U
30.8%
N
department
A
68 100% 68 100% 68 100%
M
ED
E PT
CC
A
Table 5 the results of the questionnaire survey from sixty-eight respondents

Categories Factors Mean SD Properties


ρ-value
score
Internal Prefabricated construction -2.221 0.928 0.000** Weaknesses
factors standards(W1)
Management mode(W2) -2.044 0.836 0.000** Weaknesses
Initial cost(W3) -2.014 0.883 0.000** Weaknesses
Building quality(S1) 2.588 1.011 0.000** Strengths
Construction time(S2) 2.853 1.136 0.000** Strengths

T
Ecological benefits(S3) 2.971 1.079 0.000** Strengths

IP
External Support policy(O1) 2.985 0.889 0.000** Opportunities
factors Economics scale effect(O2) 2.912 0.973 0.000** Opportunities

R
Supporting industrial -2.574 0.967 0.000** Threats
chain(T1)

SC
Public awareness(T2) -2.632 0.960 0.000** Threats
Innovation ability(O3) 2.706 1.008 0.000** Opportunities
Transportation -2.250 0.983 0.000** Threats
capability(T3)
U
Note: SD=Standard deviation; ** the one sample t-test result is significant at the 0.01 significance
N
level (ρ-value< 0.01) (2-tailed)
A
M

Table 6 The intensity of total of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats


ED

Matrix Factors Weights n 𝐼𝑠 𝐼𝑤 𝐼𝑜 𝐼𝑡


S S1 0.524 3 2.753
S2 0.142
PT

S3 0.334
W W1 0.261 3 -2.087
W2 0.633
E

W3 0.106
O O1 0.643 3 2.901
CC

O2 0.073
O3 0.282
T T1 0.633 3 -2.495
A

T2 0.106
T3 0.261
Appendix

Table A.1 Policies/regulations associated with prefabricated construction in Jinan


No. Policies/Regulations Year Core contents
1 The notice of vigorously 2013 Applying prefabricated laminated floors,
promoting the industrialization facades, wallboards, and staircases in new built
technology in new commercial projects
housing projects
2 The notice of accelerating the 2014 Setting goals that newly built prefabricated
residential industrialization residential buildings should account for more

T
than 30% of the newly buildings in 2016, and

IP
50% by the end of 2018 in Jinan
3 Opinions on energetically 2017 Setting the goals of implementing prefabricated

R
implementing prefabrication construction in Jinan by 2020
4 Implementation opinions on the 2017 Promoting the application of prefabricated

SC
reform and development of the construction in public rental housing and
construction industry shantytown renovation projects
5 Development program of 2018 Reinforcing policy support for ensuring the
prefabricated construction of
Shandong province (2018-2025) U
goals that 40% of the new buildings would
adopt prefabricated construction in Jinan by
N
2025
A
M

Table A. 2 Prefabricated construction standard or document


No. Names of the standards
1 Specification for design of monolithic precast concrete structures
ED

2 Specification for construction component manufacture and acceptance of precast


monolithic concrete structure
3 Specification for construction and quality acceptance of precast monolithic concrete
PT

structure
4 Work guidelines for quality supervision of precast concrete structure
5 Atlas for house layout of precast indemnificatory housing
E

6 Standards for recommended category of prefabricated component


CC

Table A.3 The details of components manufactures and projects for field investigation
Two projects Six manufactures
A

Number of Distance
A B production from the
line village (km)
Floor area (m2) 10,382 93,445 C 6 52.4
Types School building Rental housing D 2 20.7
Floor 6 20 E 1 44.7
Prefabricated% 85% 85% F 1 80.3
Prefabricated slab, beam, slab, beam, G 1 21.2
components wallboard, façade,
staircase, wallboard,
windows, and elevator shaft,
doors kitchen, and
bathroom
Achievements 35% reduction of Not provided H 1 36.6
construction time,
40% labor
reduction, and

T
45% reduction of

IP
measure cost.

R
Table A. 4 The details of 28 local residents for interview

SC
Gender Age
Male Female Total 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Total
18 10 28 5 6 14 3 28

U
Whether or not having knowledge of prefabrication
N
Yes No Total
4 24 28
A
Only 4 residents have heard about prefabrication through TV and news
reports.
M

Only 2 residents know the advantages of prefabricated construction in


reducing construction time and enhancing building quality.
Main viewpoints
ED

Most of the residents worry about the quality after hearing that it is an
assembly construction method.
Most of the residents have strong willingness to demolition and renovation
their old houses.
E PT
CC
A