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Special Issue "Prefabrication and Modularized Construction"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2023 | Viewed by 371

Special Issue Editors

Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Interests: agent-based modelling and simulation; discrete modelling; robotic fabrication; segmented shell design; adaptive modular construction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Juniorprofessorship Resource Efficient Building Construction, Technical University of Dortmund, 44227 Dortmund, Germany
Interests: prefabricated housing; resource-efficient construction; modular construction; automated construction methods; building process optimization; adaptable standardization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The UN are projecting up to 2.5 billion new urban dwellers by 2050, requiring enormous volumes of housing and infrastructure globally. Meeting this demand poses multidisciplinary challenges:

1) Construction is still a largely manual process. The building sector has not experienced similar productivity gains as other industries have in recent decades. Controlled fabrication processes, as in prefabrication and modularized construction, favor the economical use of resources and can increase productivity while reducing construction costs.

2) The building sector is already one of the largest consumers of resources and contributors to climate change. Therefore, increasing productivity must go hand-in-hand with decarbonizing the entire life cycle of buildings, from material sourcing and fabrication to operation and reuse. Given the demands of a circular economy, prefabrication and modularized construction can cause additional sustainable effects, e.g., by facilitating the reuse of building modules. The reuse and adaptation of the existing building stock have the potential to lock in embedded carbon. To implement these potentials in practice, planners must rethink project delivery as early as the design and tendering phases.

3) Examples of modularization and serialization in the building sector from the 20th century have not always gained social acceptance. Then, as now, attempts were made to counteract the housing shortage through incentives on the political level, the housing industry, developers, etc., to provide quick solutions. To avoid the deficits of the past, solutions must consider the planning, manufacturing, and social levels in order to achieve sustainable buildings with long periods of use.

Meeting the projected building needs in view of the environmental impact of construction is one of the largest challenges today that needs to be addressed in a multi-faceted way. In this Special Issue, we, therefore, encourage original research articles and reviews on the topic of Prefabrication and Modularized Construction that combine at least two of the following themes (but not limited to):

  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, multi-agent systems;
  • Automation and digital fabrication;
  • Building Information Modelling;
  • Circular economy;
  • Computational design and simulation ;
  • Historical perspectives;
  • Life-cycle assessment;
  • Light-weight construction;
  • Modularized concrete construction;
  • Modularized timber construction;
  • Social perspectives.

We are looking forward to your contributions.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Buildings.

Dr. Tobias Schwinn
Prof. Dr. Jutta Albus
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • artificial intelligence, machine learning, multi-agent systems
  • automation and digital fabrication
  • building information modelling
  • circular economy
  • computational design and simulation
  • construction history
  • life-cycle assessment
  • light-weight construction
  • modularized concrete construction
  • modularized timber construction
  • social science

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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