BIM and DfMA: a paradigm of new opportunities

Sepehr Abrishami*, Rocío Martín-Durán

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The main goal of this study is to explore the adoption of a design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) and building information management (BIM) approach during the whole lifecycle of assets. This approach aims to tackle issues inherent in the design of traditional construction methods, such as low productivity and quality, poor predictability and building performance, and energy use, through the implementation of a BIM library of off-site components. In recent years, a renewed interest has been directed to the attempt to provide solutions to these urgent problems through the adoption of new advancements in technologies. However, while there are studies focussing on a BIM-DfMA approach, there is a lack of research regarding how this approach should be adopted during the whole lifecycle of the assets. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, defining an efficient way of developing a component-based BIM object library has not yet been included in any of the available studies. A mixed methodology approach has been used in this research. A conceptual framework was developed as the result of an extensive literature review to investigate new advancements in the AEC sector. Following the literature review, the framework was tested and validated through a case study based on the production and adoption of a BIM library of off-site components at the design stage of an asset. The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has recognised the necessity of a new approach that helps to resolve the well-known issues presented in traditional methods of construction. The conceptual framework and case study proposed presents a valuable new method of construction that support the implementation of a BIM and DfMA approach, highlighting their benefits. This framework has been created using many valuable and reliable sources of information. The result of this research supports the idea of a novel new construction method that focuses on a manufacturing-digital-driven industry, with the use of DfMA in a BIM-integrated approach. This novel method will add significance and be beneficial for a wide range of aspects in the construction sector, contributing to the theoretical and practical domain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9591
Number of pages18
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2021


  • building information management (BIM)
  • circular economy
  • design for deconstruction (DfD)
  • design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA)
  • off-site manufacturing (OSM)


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