Optimizing the prefabrication finishing level in modular construction

Mohammad Almashaqbeh, Khaled El-Rayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prefabricated modules in modular construction projects can have a wide range of finishing levels that range from partially completed with only structural frame to fully completed with all structural, wall, mechanical, electrical, finishing and furnishing components. A higher module finishing level increases the offsite fabrication and transportation cost and decreases onsite assembly cost and duration while a lower finishing level produces the opposite results. This paper presents an optimization model that enables construction planners to identify an optimal finishing level for prefabricated modules to minimize the total cost of modular construction projects that includes all offsite fabrication, transportation, and onsite assembly costs. A case study of a modular construction project for a healthcare facility was analyzed to illustrate the use of the model and evaluate its performance. The results of this analysis highlight the original capabilities of the model in minimizing the total cost of modular construction projects by identifying an optimal finishing level for each module type in the project from a set of feasible alternatives with varying building components, weights, and cost rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1534-1540
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian journal of civil engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Minimizing modular construction cost
  • Modular construction
  • Module finishing level
  • Offsite fabrication cost
  • Onsite assembly cost
  • Optimization
  • Prefabrication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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