Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Construction within the Industrialized Building Process: A Monetization and Building Information Modelling Approach

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 13;17(22):8396. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17228396.


Industrialization has been widely regarded as a sustainable construction method in terms of its environmental friendliness. However, existing studies mainly consider the single impact of greenhouse gas emissions or material consumption in the construction process of industrialized buildings, and pay less attention to ecological pollution and community interest, which leads to an insufficient understanding. There is an urgent need to systematically carry out accurate assessment of comprehensive construction environmental impact within industrialized building processes. Various methods, including face-to-face interviews, field research and building information modeling (BIM), were used for data collection. Four categories selected for the study included resource consumption, material loss, ecological pollution, and community interest. A life cycle assessment (LCA) model, namely input-process-output model (IPO), is proposed to analyze the construction environmental impact of the standard layer of industrialized buildings from four life cycle stages, namely, transportation, stacking, assembly and cast-in-place. The monetization approach of willingness to pay (WTP) was applied to make a quantitative comparison. Results reveal that the assembly stage has the largest impact on the environment at 66.13% among the four life cycle stages, followed by transportation at 16.39%, stacking at 10.29%, and cast-in-place at 7.19%. The key factors include power consumption, noise pollution, material loss, fuel consumption and component loss, which altogether account for more than 85% of the total impact. Relevant stakeholders can conduct their project using the same approach to determine the construction environmental performance and hence introduce appropriate measures to mitigate the environmental burden.

Keywords: building information modeling (BIM); environmental impact; evaluation; industrialized building.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Construction Industry* / education
  • Construction Industry* / standards
  • Construction Industry* / statistics & numerical data
  • Construction Materials
  • Environment*
  • Environmental Pollution* / statistics & numerical data
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Industrial Development* / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Transportation


  • Greenhouse Gases