AbstractThe architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is a major contributor to national economic development across the world. However, this industry’s development has been threatened by several issues, including defects. Building defects (BDs) can cause several problems including risks posed to life, personal safety, health, and project financial conditions. This review aimed to outline scholarly works that have examined various aspects of BDs and highlight the gaps in knowledge. The study presents the first comprehensive scientometric study evaluating contemporary research on BDs and their management. This research uses the science mapping method to analyze 712 bibliographic records extracted from Scopus for the last three decades. The study showed that there is a spike in the number of BD-related publications in the last decade. The results also indicated that the finite-element method and nondestructive examination have been the most widely used BD assessment methods. The study also found that cracks, corrosion, and surface defects have been the most commonly addressed topics. The primary value and uniqueness of this study lie in it being the first in providing an up-to-date inclusive, big picture of the literature on BD management. This research adds value to the AEC literature through visualizing and understanding trends and patterns identifying main research interests, journals, institutions, and countries, and how these are linked within now-available studies on BD. The findings of this research bring forward the gap in the current research and provide directions for future research, where they indicated that future research opportunities lie in exploring human factors on defects, thermal effects, and the root causes of defects in the building services, particularly in plumbing and drainage works. For the world of practice, the study offers a readily available point of reference for practitioners, policy-makers, and research and development bodies. This study, therefore, raises the level of awareness of BD management in the AEC industry.