AbstractRapid urbanization and population growth worldwide has stimulated the requirement of fast and efficient construction techniques. An emerging trend in the construction industry focuses on prefabricated volumetric modular construction (PVMC), wherein individual room size prefabricated modules are manufactured off-site and transported to the site for assemblage using joint connections. This paper provides a comprehensive review on prefabricated modular structural systems, general concepts, joint connections for steel and concrete modules, and their structural behavior. Further, the impediments in current PVMC systems are outlined and technical challenges that restrict the widespread acceptance of PVMC systems are discussed. PVMC is advantageous over conventional construction with regard to construction efficiency, material optimization, speed, safety, and quality control, along with reduced environmental impact. However, application of PVMC in construction industry is very limited due to lack of sufficient understanding on joint connections, seismic behavior, and design methods. It is inferred that reasonable research has been carried out to study the behavior of connection systems at the local level, while research on global seismic performance of prefabricated modular buildings is scarce, which calls for extensive experimental investigations on full-scale modular buildings subjected to lateral loading.

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