AbstractModular construction increasingly is used for building projects to improve productivity, quality, and sustainability. However, interfaces between modules and site-based works are complex, and often cause problems that hinder the wide application of the modular approach. This paper investigated problematic interfaces in modular construction and their causes, and developed prevention strategies. The research was carried out through a 1-year participatory case study with a modular building project, coupled with an interview-based survey with leading module suppliers in the United Kimgdom. Wide-ranging problematic interfaces were identified in physical, contractual, and organizational groups from the case study, and their interconnections and complexities were examined using social network analysis. The case study results highlighted the significance of physical problematic interfaces and indicated the centrality of the module supplier in both facing and causing the problematic interfaces, which was echoed by findings from the module supplier survey. Likewise, a variety of causes were identified in the technical, contractual, and organizational aspects, markedly, the lack of management and coordination, and poor communications. Effective communication between the module supplier and installer and all other subcontractors was found to be most critical to preventing problematic interfaces, for which the module supplier should advocate and the principal contractor should coordinate. This research demonstrated the interconnections and complexities of problematic interfaces and their causes in modular construction with empirical evidence, and highlighted the leading role of module suppliers in preventing problematic interfaces. The findings contribute to a better understanding of complex problematic interfaces in modular construction and provide valuable insights into interface management of modular building projects.

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