Industry 4.0 Deployment in the Construction Industry: A Bibliometric Literature Review and UK-based Case Study

Newman, C. and Edwards, D.J. and Martek, I. and Lai, J. and Thwala, W.D. and Rillie, Iain (2020) Industry 4.0 Deployment in the Construction Industry: A Bibliometric Literature Review and UK-based Case Study. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment. ISSN 2046-6099

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Purpose: Industry 4.0 is predicted to be a game-changer, revolutionizing commercial and manufacturing practices through improved knowledge utilization and efficiencies. The barriers however, are significant, and the construction industry remains notoriously slow to take up innovations. This study reviews the research work in Industry 4.0 as it relates to construction, and examines a leading UK-based construction firm to ascertain the prognosis for Industry 4.0 roll-out in terms of the impediments and opportunities.

Methodology: A multistage mixed philosophies and methods approach was adopted for this study. First, an interpretivist epistemological lens was used to synthesise extant literature as a means of contextualising the present study. Second, an empirical case study using a post-positivist stance and inductive reasoning was conducted to explore practitioner acceptance of Industry 4.0 in the UK construction context.

Findings: Findings from the literature review indicate studies in Industry 4.0 to be a relatively new phenomenon, with developed countries and Germany in particular leading in the field. The range of opportunities are many, but so too are the barriers to enablement. Findings from the case study provide real-world corroboration of the review; practitioners are sanguine about Industry 4.0’s potential to reinvigorate the construction industry, but also note that implementation remains curtailed by residual managerial practices dependent on ‘human interaction.’ At present, much of the focus of industry practitioners is on the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM), often at the expense of other more advanced technologies within Industry 4.0.

Originality: Research in Industry 4.0 is limited, with the emphasis being on technology application. This paper, by contrast, maps the totality of work carried out so far and presents an assessment of Industry 4.0’s progression, potential and degree of uptake within the UK construction industry.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
Date: 26 May 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Construction industry, Industry 4.0, case study, bibliometric analysis, content analysis, advanced technologies
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Euan Scott
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 09:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 08:49

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