Prefabrication in the UAE Housing Sector: Review of Potentialities and Challenges

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The construction sector accounts for the largest percentage of the total final energy use and carbon emissions worldwide. In the particular case of the UAE, the energy share consumed in buildings stands at a massive 70% with the residential sector carrying a heavy energy usage for cooling to mitigate the local extreme hot climate. This residential market sector is mainly in the form of extensive government-sponsored housing programs and large privately-funded rental developments. The dominant construction method for both government and private housing projects is in the form of a concrete post and beam structural system with insulated concrete blockwork infill. However, field investigations of this construction system, through thermography auditing, identified major thermal bridging due to different types of construction defects, not encountered in the precast construction system. In the pursuit of sustainable development and building energy efficiency, the UAE government has lately endorsed precast concrete construction in recent local housing programs. Several research studies confirmed the benefits of prefabrication construction method as well as its higher thermal and environmental performance. Still, this approach is met with economic and social resistance, thus hindering the growth potential of prefabrication in the UAE. Therefore, this paper discusses, through a rapid review and case studies, the challenges faced by construction industry in adopting prefabrication and the cause of these challenges. Further, the study explores the benefits of precast concrete construction that would potentially raise awareness on the feasibility and economic potential of precast concrete construction specifically within the UAE context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZEMCH 2021 - 8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsKheira Anissa Tabet Aoul, Mohammed Tariq Shafiq, Daniel Efurosibina Attoye
PublisherZEMCH Network
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789948310006
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2021 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Oct 26 2021Oct 28 2021

Publication series

NameZEMCH International Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2652-2926


Conference8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


  • Adaptation
  • Challenges
  • Energy efficiency
  • Housing
  • Opportunities
  • Prefabrication
  • Social acceptance
  • Sustainability
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Prefabrication in the UAE Housing Sector: Review of Potentialities and Challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this