Direct digital construction: Technology-based operations management practice for continuous improvement of construction industry performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units


Construction operations suffer from fragmented structures and loose coupling among project actors. Building on direct digital manufacturing (DDM), we describe direct digital construction (DDC) as a technology-based operations management practice aiming to improve construction performance through design reuse and diminished human interpretation. We develop the operational principles, describe the operations in practice, and identify alternative implementation paths based on case examples of partial implementations. The core principle of the practice is to direct the value-adding operations over the building's lifecycle through the digital design model, resulting in increased reusability, project-specific differentiation, and automation of designs and processes across projects. Three implementation paths are identified: (a) as-built modeling-driven path, (b) modular product architecture-driven path, and (c) algorithmic and parametric design-driven path for the incremental transformation of the construction industry.


Original languageEnglish
Article number102910
Number of pages13
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Construction operations, Direct digital construction, Cyber-physical systems, Direct digital manufacturing, Virtual design and construction

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 36909628