In many construction projects, prefabrication has proven to benefit sustainability. This innovative construction practice can virtually extend the life of assets while minimizing costs and time and enhancing quality and safety. In rail construction, prefabrication has long been utilized for certain elements of the rail assets but not all. The paper reports on the initiation of a research to investigate the contribution and potential of prefabrication to increasing sustainability and the whole lifecycle benefits in the rail construction industry in Australia. Paper embraces a broad definition of the term “sustainability” which includes energy and water efficiency, health and safety, durability and quality, pollution and waste reduction, overall cost and time efficiency, and sustainable society/community. The research adopts a qualitative case study approach that employs Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) for examining the research enquiry. A variety of stakeholders will be interviewed in each project case besides reviewing the archived content. Stakeholders including construction contractors, rail operators and maintainers, end-users, government bodies, and those involved with the project’s supply chain will benefit from having a more transparent and clear understanding of the effect of prefabrication on the sustainability of rail assets.
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