New media data-driven measurement for the development level of prefabricated construction in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Article number118353
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Online published12 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2019


Prefabricated construction (PC) is an effective approach for addressing the unsustainability issues of conventional construction methods. Despite considerable concern from the China's government, the provincial development level of PC remains unclear. Lacking PC-related statistics hinders relevant research, while data obtained from new media (such as Weibo and WeChat) using web crawler can bridge this gap. This study proposed a new media-driven measurement for the development level of PC, targeting 31 provinces in China. A total of 28 alternative indexes were firstly selected based on the Politics-Economy-Society-Technology (PEST) analysis model, and the final 15 indexes were filtered through expert scoring and new media data-driven methods. Then, web crawling and text segmentation by Python were employed to acquire index data, supplemented by statistics. The indexes weights were determined through expert scoring and a cloud model. The quantitative measurement of the development level of PC was finally performed. The results mainly indicate the holistic development level of PC in China is currently low and its regional distribution is uneven, with high scores in the eastern provinces, and the western and northwestern provinces lagging behind The measurement system construction and the measurement index quantification driven by new media data in this study represent breakthroughs over traditional methods that rely on statistics, cases or questionnaires, which can be applied to other research fields. In addition, the measurement system constructed provides a reference to measure the PC development level in other countries.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Development level, New media data, Prefabricated construction (PC)