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A comprehensive review and classification of inter-module connections for hot-rolled steel modular building systems

Corfar, D-A. & Tsavdaridis, K. D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8349-3979 (2022). A comprehensive review and classification of inter-module connections for hot-rolled steel modular building systems. Journal of Building Engineering, 50, article number 104006. doi: 10.1016/j.jobe.2022.104006


In the recent history the development of inter-module connection systems for steel modular building systems (MBS) has gained traction with many researchers and engineers being in pursuit of universally performant connection systems. Even though many of the newly proposed connections are presented as potential disruptors for the market, it rarely is the case as it is a difficult if not impossible task to deliver a “fit-for-all” design given the complex and multi-dimensional character of this topic. While recently, there have been numerous review studies concerned with inter-module connections for hot-rolled steel MBS, most of them focused only on a limited number of existing connections, while also failing to preserve a consistency in nomenclature and classification methods. Considering the large and growing volume of published studies which investigate inter-module connections for hot-rolled steel MBS, there is a pressing need to classify all systems under a unified naming convention based on a systematic classification and thus harmonise the literature and promote a well-structured development of future designs.

The present study gathered sixty inter-module connections from the literature and proposed a nomenclature using a rigorous and consistent classification based on the method of joining. Complementary tables with all relevant studies published on each connection system are constructed, providing a comprehensive review of the existing literature at the time and helping to guide the development of future studies in an effort to promote a unified approach. In order to identify “must-have” features and key areas of improvement for future inter-module connection designs based on the advantages and limitations of existing connections, a multi-attribute ranking system is developed and employed. The adoption of the proposed ranking system has the potential to facilitate the improvement of future designs, as well as to enhance existing connections in low-scoring areas, serving as a useful decision-making tool for both researchers and practitioners concerned with this topic.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Inter-module connections, Modular building systems, Hot-rolled steel MBS, Demountability, Reusability, Multi-attribute ranking, Seismic resilience, Damage control
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 220210_Manuscript_final proof without markups.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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