Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) has been introduced into the construction industry to enhance production efficiency. DfMA is a design approach and evaluation system for improving manufacturability and assemblability. This paper outlines the past and ongoing Artificial Intelligence (AI) development in manufacturing-oriented DfMA, and provides a literature review of the concept and the use of DfMA in the construction. The applications, challenges and barriers of design optimization through DfMA and BIM-enabled DfMA are summarized. This desk study has shown that studies related to construction-oriented DfMA are still in infancy. At present, articles about DfMA are focused on optimizing design and engineering for manufacturability and assemblability, but rarely describe its digital enablement. This study makes up for the lack of literature review in the evaluation of DfMA with concluding a preliminary application framework, and proposes a future-oriented study and new direction for BIM-enabled DfMA.