As the largest construction industry in the world, the Chinese construction industry not only has huge sustainability implications for China, but also significantly influences the world’s resource consumption due to its tremendous scale. However, there is a lack of studies identifying the fundamental challenges hindering the transformation towards sustainable construction in China from a holistic triple bottom line perspective of sustainability. This study aims to identify the challenges, thereby revealing the future research directions accelerating the transition towards sustainable construction in China. Through content analysis of both existing literature and government plans, this study identifies the key sustainability challenges, governmental measures, and critical future research opportunities to help tackle the challenges hindering the sustainability transition of the Chinese construction industry. Even though this study focuses on China, it provides a holistic reference for researchers, industry practitioners and policymakers worldwide to understand the sustainability challenges of the construction industry, as the construction industries in many countries face sustainability challenges similar to those in China.