Designing for short life: industry response to the proposed reuse of building services components

Business activity is increasingly subject to influences such as technological advancement and rising consumer expectations which necessitate a flexible approach to working practices particularly in the short-term. Organisations subject to frequent change must be supported by buildings that can readily accommodate changes in the use of internal spaces. Changing the use of a serviced usable space often necessitates alteration of supporting services installations. The functional, rather than physical, obsolescence of building services components will become more common as the rate of space use change increases. Current practice causes functionally obsolete components to be discarded when altering services installations. Reusing such functionally obsolete components, however, will recover the value of their embodied residual un-depreciated capital investment and under utilised physical life, thereby reducing the cost of services installation alteration and, indirectly, increasing serviced usable space flexibility.