The multispace adaptable building concept and its extension into mass customisation
UK government Policy Planning Guidance promotes optimum use of the existing building stock through mixed use in urban centres and encourages conversion of redundant office and retail space into leisure, service or residential uses. Whilst social pressures are evident in the push to more effectively utilise existing building stock, new building stock also has to meet the commercial requirements of the client, which often translates into maximum occupancy of the building. This is encouraging greater innovation in the design of new buildings to allow change of use throughout the structure’s lifetime. This paper describes the concepts surrounding an adaptable design for new buildings, along with a review of factors influencing the mode of use. The major physical parameters of storey height, building proximity, plan depth, structural design, services, fire safety, cladding and noise abatement are evaluated in the context of adaptable building use. In addition to improved building utilisation, the UK government has identified a weakness in the productivity of the construction industry. The report ‘Rethinking Construction’ (Egan, 1998) suggested that up to 80% of inputs into buildings are repeated and that parallels should be drawn with the designing and planning of new cars in the automotive sector. This suggests that improvements in quality, cost and delivery time of new structures could be achieved through mass-customisation incorporating a significant element of pre-design.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering