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Beadle, K, Gibb, A, Austin, S, Fuster, A and Madden, P (2008) Adaptable futures: sustainable aspects of adaptable buildings.. In: Dainty, A (Ed.), Proceedings 24th Annual ARCOM Conference, 1-3 September 2008, Cardiff, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 2, 1125–34.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: adaptability; lifecycle; pre-configuration; re-configuration; sustainability
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-1-4
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2008-1125-1134_Beadle_et_al.pdf
  • Abstract:
    The research described in this paper addresses buildings that are designed to adapt in response to the changing parameters of our rapidly evolving society. These changes might be social, environmental or economic, all elements of sustainability, but they will affect the way we construct and use buildings. At the moment the majority of buildings are designed and constructed to suit a particular use at a certain time, with no thought for the future. The research focuses on two specific types of adaptable buildings, those that are pre-configured and those that can be re-configured through their lifetime and it aims to facilitate the development of adaptable buildings in the UK. Two case studies are being examined to enable this; a pre-configured components systems, Newways, envisaged by GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) and BWM (Bryden Wood McLeod) and a reconfigurable building concept, Multispace, designed by 3DReid. This paper will pay particular attention to the sustainability aspects of these two case studies. These, as well as other examples of adaptable buildings, will be investigated during the research through action research, interviews, focus groups, workshops, scenario models, literature review and Dependency Structure Matrix analysis. The research aims to: identify design criteria that adaptable building should adhere to; create novel product architecture models; optimise the configuration of components and systems; and invent cost-effective building systems and technologies that provide the required levels of adaptability. This paper concludes that sustainability is a vital part of adaptable buildings and that both sustainability and adaptability are becoming more important with the ever changing construction industry. Results presented from a workshop undertaken as part of the research highlight the sustainability of different aspects of adaptable buildings, focusing on their economic, environmental and social features.