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Adaptable office buildings

Hilde Remøy (Department of Real Estate and Housing, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Peter de Jong (Department of Real Estate and Housing, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Wiechert Schenk (Cradle of Development, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




Across use adaptation is a possible way of dealing with long term vacant office buildings, albeit previous research shows that there are many obstacles to be thrived. In The Netherlands several successful transformations of offices into housing were completed. Nevertheless, transformations do not take place on a large scale. High building costs are the main reason. Hence, new office developments should anticipate future programmatic transformation. This paper seeks answers to the questions: Is it possible to anticipate future programmatic change? To what extent will anticipation on future possibilities influence building costs?


The authors reviewed existing studies to gather information about transformation building costs and the critical success factors of transformations. The building design and costs for new office buildings were then studied, designed with enhanced transformation potential, focussing on two standard office building types, the central core tower and the single corridor slab, using the cost model PARAP.


The outcome of this research proposes an approach to office development that deals with adaptability as a means of realising enhanced future value.

Research limitations/implications

To limit the research, only two standard office building types were studied.

Practical implications

Next to changes in the construction method of standard office buildings, the research suggests consciousness in the design phase of office developments to improve adaptability.


Based on studies of completed across use adaptations, the paper gives recommendations on how to improve the adaptability of new office buildings.



Remøy, H., de Jong, P. and Schenk, W. (2011), "Adaptable office buildings", Property Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 443-453.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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