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Article

Dulani Halvitigala and Richard G. Reed

With strategies including flexible work practices, tenants are increasingly seeking flexibility in their physical office space and layouts. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

With strategies including flexible work practices, tenants are increasingly seeking flexibility in their physical office space and layouts. The purpose of this paper is to examine to what extent investors address tenants’ changing demand for office space with reference to layouts in new and existing office buildings.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study comprising in-depth individual interviews with senior portfolio managers of all listed property trusts investing in the office sector in New Zealand was undertaken.

Findings

The findings confirmed property investors incorporate several adaptive and flexible space design and specifications in their modern office buildings to enhance space flexibility and functional efficiency. These include adaptive building structures, efficient floor plates, flexible building services, advanced IT networking, high-quality building amenities and modern building materials. Building structures and layouts are designed to be modified quickly and cost effectively to address tenants’ changing needs. Implications affecting tenant demand for flexible spaces on their lease contracts were also identified.

Research limitations/implications

The findings from this research have implications for management of office space. Although the data were sourced with reference to buildings located in New Zealand only, the findings are applicable to office buildings in other countries.

Practical implications

The study provides an insight into design strategies adopted in modern office buildings to enhance space flexibility and functional efficiency. These findings are of practical application to professionals involved in the design, development, investment and valuation of modern office buildings.

Originality/value

The paper provides in-depth insights into how investors meet tenants’ changing demand for physical space which is linked to delivering improved and stable market-driven returns to investors.

Details

Property Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article

Robert Kronenburg

This paper explores the genre of flexible architecture - buildings that are intended to respond to changing situations in their use, operation, or location. This is…

Abstract

This paper explores the genre of flexible architecture - buildings that are intended to respond to changing situations in their use, operation, or location. This is architecture that adapts rather than stagnates; responds to change rather than rejects it; is motive rather than static. It is a design form that is by its essence cross-disciplinary and multi-functional and consequently, is frequently innovative and expressive of contemporary design issues. By revealing its basis and the factors that are determining its development, the value and relevancy of flexible architecture to contemporary problems associated with technological, social and economic change can be revealed.

The characteristics of flexible architecture are explored by examining the design decisions that lead to culturally responsive buildings. It examines the underlying factors that generate a sense of place and why traditional and historic building patterns have been successful in creating genuinely adaptable architecture. It relates the characteristics of flexible architecture to Open Building principles and examines the effect that such design can have within the different levels in the built environment. The paper focuses special attention on contemporary architecture by examining the recent work of the Japanese architect Toyo Ito, in particular his recently completed Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Based on conversation with the designer and first-hand study of the building, the specific factors that make this new design a valuable resource in the search for flexible architecture strategies are explored.

This paper expands on the author's previous research into the foundation areas of this topic, in particular the genre of portable architecture, the impact of technology on the development of architectural form, and the development of experimental and innovative house design in the twentieth century. Its subject is expanded in his forthcoming book Flexible: Architecture That Responds to Change to be published by Laurence King, London, in 2006.

Details

Open House International, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article

Rob Geraedts

In the present demand-driven market, consumers play a key role. Players in the house-building market, as in other sectors, need to listen to the consumer's requirements …

Abstract

In the present demand-driven market, consumers play a key role. Players in the house-building market, as in other sectors, need to listen to the consumer's requirements – and these are continually changing. The real estate sector is rather rigid in its practices, yet those working in it will need to respond to the fluctuating wishes and demands of their consumers. One possible response is to adopt a flexible building strategy. Industrial Flexible Demountable (IFD) building has recently been a subject of debate in the Dutch construction sector. This is a special type of construction involving experimental projects, experimentation being the first step in optimising a renewed production process or product. The building process is currently subject to various construction-related and organisational obstacles. This means that, in some cases, the objectives (which are focused on consumer-oriented building practices) were not being achieved. It was necessary to identify the problem areas and to consider the available opportunities for optimising the building process in future IFD house-building projects. The results of this study have been incorporated into guidelines containing a step-by-step plan. This plan sets out practical recommendations for market actors who wish to initiate an IFD house-building project. This study's conclusions and recommendations form the basis for the seven stages that such parties will need to complete before starting on such a project.

Details

Open House International, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article

Jochem C. Nijs, Elma Durmisevic and Johannes I.M. Halman

Open Building and IFD (Industrial Flexible Demountable) building are philosophies that aim to create high quality buildings with increased flexibility and better…

Abstract

Open Building and IFD (Industrial Flexible Demountable) building are philosophies that aim to create high quality buildings with increased flexibility and better environmental characteristics. However, a successful adoption of IFD principles has not yet occurred because of concerns for the types of connections that are needed between building components. Therefore, this paper describes PhD research at the University of Twente that has the objective of designing a typology of flexible interfaces for IFD building that can be widely applied in the construction industry and aims to standardize connections, at the various levels of technical composition of a building, to create compatibility between building products from different suppliers. Such a typology of interfaces will increase the re-use and recycling of building parts, resulting in the increased sustainability of the building process. Furthermore, it will help accelerate the industrialization of the housing industry and mass customization of housing. A preliminary case study, in which a sustainable, flexible bathroom is designed, illustrates the various types of interfaces that can be applied, based on existing research. The paper illustrates the importance of interfaces, and aims to increase environmental benefits of buildings (less construction waste), improve the social aspects (higher user satisfaction in buildings) and achieve economical advantages (lower overall costs) by designing new interfaces.

Details

Open House International, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article

Jacques Vink

Flex−buildings are buildings which are literally designed to change. A flex−building must be able to accept different infills and its users must be able to easily adapt…

Abstract

Flex−buildings are buildings which are literally designed to change. A flex−building must be able to accept different infills and its users must be able to easily adapt their surroundings.

Flexibility is defined as the capacity of a building to undergo modifications and accept changes of function with limited structural interventions. More than 40% of the activities housed in a flex building can continue to function during modification.

Studies into flex−buildings (commissioned by the Dutch Government) have elicited a number of insights. These are not hard−and−fast conclusions but more in the region of statements and reminders for those involved with flex−buildings.

These studies show that it takes more than civil engineering to successfully realise such buildings. Aspects of use and management are at least as important. Besides, it requires designers who are willing to let go of their design after it is finished. For the result is not a completed ‘architectural’ product but a continually changing object.

Following insights (among others) will be illustrated with built and unbuilt projects in the Netherlands.

• The façade design, for example, figures prominently in designing flexible buildings. It makes special demands on the design’s presentation during the design process, as the building can assume different appearances over time. The double facade is a promising concept that allows for expressive and/or open facades in flexible buildings. It can also help to reduce a building’s energy consumption.

• Also by deliberately incorporating excessive space and construction a building has the necessary leeway to accommodate future developments. A building’s flexibility is enhanced by oversize in structure as well as space.

• A big multi−use building in Rotterdam (H. A. Maaskant / W. van Tijen (1951)) and recent projects of RUIMTELAB are presented as case−studies. These are an inspiration for architects and planners looking for design tools to help achieve an open architecture.

Details

Open House International, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article

Mohammad A. Hassanain

The aim of this paper is to identify the factors that influence the provision of sustainable and flexible office workplace in built‐facilities, and further, classify these…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to identify the factors that influence the provision of sustainable and flexible office workplace in built‐facilities, and further, classify these factors under several categories, where commonalities are shared.

Design/methodology/approach

The author has analyzed the published literature for the purpose of reviewing the origin of office workplace design and the reasons that promoted the development of flexible workplace in office‐based environments. A sum of 18 factors for facilitating the provision of the flexible workplace were identified. These factors were classified under four categories, including planning of the building, layout of the physical workplace, information technology networking, and building service systems.

Findings

The survey of literature has revealed that there is no comprehensive overview of factors that designers, developers, investors, facility managers, and planners can use to provide sustainable and flexible workplace facilities, where flexibility relates to the concept of the physical layout and functional opportunities of the workspace. Based on a study of the literature, 18 factors for facilitating the provision of the flexible workplace have been identified.

Originality/value

Designing a sustainable office work environment is as challenging a task today as ever. New ways of working have arisen and new technologies are being introduced into office work activities. This paper presents advice to designers, planners and real estate developers to consider the concept of designing flexible workplaces to meet the emergence of new technologies and the increase in business competition.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article

Niklas Israelsson and Bengt Hansson

Activity‐suited buildings create effective processes in a business. Building adaptation has a limited time perspective; suited premises need to change over time, in order…

Abstract

Purpose

Activity‐suited buildings create effective processes in a business. Building adaptation has a limited time perspective; suited premises need to change over time, in order to keep up with the processes in using a building. In an ideal situation, owners, clients and users, based on a demand for effortless adaptability, would be able to transform the building when it is needed. This puts high demand on the adaptability in a building, i.e. flexibility. The purpose of this paper is to provide other decision‐makers with a tool to validate information regarding flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies “flexibility factors” and investigages how the factors are influencing the adaptability. In order to validate the importance of the factors, they are placed in order of precedence and processed using factor analysis.

Findings

From a municipal and socio‐economic viewpoint, there are advantages in more flexible buildings. To build and administer sites over the total building life can increase the flexibility of buildings and, used widely, should increase the opportunity to use the nation's property more effectively than from an ordinary viewpoint.

Originality/value

The results will be relevant for the whole construction sector.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article

Tapan Kumar Dhar, Md. Sk. Maruf Hossain and Khan Rubayet Rahaman

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance and significance of design strategies to enhance flexibility as an in-built design concept of residential building

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance and significance of design strategies to enhance flexibility as an in-built design concept of residential building in developing countries. The study considers potential directions of building design in developing countries to ensure maximum benefits of resource utilization.

Design/methodology/approach

The study approaches using the qualitative data collection method, mostly based on interviews of local residents. Layouts of residential buildings that have been renovated for several reasons, such as the changes in family size over the last 30 years, have been studied. The concept of zone and margin, based on the theoretical framework developed by Dutch architect, John Habraken, is compared and tested in residential buildings in the city of Khulna.

Findings

This paper shows that people change floor layouts of their buildings over time for different reasons; for example, 29 percent of people change plans in order to accommodate more people, 19 percent in order to initiate new businesses, and 13 percent due to change in family structure. However, these facts impose an excessive monetary burden on the owners to re-adjust layouts even though the building does not have the provision to do so. The paper also reveals that people would welcome new plans for future readjustment during the design and construction phases instead of renovation phases.

Originality/value

This paper highlights flexibility and attempts to justify the possibilities to practice in developing countries. As an inherent design strategy of sustainable development, the concept would consider unknown future changes of building layouts and structures. It would consider the minimum reconstruction, or renovation, costs associated for future adaptation.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article

Sarah O’Connell, Glenn Reynders, Federico Seri, Raymond Sterling and Marcus M. Keane

The purpose of this paper is to standardised four-step flexibility assessment methodology for evaluating the available electrical load reduction or increase a building can…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to standardised four-step flexibility assessment methodology for evaluating the available electrical load reduction or increase a building can provide in response to a signal from an aggregator or grid operator.

Design/methodology/approach

The four steps in the methodology consist of Step 1: systems, loads, storage and generation identification; Step 2: flexibility characterisation; Step 3: scenario modelling; and Step 4: key performance indicator (KPI) label.

Findings

A detailed case study for one building, validated through on-site experiments, verified the feasibility and accuracy of the approach.

Research limitations/implications

The results were benchmarked against available demonstration studies but could benefit from the future development of standardised benchmarks.

Practical implications

The ease of implementation enables building operators to quickly and cost effectively evaluate the flexibility of their building. By clearly defining the flexibility range, the KPI label enables contract negotiation between stakeholders for demand side services. It may also be applicable as a smart readiness indicator.

Social implications

The novel KPI label has the capability to operationalise the concept of building flexibility to a wider spectrum of society, enabling smart grid demand response roll-out to residential and small commercial customers.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need for an early stage flexibility assessment which explicitly includes source selection that can be implemented in an offline manner without the need for extensive real-time data acquisition, ICT platforms or additional metre and sensor installations.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article

Mohammad A. Hassanain, Ali K. Alnuaimi and Muizz O. Sanni-Anibire

This paper aims to present an assessment of user satisfaction of an innovative workplace design, otherwise known as flexible workplaces.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an assessment of user satisfaction of an innovative workplace design, otherwise known as flexible workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The study first sought to establish the level of flexibility of the workplace through the identification of flexibility criteria presented in a checklist format. In total, 29 criteria were identified and subsequently assigned weights by ten professionals. These professionals further assessed a case study office building through a walkthrough exercise to determine its level of flexibility. Furthermore, a post occupancy evaluation (POE) was conducted to assess the level of users’ satisfaction with functional performance elements. Questionnaire surveys were administered to 142 users, with a 63 per cent response rate. The feedback was analyzed and presented using the mean satisfaction index approach.

Findings

The results showed that the total flexibility achieved by the facility is 67.63 per cent, which is considered to be “averagely flexible”. The POE results also showed that users were strongly dissatisfied (SD) with the “adequate number of enclosed offices,” which is one of the corner-stones of flexibility where open-plan offices are strongly encouraged. Users expressed dissatisfaction with other issues, while their overall satisfaction with the facility was noted.

Originality/value

This study is based on the premise that innovative workplace facilities will only fulfill its intended objectives if designers consider the satisfaction of its users. The study makes a specific contribution in the assessment of workplace flexibility and occupants’ satisfaction of flexible workplaces. This will be of significant value to facility managers, designers and space planners involved in the design and management of workplace facilities.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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