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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2017

James A. Pinder, Rob Schmidt, Simon A. Austin, Alistair Gibb and Jim Saker

Despite being a common term in the literature, there is little agreement about what the word “adaptability” means in the context of the built environment and very little…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite being a common term in the literature, there is little agreement about what the word “adaptability” means in the context of the built environment and very little evidence regarding practitioners’ understanding of adaptability. This paper aims to examine what practitioners in the building industry mean when they talk about “adaptability”.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a qualitative approach, involving 82 unstructured face-to-face interviews with practitioners from a range of professional disciplines in the construction industry, including architects, engineers, facilities managers, property agents and planners. The interview transcripts were coded inductively to identify themes in the qualitative data.

Findings

The interview data revealed a wide range of perspectives on adaptability, particularly regarding terminology, the meanings practitioners associate with adaptability and the way in which these meanings are communicated to others in the industry. The applied meaning of adaptability varied depending on context.

Practical implications

Conflicting language, and different interpretations of adaptability, is a potential barrier to the development of adaptable buildings. A clearer articulation of the meaning of adaptability (particularly by clients) during briefing and design could give rise to a more appropriate level of adaptability in the built environment.

Originality/value

This study has addressed a gap in the existing literature by foregrounding the voices of industry practitioners and exploring their (sometimes very different) interpretations of adaptability in buildings.

Details

Facilities, vol. 35 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Toru Eguchi, Robert Schmidt, Andrew Dainty, Simon Austin and Alistair Gibb

This paper explores the adaptability of buildings in Japan from the perspective of three distinct practice typologies: large general contractors, large architectural…

Abstract

This paper explores the adaptability of buildings in Japan from the perspective of three distinct practice typologies: large general contractors, large architectural design firms, and small design ateliers. The paper illustrates the cultivation of adaptability in Japan revealing a maturing of concepts into current innovations, trends, priorities, and obstacles in relation to adaptability in design. The paper contextualizes the situation by reviewing the evolution of residential development in support of building adaptability, and the ways in which these policies and concepts have shaped practice and transcended residential design. This evolution is then explored through non-residential case studies undertaken by the three practice types, and supported through a review of critical themes emerging from the interviews. The importance of particular physical characteristics are examined including storey height, location of services, planning modules and structural spacing/spans. The interviews expose the critical relationship between adaptability and different social variables - the state of the market, the role of planning regulations and other legal frameworks; as well as, the misconceptions and variations in the perceptions on the role and meaning adaptability has in practice. The paper is concluded by revealing the lessons learnt, including the unfolding of dependencies outside the ‘black box’ of adaptability (e.g. practice culture, material and, stakeholder mindsets) and the requirement of effective communication of concepts to allow an informed conversation between professionals and with clients and users. Like many other philosophical design concepts in complex processes, adaptability benefits from a mutual understanding, good relationships, communication, integration, and shared goals amongst team members.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Nadeeshani Wanigarathna, Fred Sherratt, Andrew D.F. Price and Simon Austin

A substantial amount of research argues that built environmental interventions can improve the outcomes of patients and other users of healthcare facilities, supporting…

Abstract

Purpose

A substantial amount of research argues that built environmental interventions can improve the outcomes of patients and other users of healthcare facilities, supporting the concept of evidence-based design (EBD). However, the sources of such evidence and its flow into healthcare design are less well understood. This paper aims to provide insights to both the sources and flow of EBD used in three healthcare projects, to reveal practicalities of use and the relationships between them in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Three healthcare case study projects provided empirical data on the design of a number of different elements. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify the source and flow of evidence used in this design, which was subsequently quantised to reveal the dominant patterns therein.

Findings

Healthcare design teams use evidence from various sources, the knowledge and experience of the members of the design team being the most common due to both ease of access and thus flow. Practice-based research and peer-reviewed published research flow both directly and indirectly into the design process, whilst collaborations with researchers and research institutions nurture the credibility of the latter.

Practical implications

The findings can be used to enhance activities that aim to design, conduct and disseminate future EBD research to improve their flow to healthcare designers.

Originality/value

This research contributes to understandings of EBD by exploring the flow of research from various sources in conflation and within real-life environments.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Nadeeshani Wanigarathna, Fred Sherratt, Andrew Price and Simon Austin

The re-use of good design solutions is a key source of evidence and knowledge in the design of healthcare buildings. However, due to the unique nature of healthcare built…

Abstract

Purpose

The re-use of good design solutions is a key source of evidence and knowledge in the design of healthcare buildings. However, due to the unique nature of healthcare built environments, the critical application of this evidence is of paramount importance. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the features of such critical application and identify the aspects that need to be considered during the re-use of good designs.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from three case studies of hospital designs in the UK were used to explore the processes behind the adaption and re-use of design solutions during the design of healthcare buildings. Data were thematically analysed to distinguish the aspects that should be carefully compared and contrasted during design re-use.

Findings

Existing designs of healthcare buildings should be captured and evaluated along with: patient demographics, care models of the hospital, other local departmental needs and facility operational aspects in order to ensure the effectiveness of re-use. In addition, properly introducing the design to the users is also a part of successful design re-use.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this research were integrated into a framework to support healthcare designers on the effective re-use of good designs. This data-driven framework could be validated further with design practitioners. Further, this research relied on memory recall of the interviewees and the accuracy and completeness of documentary records.

Practical implications

This research provides details of how healthcare built environment designs are embedded in project-unique circumstances. The results could therefore be used to develop meaningful and informative evaluation mechanisms for new and re-used healthcare building design features.

Originality/value

This research extends the understanding of the critical application of healthcare design evidence, by explaining how healthcare design solutions should be evaluated during the design process.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Lee Bibby, Dino Bouchlaghem and Simon Austin

Drives to improve industry performance are being hindered by difficulties in managing the construction design process, preventing the UK construction industry from…

Abstract

Drives to improve industry performance are being hindered by difficulties in managing the construction design process, preventing the UK construction industry from delivering projects on time, to budget and to the specified quality. This paper reports on a research project at a major UK civil and building design and construction company to develop and deploy a training initiative capable of making significant improvements to its design management performance and deliver benefits to many project stakeholders. It describes the development, content and trailing of the training material and a suite of 21 design management tools to drive change throughout the organization. The paper is likely to be of interest to those involved in design management and the development of tools and practices to help the industry improve design management performance.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

SIMON A. AUSTIN, ANDREW N. BALDWIN and JOHN L. STEELE

The construction industry is acutely aware of the need to improve the integration, planning and control of its design and production processes. A number of projects…

Abstract

The construction industry is acutely aware of the need to improve the integration, planning and control of its design and production processes. A number of projects undertaken within Loughborough, Salford and Cambridge Universities, in collaboration with a number of construction industry organizations, are addressing this issue by investigating, and developing tools to assist, the design and construction process. Emerging from these projects is the common need for IT systems and support that will facilitate the capture, storage and retrieval of project knowledge. It is only by relating these compatible IT applications to a common and recognizable project process framework that construction industry organizations will be able to make optimum use of the available technological developments. This paper describes the development of techniques and strategies to support the integrated planning and control of design through the collaboration of the main designers, suppliers and contractor working on complex building projects, and discusses the relevance of clustering these in relation to the phases and activities of a generic model of design and construction.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

SEBASTIAN MACMILLAN, JOHN STEELE, PAUL KIRBY, ROBIN SPENCE and SIMON AUSTIN

This paper reports the outcome of a 2‐year research project that set out to provide a process map of the concept stage of building projects. From a literature review…

Abstract

This paper reports the outcome of a 2‐year research project that set out to provide a process map of the concept stage of building projects. From a literature review, comparison of current process maps, and through interviews and case study analyses, a tentative new framework for the concept stage was developed and tested. It comprises 12 activities in five phases. The framework formed the basis of a graphical method used to plot the activities of design teams in a series of workshops. This graphical method illustrates design iteration in a way which we believe has not been undertaken before, and the patterns it reveals are intuitively understood by design team members themselves, helping them reflect on their own design process. We have also constructed a prototype internet‐based decision support tool for the concept stage of design. This is intended to be inherently flexible and supportive of non‐linear routes through concept design, while also offering a structured approach, design tools to broaden the solution space or evaluate competing options, team management advice, and the recording of decision making. Initial testing of this tool showed it to be well‐received, although it was criticized for focusing too much on the gates between activities and too little on the issues and decisions within each activity.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2007

Simon A. Austin, Anthony Thorpe, David Root, Derek Thomson and Jamie Hammond

The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach to managing the supply chain from the perspective of design which the paper refers to as integrated collaborative design (ICD).

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach to managing the supply chain from the perspective of design which the paper refers to as integrated collaborative design (ICD).

Design/methodology/approach

Building on a substantial program of research using a range of methodologies previously reported, the concept of a design chain is described the argument is made that the industry needs to center the development of integrated teams (as proposed in accelerating change) around collaborative working of all parties involved in the design process.

Findings

The research recognizes that the construction sector is too often focused on the short‐term objectives of projects, rather than long‐term business strategy and organizational relationships. The ICD approach involves three steps: identifying tasks (process management); allocating roles (as part of supply chain management); and focusing design solutions to deliver value.

Originality/value

The paper outlines the principles and approach to ICD and provides a strategic overview within which various techniques and practices can be utilized to integrate organizations and more effectively manage the design process.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Jennifer K. Parkin, Simon A. Austin, James A. Pinder, Thom S. Baguley and Simon N. Allenby

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of two different academic office environments in supporting collaboration and privacy.

Downloads
2672

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of two different academic office environments in supporting collaboration and privacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of case studies involving post‐occupancy questionnaire surveys of academic occupants.

Findings

The combi‐office design was found to be associated with higher levels of occupant satisfaction than the open‐plan office design, with respect to support for collaboration and privacy.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight the importance of understanding user requirements and the role of office space as a cognitive resource.

Practical implications

Designers should consider the default location of occupants when designing academic and other creative workspaces.

Social implications

Academic creativity and innovation are seen to be important for society. However, there needs to be a better understanding of how to support this through workspace design.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the small but growing body of research on academic office design and creative workspaces in general.

Details

Facilities, vol. 29 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

Kristen Bell De Tienne and G. Stoney Alder

Employee evaluation and monitoring have been common in America since colonial times. With industrialization, employers have implemented increasingly creative ways to…

Abstract

Employee evaluation and monitoring have been common in America since colonial times. With industrialization, employers have implemented increasingly creative ways to monitor employees. For example, in the early part of this century, Ford Motor Company employed investigators to enter employees' homes to verify that employees were not overly drinking and that their homes were clean

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 37 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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