The AF team has recently been working with final year Construction Engineering Management and Architectural Engineering & Design Management students at Loughborough University in order to explore the concept of adaptability in buildings. Students were asked to work in groups and case study a building of their choice, with a view to investigating the ways in which the building had been designed to accommodate change and the ways in which it could have been designed to be more adaptable. Yesterday the students presented their case studies to us.
The case studies covered a diverse range of building types, including educational facilities (The Chobham Academy, Ravensbourne College, Loughborough Design School) healthcare buildings (Kentish Town Health Centre, King’s Mill hospital) and entertainment venues (The O2, The Etihad Stadium and the University of Phoenix Stadium). Other interesting case studies included the Das Park Hotel, Snoozebox and Adaptahaus.
We were not only impressed with the high quality of the presentations, but also the research that the students undertook to develop their case studies. This included interviews with project stakeholders (architects, clients, facilities managers), site visits and questionnaire surveys. The case studies provided a fascinating insight into the wide range of strategies and solutions that can be used to make buildings more adaptable, and the physical and social factors that influence adaptability in the built environment. We will be posting a select number of the case studies on the website over the next couple of weeks.