(ID:194) demountable building to an adaptable building…..

C2C ExpoLAB is a leading knowledge centre with specialty advisors enabling governments, architects, project developers and educators to accelerate innovation through the vision of Cradle to Cradle. Our services include inspiration sessions, presentations, workshops, project support and specialist consulting for the following key focus areas: Government, Built Environment, Education and Business Innovation

AddressInnovatoren 6-A, Sint Jansweg 15, 5928 RC, Venlo, Netherlands
ContactBas van de Westerlo, Specialty advisor built environment & Cradle to Cradle certified Consultant, bas@c2cexpolab.eu
Line of industryConsulting and Design services
Area of expertiseConstruction; Sustainability
Size1-10 employees

Role of company/organisation

C2C ExpoLAB works across disciplines as part of the design team. In our approach we always seeks to the connection with the mission, vision and ambitions of the municipality of Eindhoven. We continuously inspire and seduce partners in the project to go beyond the traditional approach of ‘problem solving’ and minimizing negative impacts. By providing input to documents and plans we integrate the principles of sustainable innovation as an integral part of the entire plan. C2C ExpoLAB has a wealth of experience in taking the principles of sustainable innovation into practice. We are, therefore, in a position to offer unparalleled support to organizations ensuring the principles of sustainable innovation are effectively maximized from start to finish.

Opportunities for collaboration

In this project we see a great opportunity to challenge the market to come up with innovative, sustainable solutions. Not only partners in the project will be inspired and seduced to start innovation according The Natural Step, but also (local) companies and organizations are encouraged to start innovating. By doing so, the municipality can really show that Eindhoven is really the most innovative and smartest city in the world!

Description of idea

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The term demountable buildings has been frequently claimed during the last decennia’s. During the ‘dismantling’ phase, a demountable building has the possibility to dismount the materials, so that scarce raw materials become nutrients for new material cycles again. However, a demountable building has less added values during the use phase! The use phase of a building is mostly around the 20-50 years or even longer; while building elements of the building have a shorter phase. During the use phase, several elements need to be replaced, adapted, extended, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if buildings were also adaptable during this phase? That’s why we need to go beyond a demountable building to an adaptable building! Eindhoven is home for one of the two faculties for building engineers in the Netherlands and thereby world smartest regions. One of our consultants, Eva Starmans, graduated at the faculty Building Engineering of the TU/e. The subject of her master thesis was adaptable buildings. This thesis provided insight in how to design adaptable building. The key is designing details; by designing the details in a not traditional way, we allow the building to be adapted during the use phase and to be dismounted during the demolishing phase. Several projects have showed that designing an adaptable connection is possible. For example the Polynorm houses of Philips in Eindhoven: some details had besides of the demountable possibilities, the possibility to be adapted during the use phase. By having a adaptable building, the owner has the possibility to adapt installations, facades, interior walls etc.. This is a leap forward than the current flexible buildings. It is unclear and not to predict in what way Eindhoven will be working in 10 or 20 years. Being only flexible is not enough, which support the changing government optimal. An adaptable building provides, besides the flexibility aspects, more possibilities for changes. Besides contributing to facilitate the changing government, this idea also contributes to Eindhoven as a sustainable city. Nowadays sustainable and healthy materials are very important, by designing the connections adaptable, the materials can contain their quality. Also the building is able to improve the quality during the use phase. It is not possible to have a building with fully sustainable and healthy materials at this moment. But when the building facilitates adaptability, it has the possibility to change the materials after the lifespan of a certain element. This also applies for energy solutions. If it is not possible to have a fully energy neutral building at this moment, an adaptable building has the possibility to expand this solutions. We use the difference between Lego and Meccano to explain the distinction between demountable and adaptable buildings. When a stone of your Lego building needs to be changed, it is not possible to replace this stone. Due to its connections with the connected stones. Otherwise Meccano has the possibility to only replace one element. This because the difference in the connections, Lego has sequential connections and Mecano has parallel connections.

Illustrating file20133110 Column Editie Bouw Zorg.pdf
Type of ideaservice
Category of ideadesign; work flow
Enabling conditionsImplementing this idea need a project team with innovative partners and architects, which think along using this idea when designing these building details. Probably it is necessary to do a research in the total costs of ownership. The results can be used to celebrate the successes of this project.

Stage of development

Underpinned innovation: it has not been used in practice yet but it is well underpinned.

Substantiation stage of development

Several projects have showed adaptable aspects in details on a small scale. Examples are: -Polynorm houses Eindhoven -Mexx (former Nissan) headquarters at Amsterdam -ABT building in Delft -Some details of Project XX at Delft You can also think outside the box and take also into account: temporary buildings, like event tents. Only the Mexx headquarters build by Nissan and a few details of the ABT building had the intention to be adaptable, other had only the intention to be demountable. The PhD dissertation of Elma Durmisevic of the UT gives also insight to the changes of adaptable buildings in relation to the current demountable buildings.

Provability contribution to sustainability

Proven contribution to sustainability; this has been shown in practice.

Step in the right direction

This idea contributes to three of the five ambitions of the city of Eindhoven regarding sustainability. It also allows the buildings to adjust itself in the (near) future. The key in designing adaptable buildings is innovative details, designed from another design question. Another way of designing is mostly a design question rather than financial. Having adaptable buildings allows the used sustainable and healthy materials to contain their quality, during and after their life time.

Flexible idea

When buildings are designed according the principles of a flexibility and adaptability, the less irreversible impacts the building will have on the environment. In fact, when materials will be used in continuous cycles without the loss of quality, the more important a adaptability becomes.

Good investment

Beside the master thesis of our colleague Eva Starmans, we would like to refer to the PhD Dissertation of Elma Durmisevic – transformable building structures – design for disassembly as a way to introduce sustainable engineering to building design & construction.

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