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Cities Built For Change: Adaptable Built Form


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This presentation was given to the Vancouver City Planning Commission in March 2008, and discusses how buildings must adapt over time for different uses, and how this is a cornerstone of sustainability.

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Cities Built For Change: Adaptable Built Form

  1. 1. City Built for Change: How Does Vancouver Adapt? Vancouver City Planning Commission 26 March 2008
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Goals and Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Unsustainable Building Cycle Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptable Space: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods and Techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barriers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building Adaptable Space in Vancouver </li></ul>
  3. 3. Goals <ul><li>To address both “why” and “how to” nurture the City of Vancouver with buildings and public realm that are built for change, that is, to design and build with adaptability . </li></ul><ul><li>To define the current adaptability obstacles and resistance to change , and how “city built for change” principles will address these issues. </li></ul><ul><li>To engage all stakeholders in the discovery process of built for change solutions . </li></ul><ul><li>To define the desired end products to aid in the development of a city built for change. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Adaptability Questions <ul><li>How do we build a city with resilience rather than with obsolescence? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is city adaptability important? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Vancouver solution to build for change? And why is it so important for this city? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we encourage innovation and go beyond what is already being done in Vancouver? </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Current Building Cycle <ul><li>Construction industry: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>composes significant portion of GDP (14% in US) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT, is also responsible for (in US): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30% of landfill waste </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>40% of primary energy use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>40% of raw material usage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Most of the buildings that will be operating in 2030 have already been built </li></ul><ul><li>However, change is inevitable, and these buildings have not been built to adapt to this change </li></ul>
  6. 6. Adaptable Space <ul><li>Definitions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the ability to accommodate changes with only minor modifications, even if the needs are substantially different than anticipated” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the capacity of buildings to accommodate substantial change” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ buildings that are functionally agile and intended to respond readily to different patterns of use and specific user’s requirements throughout their lifetime” </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Methods and Techniques <ul><li>Open Building </li></ul><ul><li>Systems Building </li></ul><ul><li>Two-step Housing Supply System </li></ul><ul><li>Design Parameters </li></ul>
  8. 8. Barriers to Adaptability <ul><li>Perceived Higher Total Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts of Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Structural and Use Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Current Mindset and Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Commissioning and Approval Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Readily Available and Reliable Information </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Concerted Global Effort </li></ul>
  9. 9. Examples <ul><li>Many older buildings have stood the test of time, and are therefore inherently adaptable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jane Jacobs stressed the importance of old buildings for a variety of reasons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New buildings now being designed to be adaptable from the start </li></ul>
  10. 10. Vancouver: Waterfall Building Spaces designed for flexibility and future additions No fixed interior walls: walls can be readily moved or removed Any combination of residential and commercial occupancies permitted
  11. 11. Vancouver: BC Cancer Agency Research Centre LEED Canada Gold rating Interstitial service floors (secondary floor raised above structural floor) allow work spaces to be reconfigured as technology and services change “ Exceptional” 43% water savings and “extraordinary” 24% recycled construction and finishing materials used 77% of materials manufactured locally; 26% of raw materials extracted locally 98.5% of construction waste diverted from landfill
  12. 12. Seattle: South Lake Union Discovery Center Temporary use in a building designed for future transportation, reassembly and reuse in a new location Integrated joints separate building into four modules Gangway ramps can adapt to topography of new locations
  13. 13. San Francisco: Public Utilities Commission Building Solar panels on façade and roof Wind turbines on roof Water recycling system in basement Thermal chimneys pull hot air out of building Demountable building partitions allow for changing building uses over time
  14. 14. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Building 20 Solid wood structure built to support heavy loads Horizontal, and sometimes vertical, interior flexibility Non-descript architecture let users, rather than administration, dictate its use Built as temporary structure, but survived for 65 years
  15. 15. Osaka, Japan: NEXT21 Green roof and green terraces on each floor; Solar panels on roof First residential complex to use energy cogeneration system equipped with fuel cells Carbon dioxide reduction from this building alone equivalent to planting 5000 trees every year Easy, low impact renovations made possible through Systems Building approach
  16. 16. London: 30 St Mary Axe Core does not need to resist wind forces, meaning it can be designed as an open-planned steel structure that provides adaptable internal space Flexible and adaptable office space due to regular internal planning grid Natural lighting and ventilation system help tower consume 50% less energy than typical air-conditioned tower
  17. 17. London: Docklands Container City Uses existing, readily-available shipping containers as shells for new projects Interior fitted according to [changing] needs of users Very easily transferable when habitable space is self contained in one container More affordable housing because materials very inexpensive
  18. 18. Montréal: McGill Grow Home Smaller size, more affordable than traditional homes Energy savings from smaller footprint and choice of materials; surface materials selected for easy removal and upgrade Unpartitioned space allows users to arrange living space based on their needs
  19. 19. Allerton Bywater, England: Millennium Community Residential buildings have higher ceilings and flexible floor plates to allow for commercial use once demand warrants Homes designed to reduce energy and water consumption by 20% and also domestic and construction waste by 50% Live-work space incorporated into many dwelling units ; residents furnish units according to their needs
  20. 20. Barcelona: Eixample District Extension of old urban fabric; designed in mid-19th century Planned with mixed income zoning, regulated proximity of every unit to green space Residential population of 350,000 and work population of 300,000 Simple and successive block pattern inherently adaptable; much like “Design Parameters” on district scale “ wide variety of urban uses have been installed with admirable architectural flexibility”
  21. 21. Existing Organizations, Policies and Documents <ul><li>C40 Cities – Climate Leadership Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Building’ section of ‘Best practices’ could incorporate adaptable built forms to showcase their contribution to the overall sustainability effort </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SEATTLE – CITY Green Building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides green building education, early design guidance, technical assistance and incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LONDON – Tall Buildings and Sustainability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Flexible types of structure are a requirement from building developers in an increasingly fluid property market and new buildings need to be designed to be adaptable to changes throughout their lifetime.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TORONTO - Better Buildings Partnership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal to renew the city’s building stock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lists Energy Management firms that help retrofit buildings to become more energy efficient </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MORELAND, AUSTRALIA - STEPS and Sustainability Design Scorecard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable Built Form Objectives “ensure adaptable design for future reuse, renovation or disassembly and recycling” </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Implementing Adaptability in Vancouver <ul><li>Community Climate Change Action Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One Day </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Southeast False Creek: LEED </li></ul><ul><li>Metro Vancouver: Build Smart </li></ul><ul><li>EcoDensity </li></ul><ul><li>Vancouver Building By-law </li></ul><ul><li>Green Building Strategy </li></ul>
  23. 23. Green Building Strategy <ul><li>Currently in development </li></ul><ul><li>Will apply to buildings 4 storeys and above; separate strategy for other buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Fifteen specific ‘green’ components, but adaptability is absent </li></ul>
  24. 24. Potential Results of Adaptability Dialogue <ul><li>Change public attitude/perception about density </li></ul><ul><li>Increase awareness and dialogue of the drivers/factors facing the city </li></ul><ul><li>Foster creativity and innovative designs </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage neighbourhood level solutions influenced by the public </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive approach to the city’s development rather than reactive </li></ul>