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Adaptable housing



Highly adaptable and DfD structural system

Innovative solution

GXN / Arkitema / Vandkunsten

Partners Involved

Apartments, Housing & offices

Building type

Concrete-steel-timber hybrid

Structural material

Structural system


Newly constructed housing in Copenhagen is to a large degree very similar and uniform (66% of new constructed housing are three-bedroom apartments between 85-115 m2). This results in very little variation in housing provided by the market and a consequence of satisfying current market needs.
The building system by which these buildings are built and demolished in large numbers due to the nature of their inability to adapt to changing needs are also similar and formulaic. 
With fairly simple, and already existing solutions, the adaptability of these buildings can be significantly increased.

The demo aims to analyse the current most commonly used construction housing methods to identify issues related to building adaptability – and therefore propose methods for increasing building adaptability. The demo will show how minor to major alterations can help to increase adaptability. 

The expected impacts

Housing accounts for the majority of construction occurring in cities and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. If cities are to reduce impacts from construction, advocating, planning and embedding sustainable practices which will have lower impacts over a lifetime will be essential.

This demo focuses on a concrete structure building, using loadbearing, wall slab system, a generic example that is illustrative of the majority of housing constructed from the past 10 years to the present day. 
Housing needs change due to a number of factors including socio-economic, fashion, demographic factors. Housing that is not able to adjust to those changing needs are in higher risk of being demolished.

The demonstrated interventions will be calculated to show CO2 impacts from the demos compared to a baseline scenario. An energy saving is expected as an outcome and the inventions are expected to provide a potential for prolonging functional lifetime, achieving a high degree of spatial adaptability through the structural system proposed. Lastly, the demonstrated intervention is expected to be highly disassemble-ability .

Activities done

An analysis of the current market situation to uncover typology and the construction system has enabled the development of a set of scenarios for future changes in need, based on statistical data. Alternative construction systems have been developed, and are currently testing circularity impacts against a baseline.

CPH demo 1-1.gif
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