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DfD and DfA structural system

Innovative solution

Grimshaw, ReLondon, Stace

London Borough of Enfield, Assael Architecture, AECOM,

Partners Involved

Mixed use residential

Building type

precast concrete, steel frame with timber infill

Structural material

Structural system

Framed column and beam system


RightSizer has been conceived to extend a building’s life beyond 100 years, a longevity underpinned by the inherent system flexibility that can accommodate various use scenarios over the years. The “kit-of-parts” system comprises a long term ‘support’ layer, the superstructure, which has been designed for disassembly and reassembly. The support layer allows layout reconfiguration and optionality in terms of ongoing service riser locations. An ‘infill’ layer comprises non-load bearing partitions, panels and components, the ‘stuff’ making up the accommodation inside the ‘support’ system. The core project team have devised a ‘kit of parts’ catalogue modelled as digital BIM objects, containing a ‘material passport’ that’s records provenance, embodied carbon, material health and instructions for disassembly and reuse. 

Demonstrated innovation

This demonstrator is focused on setting out a roadmap for circular modern methods of construction (MMC), net zero buildings and a new construction ecosystem through the standardisation of component sizes, interoperable connection, and component digital passports. 4 scenarios have been explored as listed below:

  • Scenario 1 – BAU base case

  • Scenario 2 – RightSizer 2020 spec, procured today (2021)

  • Scenario 3 – RightSizer 2030 spec, procured in 2030

  • Scenario 4 – RightSizer 2030 spec, procured today (2021)

For this study, scenario 4 (RightSizer 2030 spec, procured today) is compared against scenario 1 (BAU base case) without the integration of DfD components or flexible spatial strategies over 3No. use cycles over a 150-year period.


For this project, the BAU base case is assumed to be built using typical industry methods, materials, products, and components, and of the same design and area. The construction of the BAU base case is assumed to be an in-situ concrete frame with standard rainscreen cladding system.


It is assumed that for both building types, the “infill” will need to be replenished every 10-15 years. For the base case we have allowed for a complete demolition and an identical new building will be constructed without the retention and re-use of any of the existing building components.

Activities done

  • Scenario scoping and development

  • LCA analysis

  • Capital cost analysis


Demonstrated impacts

It has been demonstrated that the RightSizer system (scenario 4) had a lower upfront whole-life embodied carbon than the BAU base case (scenario 1). When evaluated over multiple re-use cycles the systems the system outperformed the BAU base case further and demonstrated a significant prolongation of useful life against a standard design life of 50 years.

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