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Journal cover: Facilities


ISSN: 0263-2772

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Built Environment

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Adaptable office buildings: theory and practice

Document Information:
Title:Adaptable office buildings: theory and practice
Author(s):Kirsten Arge, (Department of Built Environment and Social Sciences, Norwegian Building Research Institute, Olso, Norway)
Citation:Kirsten Arge, (2005) "Adaptable office buildings: theory and practice", Facilities, Vol. 23 Iss: 3/4, pp.119 - 127
Keywords:Adaptability, Office buildings
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/02632770510578494 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The importance of adaptability in office buildings has increased during the past years, mostly due to factors like rapid change, both in private and public organisations, new and innovative work place design and growing environmental concerns about building redundancy.

Design/methodology/approach – The research design of the study presented here is a comparative case study, where recently built office buildings by 11. Norwegian real estate developers are assessed with regard to 16 different adaptability measures.

Findings – The study shows that office buildings built by owner-occupiers are more adaptable than office buildings built by the group who develop property for renting and management, and considerably more than the office buildings built by the group who develop property for sale to investors. A short-term perspective on property investment, i.e. that of the group who develop property for sale to investors, does not favour adaptability concerns. A long-term perspective as well as a use-value perspective on property investment, i.e. that of the owner-occupier stakeholder group, on the other hand, do favour adaptability in office buildings.

Research limitations/implications – Whether this research can help making buildings more adaptable, depends on whether the real estate customers, i.e. the users, they who pay for using the office building, understand the value of adaptability and are willing to pay the extra cost of adaptability. The building professions, including the real estate developers, claim that they know how to make office buildings adaptable.

Originality/value – The value of this paper may lie in demonstrating that this knowledge is not used in practice.

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