Design for change for a more sustainable resource usage in construction

Patrick de Laat

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The current usage of natural resources cannot be maintained forever – our resources are depleting. A substantial share of resource usage, and therefore the problem, is related to the construction sector. Meanwhile, there are signs that buildings are being demolished prematurely. This premature demolition of buildings is a waste of resources. This dissertation’s end goal is to contribute towards mitigating the problem of resource depletion. Changeability has been selected as the means through which to pursue this goal. This research aims to both understand design and to create support to help improve design, specifically regarding the topic of design for change in relation to sustainable resource usage.

In Chapter 2, i.e. “Resource depletion, where is an intervention most effective?”, the topic of resource depletion is dealt with. Chapter 2’s aim is to rank areas of the resource system, according to how much of an impact can be expected from interventions in the area, in relation to the problem of depleting resources. In Chapter 3, i.e. “The evolution of ordinary houses, does it justify demolition?”, the topic of longevity in relation to change is dealt with. Chapter 3’s aim is to determine how the ordinary house, in the Netherlands, has changed throughout the last 100 years. This information is then used to discuss: to what extent the house’s evolution justifies demolition.

In Chapter 4, i.e. “How to set up criteria for evaluating a building’s changeability?”, the topic of changeability is dealt with. In Chapter 4, a method is proposed in which: (1) scenarios are developed to identify potential problems; and (2) evaluation criteria are based on design solutions to those potential problems. In Chapter 5, i.e. “How adjustable is the Environmental Building?”, the application of the evaluation method, that has been presented in Chapter 4, is tested. To do so, the Environmental Building’s adjustability is evaluated by following the steps described in this method. Adjustability is the first of four changeability levels.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • van Houten, F.J.A.M. , Supervisor
  • Durmisevic, Elma , Co-Supervisor
Award date30 Sept 2020
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4851-9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2020


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