Connecting adaptability strategies to building system lifecycles in hospital retrofits

Riikka Kyrö*, Antti Peltokorpi, Lauri Luoma-Halkola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The fast advancement of medical technology and processes poses challenges to hospital construction and management. The purpose of this paper is to provide a structured approach to advancing adaptability in hospital retrofits, proposing the preferable timing and scope of different adaptability strategies. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research approach was chosen, with 28 semi-structured interviews designers, project managers, clients and healthcare professionals as the primary research data. Findings: This paper presents a model for planning for the future in hospital retrofits. The model includes 11 different adaptability strategies, categorized based on the level of adaptability. Furthermore, each strategy is linked to an open building system level, indicating the appropriate timing. Based on the findings, generality strategies in the tertiary building system level are the most effective forms of adaptability, as they are easy to implement and answer to non-specific changes in hospital operations. Research limitations/implications: The findings contribute to existing knowledge on adaptability in buildings, and provide practical guidance particularly for designers. A new type of service offering, an adaptability roadmap detailing the scope and timing of adaptability, is suggested. Originality/value: The paper contributes to the existing research by detailing different approaches and knowledge related to adaptability and its strategies in hospital retrofits. More specifically, the three-fold categorization of adaptability is linked to both timing and intrusiveness in a novel way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-647
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Construction planning
  • Management
  • Value management


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