Design through Availability: Reform in the Architectural Design Process for Reuse

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The reuse of building parts has gained focus as a strategy enabling Circular Economy in the built environment. The critical challenge in consolidating reuse is the need to reorganize the design process and the scarcity of information supporting the required system level change. Research on reuse in the built environment is mainly based on theoretical models instead of realized projects. This article studies reuse process factors, comparing three realized large-scale office building projects in Europe with reused bearing structures, through 14 semi-structured interviews with project participants and complemented by project documentation. The main research questions are (1) How does situational information on reusable parts affect the design process? (2) What strategies are applied in the design processes of reuse projects? The research scope is limited to the main actors of a project team, because a design project is by and large facilitated by them. We focus on the reuse of the frame and outer shell structures in buildings due to their structural signi?cance and potential in reducing whole-life carbon emissions. The results suggest that the material search and design process phases run side by side rather than the material search being a separate step. The research clarified the previously missing knowledge on reuse-related design actions taken in each design process phase and consequently found the existence of repetitive iterative loops occurring throughout the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-64
Number of pages28
JournalNordic Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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