The adaptable apartment, design strategies for increased dimensions of social sustainability in dwelling situations
The research focuses on adaptable design solutions for apartment floor plans with the goal to develop design strategies for apartments. One starting point is the question of sustainability of apartments considering the spatial use and related social dimensions.
Currently in Sweden there are large demographic transformations, there is an ageing population, single households are increasing and there is also an increasing migration implying new household types and new dwelling preferences, at the same time future transformations are difficult to predict. This means that to build a sustainable housing stock the apartments we build need to have the capacity to house many different dwelling needs, for today as well as for a coming future. The current design of apartments though has a limited focus on apartments’ capacity for a diversity of dwelling needs. In the long run this implies that we build a not sustainable housing stock. The current situation with comprehensive housing shortage and the ambition to build many new dwellings over the next ten years accentuates the question of the apartments’ quality. Not recognizing the requirements for increased capacity to house diverse dwelling needs would be to build a housing stock poorly equipped for future challenges.
The goal for the research is therefore to develop a number of design models providing strategies for the design of adaptable apartments. These are to be used by stakeholders in the housing planning field, for example planners and architects. The objective is to contribute to increased dimensions of social sustainability in dwelling situations and to a sustainable housing stock. The research is qualitative and comprises studies with research by design in master studio environment, the MPARC Housing Inventions studio at Chalmers University of Technology, and benchmarking research with expert groups. The research also comprises theoretical studies and sketch work developing design models, where one starting point is previous own research, Dwelling in time, studies of life course spatial adaptability (Braide, 2019) and Residential usability and social sustainability, towards a paradigm shift within housing design? (Braide Eriksson, 2016). The project is financed through a research call in 2018 by the Swedish National Board of Housing and Planning (Boverket), Funding for innovative and sustainable housing (Stöd för innovativt och hållbart bostadsbyggande, SFS 2018:199), and runs during the two years 2019 and 2020.
Ola Nylander (contact)
Full Professor at Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design
Lecturer at Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2020