Favouring sustainability over demolition - redesigning office spaces in the wake of a pandemic

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Bachelor's thesis
Date
2020
Department
Major/Subject
Arkkitehtuuri
Mcode
Degree programme
Taiteiden ja suunnittelun kandidaattiohjelma
Language
en
Pages
31
Series
Abstract
The theme of this paper was motivated by a radical shift in our day-to-day lives, onset by the COVID-19 pandemic of year 2020. Following government-issued safety restrictions and recommendations, companies were advised to implement teleworking practices where possible. This left a large portion of offices empty or reduced to partial use. Following the notion that unused buildings and spaces are at a larger risk for demolition, I set out in search for sustainability principles, life cycle analysis, and flexible design solutions, in order to provide the incentive and means to avoid entering the end-of-life phase prematurely. This paper was conducted as a literature research. The topics of the literature spanned from sustainability to flexibility in architecture, as well as an inclusion of the current information on COVID-19. In this paper, I defined the scope of the office to include ‘modern’ buildings (built from around the 1950s onwards), and mostly excluded the social environment of the office, focusing mainly on spatial factors. To set a standard of sustainable development through which to evaluate my research, I singled out UN Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 12. Through the research I established that prolonging the life of buildings is in line with sustainable development and the interiors of buildings should be modified through the principles of flexibility to ensure optimal current and future use. By limiting the interior changes to be as ‘light’ as possible as well as conforming to pandemic-time safety recommendations, I proposed suitable changes to make offices safe for use, sustainably.
Description
Supervisor
Tervo, Anne
Thesis advisor
Teräväinen, Helena
Keywords
sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable development goals, life cycle assessment, demolition, flexibility, adaptability, COVID-19
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