A design strategy for the transformation of vacant office buildings into schools

Scriptie/Masterproef: Master's Thesis


The oversupply of office space and the shortage of schools in the Brussels Capital-District are indicators of the fact that our society is changing so rapidly, that constant transformation of our infrastructure is required in order to respond to these changes. However, due to the static character of our current building stock, transformation and adaptation of buildings often results in the demolition of building parts or even entire buildings. To avoid this, it should be possible to substantially reuse the inherent energy and materials of a building and in this way extend the sustainability of the building's total life cycle. Extending the life cycle of buildings, their components and materials implies the ability to transform them by means of reconfiguration and disassembly.

This research proposes a strategy for the transformation of vacant office buildings into schools, as an approach to solving the high office vacancy rate and the lack of schools in Brussels, and with the aim of increasing a building's transformation capacity. This will be done by applying four-dimensional design strategies in a transformation strategy that aims at increasing the building's transformation capacity. It was also found important that a mix of functions be created for a successful transformation.
The strategy consists of two parts. The first part is a strategy for choosing a suitable vacant office building, while the second part defines guidelines for every building layer in order to make the transformation technically feasible while taking into account measures to increase the transformation capacity of the building.

The strategy is applied to a real situation in a design proposal for building G on the RAC-site in Brussels. In this way, the strategy can be tested on a design case and optimized using the feedback obtained by the application.
Datum prijs27 jun 2011
Originele taalEnglish
BegeleiderNiels De Temmerman (Promotor), Niels De Temmerman (Jury), Hendrik Hendrickx (Jury), Hera Van Sande (Jury), Jonas Lindekens (Jury), Geert Pauwels (Jury), Caroline Henrotay (Jury) & Pieter Herthogs (Jury)

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