Flexibility and Control in Housing Design


By: R. Safdar

Design Flexibility as a Strategic Approach

Flexibility is a term used for the accommodation of changes taking places with the passage of time. Similarly, the design flexibility is the opportunity for the houses to meet the family requirements. This design flexibility provides the suitable changes to houses with consideration of cost.

Design strategies based on the flexibility provide additional capacity to the houses which enhances the support for the human beings empowering with the quality living. In other words, it provides a control to the residents on the residential environment whose needs changes as time changes.

Distributed Control

The control over the housing environment by the residents due to the design strategies is well described as distributed control. This could either be a control on the housing extension, quality improvement and new designing or meeting with other peoples as well as interaction with the external environment. Such control provides a better possibility of socialism as well as privacy.

Adaptations and Adjustments

There are several cases, where the dwelling environment faces failure and require some adaptations and adjustments to meet the needs of residents. These can be classified as an alteration in family norms and traditions or some technicalities associated with internal and external portion of houses.

In some cases, these changes could only be within the house rather than changing the fabric of the house. The placement of flexibility of design and adaptations are necessary for houses as different portions of a house has different degradation and shear rates which indicates their different lifespan.

The absence of these two design parameters could lead to difficulty in renovation or advancement of the houses and the residential would face problems after a certain time.


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