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What are adaptable apartments?

Published: 19/10/2021

Country: United States

The living spaces in some of the major metropolis like New York, London, Shanghai, Mumbai etc. are all characterized by small living spaces, cramped interiors and high costs. Considering the lack of space new building design trends are observed like micro-apartments, super slender skyscrapers etc. These new design trends aim to maximize functionality and make the best out of available space. One such trend which is slowly gaining momentum is that of flexible and adaptable apartments.

Adaptable apartments use multi-purpose furnishing, sliding partitions, smart storage solutions, reconfigurable rooms etc. Adaptable apartments are created with the idea that a singular space could serve multiple purposes for instance a bedroom and a study room. With lack of available spaces becoming a norm adaptable apartments are surely going to become common.

The need for adaptable apartments:

Along with limitation of space another reason why adaptable apartments are gradually becoming popular is due to the dynamic nature of human lifestyle today. With adaptable furniture people can make minor adjustments based on their activities and habits. For instance during the weekday room layouts can be guided by efficiency while during the weekends they can be altered for comfort or for gathering. Moreover, they can also be changed based on the weather conditions. For instance, as the sun’s angle moves across the seasons the location and style of furniture can be altered to ensure maximum thermal comfort.

To create an adaptable layout requires creativity, thought and innovation. In the current article we will discuss what goes into designing a truly adaptable and flexible apartment.

Flexible furnishing options are the building block of adaptable apartments: 

At the core of adaptable apartments lie flexible furniture options. These unique pieces integrate technology, architecture and furniture to deliver pieces that can change as needs evolve. They should be quickly assembled and disassembled for fast and streamlined reconfiguration. For instance, an architect in Russia created a cube on wheels, a modular furniture piece that is comprised of three parts that can be arranged to make a sofa, or can be placed in a cube to form a bed or an enclosed room.

The design should be both aesthetic and functional:  

Generally, the rooms are designed in a manner that they are limited to their monolithic function. They can’t be changed as per the shifting requirements of the user. Adaptable designs on the other hand are more flexible, user-oriented and improve the adaptability and efficiency of built spaces. Load bearing walls are replaced with moving walls that can divide or unite rooms. The colours, lighting etc. of the whole place must be strategically chosen that individually it doesn’t seem incomplete and when combined it looks uniform. Heating and cooling loads must also be carefully calculated and the units must be ideally placed. A lot of adaptable housing even leverages advanced technological solutions like raised floors, storage spaces that merge into that walls, cabinets that move etc. It is also important that walls, lighting, beds, etc. when moved should not damage carpet, ceiling or perimeter walls. The whole design of the adaptable rooms must be done keeping both functionality as well as aesthetics in mind.

Construction of adaptable apartments:

A lot goes into the construction of an effective and appealing adaptable apartment. As it integrates creativity, design and innovation in limited costs it is important to ensure precision right from the conception. Utilizing preconstruction solutions could be vital. Building Information Modeling, specifically Architectural BIM Services provides the architects and the designers all the tools they would need to properly plan and construct such apartments.  BIM provides them with various different design tools and methods that can be used to create a detailed 3D model of the design. When there are various moving elements in the design it is important to detect any clashes that could occur. With BIM’s clash detection capabilities it is possible to detect any interdisciplinary clash in the construction stage. MEP BIM Services can be used to calculate the heating and cooling loads required for a given place. Since, Revit also allows to calculate sun exposure throughout the year, stimulate weather conditions etc. so the architects can optimize design as per the external conditions. They can also conduct energy and lighting analysis.

Revit Family Creation Services can be used to create unique furniture elements that are a crucial part of the adaptable apartments. These 3D objects have all the correct proportions that correspond to the dimensions of the real furniture. Revit Families provide all the details like dimensions, material specification etc. which would be required by the manufacturers. They can be customized and easily modified according the requirements of the design.

Finally, BIM model that is used for construction can also add value in ensuring client communication. BIM can be used along with virtual reality and augmented reality in order to create simulations that accurately depict the design of the adaptable apartments. With simulations it would be possible to communicate to the client the exact movements, colour scheme, designs etc. This would ensure that the client and the designer are on the same page throughout.

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