Armored Things Logo

Blog

Three Considerations For Creating Flexible Architecture

09.16.2021

Design flexibility in architecture allows buildings and spaces to evolve over time. As technology and the way we work shifts, the spaces we use need to keep up with changes or risk becoming obsolete. 

Facilities management, design, and architecture teams traditionally bucket a space’s flexibility into three categories: adaptability, transformability, and convertibility. But knowing when to adapt or entirely convert can be a guessing game without data-validated, full-venue transparency. 

Knowing when to adapt or entirely convert can be a guessing game without data-validated, full-venue transparency.

Adaptability and AI

Adaptability is defined as the ability to change and evolve as needed. In a more spatial context, adaptability is a building’s ability to service a multitude of its occupant’s needs without altering the architecture. Some spatial adaptations are intuitive, a designer or office manager reconfigures desks to fit more seats. Room to grow has always equaled more space requirements. However, by adding capabilities to track room, floor, or area occupancy and harnessing machine learning tools, you can identify underutilized spaces which can inform and validate your redesign. 

Transformability in Design

Transformability, in a similar vein to adaptability, has to do with interior and exterior changes without the need for construction. Unlike adaptability, however, these changes have the potential to be permanent. Key components of a transformable structure include movability and responsiveness. Moveable objects, like fabric wall partitions, can be repositioned to better accommodate health guidelines, and increase efficiency. Responsive structures are able to react to external stimuli like the weather. Data and machine learning can help identify underused spaces and transform them into something useful. For example, your data may show a cafeteria is underused, prompting a redesign into a conference room in only a few steps.

Convertibility and Construction

Unlike its predecessors, convertibility involves constructing and altering the physical appearance of a building. Moreover, the changes are almost always permanent. This might include erecting a new building from a vacant lot on campus or converting a rooftop into a dining space. As these changes are costly and require heavy construction, validating decisions with dependable data will help stakeholders sign off on large-scale changes. 

Full-venue Transparency with AI 

When designing for flexibility, cross-departmental teams are envisioning not just the near future but the capacity for change. Full-venue transparency with data validation lets you see the spaces you manage in a whole new way. Space analytics software – which provides real-time occupancy data with historical overlays – helps you predict future utilization and design. 

Layering our Armored Things software over existing infrastructure turns data into actionable intelligence. Our software enhances decision-making for the reallocation of existing spaces and the construction of new ones. Armored Things AI and people counting software will only aid in ensuring a given space is being used to its fullest potential.

To learn more about how Armored Things helps facilities teams deliver on priorities like this, schedule time with one of our experts today.