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Boxwood

Hazel Hooker

BACKGROUND

Adaptable housing is defined as a place that can be easily adapted to suit peoples changing needs whereas a ‘liveable’ house is suitable for all occupants throughout their life.

Adaptable and liveable specifications if included in modern apartment design, potentially lessens the need for people to move or upgrade due to a growing or reducing family unit or other need. This in turn reduces future costs and in theory contributes to more affordable living.

PROPOSAL: A Prefabricated Apartment

Using a Residential Building principle, Boxwood Commons incorporates an exterior construction or skeleton framework to allow for infill elements. These elements or units are designed as adaptable apartments that provide for individual customisation, essentially a prefabricated apartment pod that can simply slide into place.

The prefabricated apartment pod has modular elements such as walls and so on in order to adapt liveable dimensions used throughout its life to minimize changes major reconstruction or change.

As removable and reusable apartment pods costs can be substantially reduced, construction and quality control can occur off-site within a controlled factory environment. At end of life the pods can be resold to other occupants or relocated to a new site or removed for updating and modernisation.

OUTCOME: An Accessible Complex

In the modelling of suitable prefabricated apartment pod configurations designed for the Boxwood Commons concept, a number of key issues were considered:

  • To maximise the amount of natural light each apartment pod would receive

  • To maximise natural ventilation and minimise any mechanical ventilation

  • Accessibility to upper level apartment pods by stairs and lift

  • The design and functionality of how the structural and skeletal framing would work

  • The ability for apartments to be extended using adjoining pods

  • Suitable locations for the building to provide for installation and flexibility of need

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