A tool to measure opportunities and risks of converting empty offices into dwellings

RP Geraedts, DJM van der Voordt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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In the Netherlands, both the office market and housing market show a mismatch between supply and demand, quantitatively and qualitatively. In 2007 almost 14% of all offices are vacant, i.e. 5.9 million square meters. Experts judge at least 1 million m2 as having no chance at all to be let again as an office. At the same time we see a shortage of about 1 million dwellings. This paper discusses opportunities and risks of converting empty offices into houses. A checklist will be presented that can be used to support the decision whether or not starting a transformation process and a number of go/no go decisions later on. This checklist is partly based on a literature survey on user requirements and preferences with respect to office accommodation and housing, and partly on interviews with parties involved in transformation processes in the Netherlands. The interviewees were asked which features of locations and buildings they considered to be most relevant. An earlier draft of the method has been tested in practice by market players and students of architecture. The five steps method - from quick and dirty to a more thorough, detailed study - include an analysis of the local market and critical characteristics of the location and the building(s), an economic feasibility study and a check on a number of risk factors from a functional, architectonical, juridical and technical point of view. Using veto criteria and gradual criteria, the method shows which features of the location and the building favour successful transformation, and which hinder it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Urban Areas
EditorsP Boelhouwer, D Groetelaers, E Vogels
Place of PublicationDelft
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventENHR International Conference Rotterdam - Delft
Duration: 25 Jun 200728 Jun 2007


ConferenceENHR International Conference Rotterdam

Bibliographical note

Accepted manuscript


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