AbstractOwners, occupants, and society are constantly changing the demands and expectations placed on buildings. Design for adaptability (DfA) provides one approach for delivering buildings that serve current needs and that can be readily adapted to meet future demands. The benefits and strategies of DfA have been widely reported; however, there is a dearth of information on the costs of implementing DfA. This paper presents a case study evaluating the economic costs of applying select DfA strategies to a wood-framed multifamily residential building in Atlanta. Comparisons are made between the construction costs of a baseline non-DfA building and a series of adaptable buildings. DfA strategies in the adaptable buildings include increased floor live load, increased floor-to-floor height, and the use of post-and-beam framing instead of interior structural walls. When all three of these strategies were implemented in the same design, the estimated building construction cost increased by 14%. The cost increase ranged from 1% to 7% when only one of the DfA strategies was implemented in a design. These comparisons are intended to facilitate cost–benefit analyses by designers, owners, and contractors interested in intentionally designed adaptable buildings.

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