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A sustainable built environment for healthcare: generative mechanisms for future-proofing

Krystallis, I; Murtagh, N; Rickaby, B; (2019) A sustainable built environment for healthcare: generative mechanisms for future-proofing. In: Proceedings of SBE 19: Emerging Concepts for Sustainable Built Environment. Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Conference: Helsinki, Finland. Green open access

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Abstract

Construction projects are planned from a set of deterministic objectives and constraints that dictates what designers must accomplish. In the case of healthcare facilities, where the policy environment is characterised by change on several fronts, fixed requirements could constrain their evolvability and sustainability. Future-proofing is a response to uncertainty whereby a physical structure is designed to respond to future changes in requirements, change of use, strategic perspectives, business drivers, new policies and changing climate. The paper investigates the causal powers that explain how and why future-proofing decisions achieve a sustainable outcome. A critical realist lens is adopted to develop a configurational perspective of future-proofing design evolution. Critical Realism’s open systems ontology of social reality can account for the fact that outcomes are not predictable and can better explain the nature of causation in complex social interactions such as construction projects. A case study research design was conducted comprising in-depth interviews with healthcare construction professionals in a UK setting. The study contributes to the sustainability literature by offering four generative mechanisms of future-proofing decision making and how they contingently lead – or fail to lead - to future-proof outcomes. Two change mechanisms and two problem mechanisms are presented, together with their configuration under the right conditions and context to lead to design decisions for construction projects capable of adapting to a range of possible futures.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: A sustainable built environment for healthcare: generative mechanisms for future-proofing
Event: SBE 19: Emerging Concepts for Sustainable Built Environment
Location: Helsinki
Dates: 22 May 2019 - 24 May 2019
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/1755-1315/297/1/012039
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/297/1/012039
Language: English
Additional information: Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Keywords: future-proofing, mechanisms, conditions, decision-making, uncertainty
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077023
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