Flexibuild - a systematic flexibility management procedure for building projects

Arto Saari, Matti Kruus, Aimo Hämälainen, Juhani Kiiras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Nowadays it is typical that the precise use of a building becomes clear during construction. Current building processes do not support this in Finland. The objective of this study is to present a novel systematic management of the design process for flexible construction projects, from the project programming stage through to overall design, detailed designs, procurement, and handover, in a situation where the final use of the building becomes clear only during construction. Design/methodology/approach - The development work included a constructive search for solutions to the problems presented above. The process developed in this study is illustrated with two case projects analysed retrospectively. Findings - According the open building principle, buildings should be divided into two parts: a permanent base building; and modifiable interior spaces. This division should apply throughout the building's entire life cycle, starting from the beginning of the construction project. The start of the project is the time when goals should be set for the flexibility of the building. The first step in this goal-setting procedure is to define the flexible modifiable spaces, and the second step is to dimension the permanent base building. A design procedure for this open building procedure has also been developed in the study. The study concludes that traditional boundaries and the content of design packages must be changed. These boundaries should be compatible with the appropriate bid packages and should support implementation of the construction work. The bid packages should follow the division to base building and spaces too. Originality/value - The procedure proposed forms guidelines for flexible programming, basic principles for design and procurement processes. In addition, it is the starting point to transforming the Finnish standard scope of work for design corresponding to the open building approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-114
Number of pages11
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Buildings
  • Construction operations
  • Construction systems
  • Finland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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