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Flexible condos can be reconfigured and resized

Home & Garden

It’s a fact of life that people’s needs change over time, and that’s as true in housing as any other industry. Aiming to create condominiums that are flexible enough to accommodate some of that change, Canadian architectural firm Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. has created a new, modular design for living spaces that allows them to adapt when needed. Created with developer Parallax Investment Corp., FlexNatür is a system for condos by which residents can buy living space in increments and then combine or divide up those increments to suit their current needs. So, rather than committing to a condo with fixed square footage and a preset floor plan, residents instead can buy a certain number of units of space, with room to reconfigure as their needs shift. Thanks to their raised floors, for example, units can be reconfigured without penetrating into the concrete substructure. Self-contained utilities, meanwhile, make it relatively simple to redirect plumbing. And instead of concrete walls, loads are carried on solid concrete columns, enabling walls to be shifted fairly painlessly. The cost to transform such a condo is “less than a third of the cost of major renovations to a home,” according to a report on TreeHugger. The FlexNatür concept is currently implemented in Toronto’s Downtown condominiums, among other projects. All those in architecture and design: be inspired! (Related: New building block design serves multiple purposesEco houses snap together using Lego-style blocks.) Spotted by: R Steinberg



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