TRANSFORM is the research team within the Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s department of Architectural Engineering that studies the design and construction of transformable buildings. Because transformable buildings are assembled using dry and reversible connections, their disassembly is facilitated. This allows them to be adapted easily and react to changing needs and circumstances. Moreover, this allows to reuse effectively their most durable components and to recycle efficiently others.
By introducing transformational capacity at different design levels, TRANSFORM wants to maximise the sustainability of settlements, structures and components through time while minimising the waste of resources. The team believes that transformability can act as a catalyst for sustainable development because of the social, economic and ecological qualities it generates and the circular resource management it incorporates.
As a research team, TRANSFORM designs and assesses transformable buildings varying in scale, context, time-span and purpose. The objectives of the team include the facilitation of strategic and fundamental research and the gathering of expertise on the assessment and design of buildings that anticipate change and time through architectural engineering.
The researchers of het team are therefore engaged in diverse aspects such as the physical and structural performance of transformable structures, their safety, their environmental and financial benefits and drawbacks as well as in their implementations on an urban scale. Therefore, they develop closed-loop service life models, scenario based assessment methods, and prototyping programmes. These tools allow the team to guide designers, companies and governments towards futureproofed choices.
Since October 2016 the TRANSFORM team of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is actively involved in the execution of the BBSM project. This participation relates to WP5 ‘La conception architecturale comme outil de prévention’. With their expertise on Transformable Building and Life Cycle Analysis, dr. ir. arch. Waldo Galle (project researcher), dr. ir. arch. Anne Paduart (project manager) and prof. dr. ir. arch. Niels De Temmerman (team manager) are reviewing and updating existing design concepts, guidelines, legislation and exemplary cases.
Because its design plays a crucial role in the end-of-life of a building and its disassembly, the TRANSFORM team studies which design choices lever materials’ current and future reuse. Based on their findings, they will publish a series of booklets for investors, contractors, architectural practitioners and students on how to implement Transformable Building in the everyday construction practice, while demonstrating the importance of and potential of reusing building materials.