Infill Systems

Infill Systems are well-organized product bundles or “kits” brought into a demised space to make it habitable for the chosen function. Infill systems by definition are not random collections of parts. Like any system, an Infill System enables a variety of individual solutions. An Infill System will, for example, yield a variety of floor plans in a given space, and, within that floor plan, will allow specific equipment and cabinet layouts to be selected from a menu. In this sense, infill systems are “open systems” in which one product (from one company) can be substituted for another (from still another company) performing the same function.

Infill Systems are usually not fully assembled off-site and brought whole into the building, as “unit bathrooms” are now made and installed. Infill Systems – to be useful in both new construction and in the gut-renovation of older buildings – must be composed of parts or assemblies small enough to be brought in through a balcony door or through the main door from the public space (elevator lobby or front yard or sidewalk).

Infill Systems are a key part of the OPEN BUILDING concept. Those investing in open building understand that to be truly useful over a long period, buildings must be designed to accommodate a variety of uses, of various sizes and layouts. This does not mean neutral buildings. Rather, good and enduring open buildings have strong architectural character, a clear spatial order and must be appreciated by many over a long period of time. They can’t be the latest trend, because they will soon get “old.”

Open Building is not new. In fact, most commercial and office buildings worldwide are “open buildings.” Many centuries old palaces and other old buildings are “open” in the sense that they are now occupied by quite other uses than they originally hosted.

But today, we are faced with more rapid change, very complex legal and financial regulations, by the tendency to build very large buildings often holding thousands of people, and by many new technical systems that support inhabitation. So making a good base building that can accommodate a variety of uses is now more complicated.

Infill Systems are thus needed to make such open buildings live for a long time. This means a new industry will eventually evolve to serve the changing user level. This new industry will eventually be large and will rival the automobile industry in magnitude. Companies operating in this mode will depend on franchised dealer networks, good logistics, sophisticated information technology, multi-skilled installers, and high-quality products.

This will constitute a revolution in building – a new wave on the road to a sustainable built environment.

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