We deal with change every day. Our ability to adapt various situations and allows us to endure many unnecessary inconveniences, and indeed we have gotten used to adjusting to the point that we readily do so even when we can avoid it in the first place. This is often the case in the places where we live and work, in the event that the spaces in our surroundings and know for a fact that something needs to change. However, the critical question that often paralyzed us into inaction is just how much needs to be done.
When advising customers about renovations or new construction, the first thing I consider is their well-being. There are times when buildings no longer provide adequate shelter and even endanger their lives. Every situation may be unique, but in the end, it all boils down to safety and peace of mind. An extreme case us structural failure. Some structures, though long-lived, may have deteriorated after decades of use or neglect.
Though it may look obvious when a building starts falling apart, some cases need proper diagnosis by a qualified structural engineer. When the structure needs to be replaced, it is often tantamount to rebuilding since the structure supports everything. Structural repair is also an option, it must be willing to live with the uncertainty that older elements of the structure may not be as reliable and may require more maintenance to ensure longevity.
Another determinant is how the building serves its intended purpose. A building is only useful when it satisfies the needs of its occupants, however, these needs evolve over time and families and business grow, and people engage in different activities as they age. To accommodate these changes we need more space, have spaces configured differently or better accessibility.
Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; therefore they shape us.” When we rebuild, one must realize that buildings are not static, like us, they change and adapt to the demands of our lives, just as we change and adapt to our environment.
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