Post 373 – by Gautam Shah



A building, as a complex system, is designed to function in an environment and inhabited by users. The user and environment affect the building. In turn both, get affected by the state of the building. Buildings have few integrated systems that form shell or structure, and these, even if affected are irreplaceable. Many other systems are independent of the structure. These are selectively connected, or flourish by just being inside the shell. In case severe affectations such nonstructural entities, can be replaced accompanied by technological up-gradation.

Shop Houses Singapore

The change of nonstructural entities occurs under these circumstances:

  • Replacement by an efficient system.
  • Elimination of several sub systems by adoption of a comprehensive system.
  • Integration of several systems by spatial rearrangement or rescheduling.
  • Regrouping the systems by their user and environmental relevance or affinities so that systems operate with greater productivity.
  • Replacement of systems consisting of physical sub-components with components that substitute the moving parts, such as controls, sensing mechanisms, decision elements, connecting elements, distancing elements, converters etc.

Calamitous change -Earthquake –New Zealand

Changes in buildings are:

Calamitous Changes occur due to unpredictable natural causes. These changes due to their severity can affect the shell or structure of the buildings either by way of bearing capacities or by destroying its functionality as a structure.

Sea shore erosion

Circumstantial changes are due to for two reasons ageing and nominal wear and tear.


Intentional changes are caused by desire for improving the functional, technological, styling values. These changes are superfluous and may be avoided.

Water front conservation


Environmental changes are surroundings related including regional, neighbourhood, street level, etc. These changes happen at a very consistent pace and in a predictable manner. The changes are imperceptible, often ignored till the cumulative effect is beyond remedial correction. Environmental changes also set in due to long term micro and macro climates of the place.

Abandoned building

User or occupation related changes are carried out by self or with the help of professionals. The need for change intensifies when neighbours or friends upgrade similar entities, over a period and economic status changes.