Universal Buildings: Considering a Flexible-Use Strategy from the Start

May 16, 2023 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time Metro Toronto Convention Center - North Building, 104 AB Concurrent Session
Open to All Attendees

According to CBRE’s Q2 2022 Office Figures Report, for the first time in Canadian commercial real estate history, suburban office vacancy is lower than downtown office vacancy. It may be time for Toronto to consider turning these vacant office towers into housing. This makes sense for both investors and the public good, since we now know that conversion would be much easier had this building stock been designed from the beginning with future change in mind. When buildings are designed with this in mind, investors can save time and money, and everyone will get the benefits of a built environment designed for a more sustainable future. This session will bring together perspectives from designers, researchers, major think tanks, and developers to weigh in on the importance of designing buildings ready for conversion not once but multiple times over the course of their useful lives. By adopting a universal building or infrastructure model, buildings can be transformed from offices into hotels and mixed-use structures, hotels into homes, and homes into something entirely new. The session will dive into the proposition that designing for change adds value, and how both design teams and investors can cooperate in making that a reality.