In overcrowded city centers, mixed-use developments are introduced as a practical and sustainable way to optimize space use and create dynamic urban communities.
Unlike traditional single-use office blocks, which draw in people during the day and then close at night, these mixed-use developments bring a vibrant 24-hour lifestyle with all the positive effects on social behavior.
Depending on its size, a mixed-use building can incorporate offices, apartments, retail malls, restaurants, cinemas, health clubs, galleries and gardens. Designed to complement the urban fabric and reflect the aspirations of the local community, they allow people to live, work and enjoy leisure activities at a single convenient location. The buildings require complex infrastructure, including transport links, car parking and delivery access.
Mixed-use presents many technical challenges for our engineers: for example, the position of the load bearing structures has to change from level to level, going from the rigid grid of the underground car park to column-free retail space, then to residential room layout. Fire engineering is another key element in creating vibrant, attractive open spaces.