This paper presents an assessment method that uses weighted graphs to quantify a building’s capacity to support changes. The method is called Spatial Assessment of Generality and Adaptability (SAGA), and evaluates the generality (passive support for change) and adaptability (active support for change) of a building’s spatial configuration. We put forward that the generality and adaptability of a floor plan can be expressed in terms of graph permeability, and introduce a set of five quantitative indicators. To illustrate the method, we evaluate six representative plan layouts, and discuss how their generality and adaptability scores relate to their spatial configuration. We are developing the SAGA method for two areas of application. First, SAGA’s global graph indicators can be used to analyse and compare large sets of plan graphs, for example to map or plan adaptable capacity throughout a building or city. Second, the SAGA method can serve as a tool to inform design, allowing architects to improve the generality and adaptability of their plan layouts. While we conclude that the method has significant strengths and promising applications, the paper ends by discussing ways to make the assessment more robust and extend it beyond measuring spatial configuration.
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