The concept of mixed used buildings goes back to ancient times. It isn’t at all a newly introduced concept. For instance, the old market square in Rome comprised shops, residential apartments, business offices, and a very famous library. However, it has been practiced previously in a slightly different manner.
The industrial age, on the other hand, introduced new zoning restrictions and a clearer separation of dwelling and working areas. The invention of the automobile accelerated this tendency, allowing people to commute great distances between home, office, and shopping, as well as a shift from city to suburban lifestyle.
Developers, on the other hand, are once again embracing mixed-use developments. People are moving back to cities, and huge projects is becoming more popular. Furthermore, during the 1990s, a loosening of mixed-use zoning restrictions has aided architects and city planners in developing innovative concepts that meet an end-user’s demands in a single site.
A mixed-use building is one that combines three or more categories, such as residential, hotel, retail, parking, transportation, cultural, and entertainment. All under one roof and in one structure. Whatever combination is used, it brings together a variety of applications within a single structure or a limited area. The following are the two most typical types of mixed-use design:
- Vertical Mixed Used Building: A typical mix for a single, multi-story structure places residences on the upper levels and retail or offices on the ground level. Parking spaces are allocated in the ground or basement levels.
- Horizontal Mixed Used Buildings: These individual buildings, which are spread across multiple buildings, such as a city block or around an open area or courtyard, serve one or two distinct purposes.
As any other developmental structure, mixed used buildings hold the following advantages:
- A variety in housing options and styles and density.
- A more efficient energy friendly and aligns with the global sustainable development goals.
- It is more likely to be more flexible in terms of changes, which in turn increases the overall life cycle of the building.