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Elements of A Layout

Areas, Affinities, Space & Constraints 

Every layout (arrangement, spaceplan) has four fundamental elements:

  • Space Planning Units (SPUs, Activity Areas)

  • Affinities (Relationships)

  • Space

  • Constraints

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 These fundamental elements apply to any size facility and at any level. Just as a few chemical elements give rise to an infinite number of compounds, the four layout elements and their variations can produce an almost infinite number of factory layouts.

The figure shows how these elements combine to produce a layout or spaceplan.

  1. SPUs combine with Affinities to form an Affinity Diagram. The Affinity Diagram is an idealized spatial arrangement that eventually becomes a layout.
  2. Each SPU requires some finite space whether great or small. Space, added to the Affinity Diagram, distorts it into the Layout Primitive.
  3. Constraints are conditions, assumptions, policies or edicts that restrict the design is some way. For example, "The layout must fit into the existing building." Constraints further modify the spatial arrangement and a Macro- layout results.Next Page

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