NOP 38 was first declared in Israel in 2005 as structural and economic mechanism for reinforcing existing buildings built over 40 years ago against earthquakes and other possible physical trauma to the building structure (unfortunately, in Israel since the Gulf war we must design with these things in mind). Working on projects relating to NOP 38 , it has come to light, that this mechanism can function as a social tool – creating or strengthening the buildings as independent communities, and allowing them to grow and expand in a moderate way.

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Economic principals – a mechanism for urban regeneration
everyone wants to live in a modern building with all the technical facilities and technology – but not everyone can afford this. NOP 38 creates an economic incentive for apartment owners to reinforce the building by allowing expanding each existing apartment by up to 25 m² , and allowing building additional 1-2.5 levels on the roof of the existing building. this gives owners incentives to cooperate and to initiate a process of urban regeneration in which they benefit from upgrading their property , financing this by a moderate densification of the urban environment – without a significant change to the urban fabric.

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Structural principles –
in the majority of buildings, the structural principals are a concrete envelope around the existing facade – which allows insulating the newly formed facade, and construction outside the existing apartments. in addition, elevator shafts are inserted into the core as an extra stabilizing element. the new levels above the existing building are based upon the new structural walls, hovering a few centimeters above the existing roof. thus creating a unique “Babushka” like structure which allows the exterior building/skeleton to include all the new technical installations for the existing and new apartments.

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Social and community factors –
tough in the majority of projects, the owners combine forces with a developer, usually projects involve contact with a large amount of clients – each having a unique perspective since almost no apartments remains the same as it was originally designed – more than 40 years ago. it is not an easy task nor for the client, nor for the architect – much more than while designing a new building. however there is something different about these projects when the clients are much more involved and have experience in living inside the building already with its faults and advantages.

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