"There isn't such a thing as a building, a building properly conceived is several layers of longevity of built components".
(Brand, S., 1997. Shearing Layers, in How buildings learn : what happens after they’re built, London: Phoenix Illustrated. pp12-23)
Frank Duffy president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (1993 - 1995) argues that any building is made up of different life expectancy layers, the structure lasting the lifetime, services that will be replaced approx. every 15 years, building program will change approx. every 7 years, and finally the occupants and fitout could be altered yearly.
His argument specifically aims to assist reshaping office work environments but can be applied to any built forms. The goal is to "invent building forms which are very adaptive", enabling the different building components to last much longer. Adaptability also allows the occupants to closer relate to the building and vice versa, altering it and making it theirs.
An example of housing adaptability is seen in the video of Michael Jantzen's MH House.