Adaptive reuse is one of the best ways to resurrect old structures while preserving their robust history.
It's exactly what it sounds like—reusing and repurposing otherwise historic, disused buildings and making them come alive again.
We can take a look at it as a subset of historic conservation since it involves preserving historic buildings and making them functional again.
However, as opposed to restoring the buildings for their natural purpose, adaptive reuse allows for flexibility when it comes to the restored structure's future use.
Because of its benefits in preserving culturally-rich, historic sites (not to mention its contribution to environmental sustainability in the long run), adaptive reuse continues to be a viable option for many seeking to repurpose their return on investment.
While new building construction is still the first option for most companies, adaptive reuse of vintage structures is sweeping across the nation, one building at a time.
There is an increasing demand for converting class B and C buildings into mixed-use and residential spaces, given the lure of high-rise, metro living. Adaptive reuse of vintage, non-residential buildings in ideal spots favor companies who are looking for ways to capitalize on their otherwise 'dead' properties.
Perhaps one of the most recent and ambitious adaptive reuse projects yet is the 15-story Cleveland Athletic Club Building's restoration. The $60-million project, whose expected completion is in a couple of months, transformed the iconic sports club to a multi-use building, housing upscale apartments/penthouses, office spaces and more.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, abandoned office spaces are also conveniently repurposed into affordable housing. In Westport, converting a 1980s-erected vintage building into a 94-unit complex is underway. Another Westport project, the one that modernized the former Save the Children building as office space, has welcomed its tenants and now is fully leased.
In Trumbull, a spacious 250,000 square foot former office building, which accounted for half of the uninhabited space in the area since 2015, is now being developed into a senior community and active adult housing.
And the list goes on. Firms and property owners across the country are actively venturing into adaptive reuse projects for its apparent long-term profitability.
But why adaptive reuse? Here are some of the major upsides to converting age-old structures versus simply tearing them apart:
As with any restoration project, converting old or historic buildings bear challenges at the outset. Depending on your area, building codes may become an issue. Permits to repurpose specific structures into buildings with a vastly different purpose than before will be required.
Safety is another valid consideration—precautions to ensure that the buildings are compliant to modern codes should be performed, like an audit of every aspect of the structure.
The goal of preserving a building's rich history while making space usable or inhabitable is often costly. Repairs and upgrades of existing hardware may multiply expenses if not carefully planned.
Is an adaptive reuse project the best course of action for you? In the end, it depends on how your future goals align with the main benefits of undertaking an adaptive reuse project. Since converting old or historic structures can be daunting, your best option is to consult the advice of a restoration company with a known track record of old or historic building conversions.
A well-seasoned restoration company, such as us here at Landmark Restorations have been in the market since 1981. We've been helping companies of all sizes restore their building structures' unique architectural elements through environmentally conscious solutions.
Resurrecting old or historic structures, restoring them and breathing new life and purpose into them are a part of what we do. If you have a project in mind, let us help you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.