There are many societal benefits to adaptively reusing our buildings, as well. Abandoned buildings and vacant lots drive down property values, convey a sense of economic decline and invite crime. Reusing them accomplishes just the opposite.
Adaptive reuse also provides advantages for the environment — starting with a dramatic reduction in the amount of building material waste that is generated by the demolition and reconstruction process, which is rated as one of the least energy-efficient modes of construction.
When capital funding is tight, many developers cannot afford to build from the ground up. In terms of cost trade-offs, the purchase price of a pre-owned building is considerably more cost-effective than purchasing an existing structure, tearing it down and building something new. But no matter what the budget, adaptive reuse can be an advantageous financial fit.
In assessing a building’s eligibility for adaptive reuse, developers and investors have several factors to consider — including its physical condition — and should certainly consult architectural professionals to weigh and evaluate all of the options available.
Glenn B. Giles is president of ARC Avenue, Inc. and Giles Construction Group of Hollywood, FL. Both companies have a broad base of experience in every avenue of building design and construction, including commercial, hospitality, residential, industrial and adaptive reuse. The firm has completed several adaptive reuse projects across Florida.