Factors influencing the adaptive re-use of buildings

Journal of Engineering Design and Technology 03/2011; 9(1):32-46. DOI: 10.1108/17260531111121459


Purpose – Adaptive re-use enables a building to suit new conditions. It is a process that reaps the benefit of the embodied energy and quality of the original building in a sustainable manner. Initiatives to improve the sustainability of buildings have tended to focus on new construction projects rather than existing ones. One reason is the tendency to regard old buildings as products with a limited useful life that have to be eventually discarded and demolished. Much of the existing building stock will still be in use for another 100 years. Thus, there is a need to develop policy and strategies that encourage adaptive re-use and the ongoing sustainability of building stock. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the factors influencing the decision to adopt an adaptive re-use strategy. Design/methodology/approach – Adaptive re-use is beginning to receive attention, yet there is a lack of consensus as to whether it is an appropriate strategy for meeting the changing needs and demands of developers, occupiers and owners for existing building stock. Considering the limited published research on adaptive re-use in buildings, particularly in the context of sustainability, a comprehensive review of the normative literature is undertaken to determine the factors influencing the decision-making process for its use. Findings – It is revealed that the major drivers for adaptive focus on lifecycle issues, changing perceptions of buildings, and governmental incentives. The barriers to re-use, on the other hand, include a perception of increased maintenance costs, building regulations, inertia of development criteria and the inherent risk and uncertainty associated with older building stock. The identification of drivers and barriers has enabled a balanced view of the adaptive re-use debate to be presented. Research limitations/implications – The paper concludes that more empirical research is required to examine the role of adaptive re-use in the context of its contribution to sustainability if it is to become an effective strategy that drives the formulation of public policy for addressing the issues associated with existing building stock. Practical implications – The research identifies key adaptive re-use issues that need to be addressed by policy makers, developers and owners during the formative stages of the design process so that efforts toward sustainability can be ameliorated. Addressing a building's adaptive re-use will significantly reduce whole life costs, waste and lead to the improved building functionality. Originality/value – This paper provides policy makers and key decision makers with the underlying factors that need to be considered when implementing an adaptive re-use policy as part of their sustainability strategy.

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    • "Heritage value is added by keeping the style and character of an area, which contributes to providing attractive streetscapes (Bullen and Love, 2010). These factors not only increase the value of the building in question but also increase the value of surrounding properties (Bullen and Love, 2011b). Historic buildings can be more desirable to an organization as they provide status through the use of highly crafted materials (Langston et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The loss of heritage buildings should be avoided as they provide a tangible example of a period of life that is now gone. Adaptive reuse enables buildings to be given a second life, enabling them to live on when they may have been previously under-utilized. Changing the capacity, function or performance of under-utilized buildings for a different purpose, or to suit new conditions, or to make use of pre-existing structural elements, has become necessary in order to preserve heritage buildings. This paper identifies the critical success factors (CSF) for the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings. Design/Methodology: Identification of CSF for adaptive reuse can provide asset owners, developers and key stakeholders with the knowledge needed to ensure a project is delivered successfully. Due to a lack of research in the area of CSF for heritage buildings, an exploratory approach was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with stakeholders to solicit their views on the CSFs that contribute to successful adaption of heritage buildings that had undergone a re-use program in Perth, Western Australia (WA). Findings: Four CSFs were identified (1) research, (2) matching function (3) design and (4) minimal change. It is proffered that by addressing the CSFs issues associated with latent conditions, building layout and commercial risk and uncertainty can be addressed. Yet, the Building Code of Australia will continue to be the most significant issue for owners/developers and project teams who embrace an adaptive reuse project. Limitations: Several limitations of this exploratory research are identified: (1) sample size, (2) the representation of the sample; and (3) the judgmental nature of qualitative information and its analysis and interpretation, which may lead to the CSFs that have been promulgated being unreliable and invalid. Future research is suggested to test the validity and generalizability of the CSFs. Originality/Value: To date there has been limited research undertaken with regard to determining the CSFs for heritage buildings that have been subjected to adaptive re-use. The work presented in this paper identifies the key CSFs that emerged from the stock of heritage buildings in Perth, WA. Further research is required to determine the validity of the CSFs, however, those identified provide a benchmark for further studies in this fertile area.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    • "Some further detailed literature reviews in support of refurbishment over demolish and rebuild are provided by Bullen and Love (2011), and Wilkinson et al. (2009). For example, this is further illustrated as " drivers and barriers of adaptive re-use " , and among the barriers influencing the decision to demolish, renovate, refurbish, rebuild and reuse are complexity, maintenance costs, lack of skilled tradesmen, building layout etc. (Bullen and Love, 2011, p. 25). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The first paper, entitled "The perception of tenants in the refurbishment of tower blocks" (Facilities, Vol. 31, No. 3/4), argued that refurbishment was the best option that a local authority could undertake to improve tower blocks. The study also found that refurbishment maintained local communities by keeping families together and sustained the environment. This paper aims to present and examine similar views from the contractor's and landlord's representatives on several aspects affecting the refurbishment process Design/methodology/approach ‐ A literature review is used to identify the perceived problems and benefits of refurbishment. A qualitative approach comprising semi structured interviews and questionnaires was used to collect data from three contractors or service providers of the refurbishment process and two landlords' representatives, namely the clerk of works drawn from the housing association. The sample data are analysed using frequency analysis and content analysis. Findings ‐ Refurbishment as opposed to demolition was identified as a viable option for achieving sustainability. There were some divergent views among the respondents concerning the achievements to be gained from refurbishments. The project managers identified "client satisfaction", and "within budget and time". The senior site manager chose "a better way of life" and "improved security". The quantity surveyor opted for "profit-oriented", finally, "provision of decent homes at affordable prices" was identified by the senior clerk of works. The knowledge of the council funding mechanisms for refurbishment works among the respondents ranged from adequate to ideal. The contractor's representatives exhibited limited knowledge. Practical implications ‐ The findings of the study provide practical value for contractor's and landlord's (housing association) representatives within the construction industry confronted with the decision of whether to undertake some refurbishment works. Some lessons learned could also improve the housing stock or asset management strategies for the landlord's representatives. Originality/value ‐ The paper is original in the sense that it identifies how the contractor's and landlord's (housing association) representatives as drawn from different professional background rate the reasons, benefits, and practicalities of undertaking refurbishment works of tower blocks or high rise buildings. The study also provides some insights on the contractor's and landlord's (housing association) representative's knowledge and awareness of sustainable development, and councils' funding mechanisms for undertaking refurbishment works.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Facilities
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    • "The implications and conclusions are drawn are in the last section. 2. Literature review 2.1 General review of literature on sustainable refurbishment While there is ample literature on sustainable development and refurbishment ranging from planning and control processes and techniques (Egbu et al., 1998), theoretical issues of sustainable development (Cozens et al., 2001a,b; Mickaityte et al., 2008), knowledge awareness (Lai and Yik, 2006), definitions of sustainability (Byrch et al., 2007; Bonn and Fisher, 2011), formalisation and effectiveness (Rahmat and Ali, 2010), conceptual models, principles and benefits (Mickaityte et al., 2008), factors influencing re-use of building (Bullen and Love, 2011), occupant satisfaction (Schwede et al., 2008), linkages between building adaptation and sustainability (Wood, 2006; Wilkinson et al., 2009), to linkages between corporate strategy and sustainability (Bonn and Fisher, 2011). Given the proliferation of studies on sustainable refurbishment, there has been a lack of empirical studies reported which seeks to examine the tenants perspective on sustainable refurbishment within high-rise buildings. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ Refurbishment has been suggested as a means towards sustainable development. The paper seeks to examine the tenants' perception on the benefits, effectiveness and overall satisfaction with the refurbishment process of the tower blocks. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Literature review is used to identify the perceived problems, benefits and overall process of refurbishment. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 67 tenants living in three tower blocks (high-rise flats) in West London. The sample data are analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies including ranking analysis. Findings ‐ The findings suggest that refurbishment as opposed to demolition was a viable option for achieving sustainability. The majority of the tenants agreed that their surroundings and way of life improved after refurbishment. Other notable benefits from refurbishment were improved security, improved social behaviour and social harmony. However, the respondents failed to either identify or suggest future refurbishment works that could improve their estates. Lack of consultation between the service providers and contractors with the tenants was identified as the major barrier affecting the future refurbishment. Research limitations/implications ‐ The cross-sectional data made it difficult to generalise the findings. Practical implications ‐ The paper identifies the benefits and roles of refurbishment in the context of its contribution to sustainability. It is argued that there is a need for early and systematic involvement of tenants or occupants in order to facilitate the refurbishment process as a vehicle for attaining sustainability principles. Originality/value ‐ The paper contributes to empirical research on major benefits and problems of refurbishment when viewed from the tenant's perspective. It also demonstrates how the refurbishment process can be used as a vehicle for achieving sustainability outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Facilities
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