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Define Adaptive Reuse

October 9, 2012 by  

Define Adaptive Reuse, Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Along with brownfield reclamation, adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl. However adaptive reuse can become controversial as there is sometimes a blurred line between renovation, facadism and adaptive reuse. It can be regarded as a compromise between historic preservation and demolition.

Adaptive reuse deals with the issues of conservation and heritage policies. Whilst old buildings become unsuitable for their programmatic requirements, as progress in technology, politics and economics moves faster than the built environment, adaptive reuse comes in as a sustainable option for the reclamation of sites. In many situations, the types of buildings most likely to become subjects of adaptive reuse include; industrial buildings, as cities become gentrified and the process of manufacture moves away from city; political buildings, such as palaces and buildings which cannot support current and future visitors of the site; and community buildings such as churches or schools where the use has changed over time.

Adaptive reuse is seen as an effective way of reducing urban sprawl and environmental impact. By reusing an existing structure within a site, the energy required to create these spaces is lessened, as is the material waste that comes from destroying old sites and rebuilding using new materials. Through adaptive reuse old, unoccupied buildings can become suitable sites for many different types of use.

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