A Study in Adaptive Reuse

Found in: News

With the prevalence of urban sprawl worldwide, it’s become more important to explore alternative builtform developments that can increase the supply and/or density within areas of existing development. Current common practice is to demolish and rebuild in place of existing underutilised spaces. Often a viable alternative could be to adaptively reuse the existing building, potentially with vertical extension. Rather than building new stock in sectors where space is hard to come by, there would be significant economic, environmental and social benefits to be gained by adapting existing office, residential, commercial or industrial buildings for other uses.

James Leiper, Structural Project Leader with Pritchard Francis, has published a paper in line with his commitment to working towards a more sustainable future. His paper examines the Condor Tower project in the central business district (CBD) of Perth, Western Australia, as an example of adaptive building reuse through vertical extension as an alternative model.

The Condor Tower project involved adding 17 storeys to an existing 10 storey building, converting it from a derelict office building to a modern apartment complex, and thus signifcantly increasing the life of the structure. A detailed Life Cycle Analysis of the project is presented, highlighting the significant environmental benefts of this type of adaptive reuse, when compared with a full demolition and rebuild. Outcomes included a 54% reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions and saving 2,100m3 (approx 5,000T) of concrete wastage to landfll. Other examples of adaptive reuse from Western Australia are presented, demonstrating a variety of innovative solutions for reusing existing building stock.

To download the full paper, click link below.