How And Why “Adaptive Reuse” By Transforming Old Buildings For New Use Is Necessary And Profitable

Through adaptive reuse, abandoned or old buildings can be converted into new residences, businesses, and hotels while still making sound financial and environmental sense.

Architect and sustainability expert Carl Elefante is credited with coining the idiom, “The greenest building is the one that is already built.” 90% of future real estate development, according to experts, will concentrate on restoring and reusing existing buildings. Why is clear to see: Construction of adaptive-reuse projects is typically quicker, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly than that of new structures.

What is adaptive reuse?

Repurposing structures that have no longer served their intended purpose is considered adaptive reuse. Its main objectives are to transform urban blight, preserve architectural and cultural heritage, and spark social transformation. Nevertheless, these strategies all aim to make buildings last longer as society and technology needs change.

Types of architectural adaptive reuse

Multiple forms of adaptive reuse exist. Adaptive reuse in architecture refers to adapting an existing building for a new purpose, such as converting abandoned buildings into offices, schools, parks, or hotels.
  1. Heritage Preservation
    Historic buildings can be saved through both adaptive reuse and preservation, although the two methods differ. The goal of adaptive reuse is to put an old structure to new uses; this method is sometimes seen as a middle ground between preservation and demolition. Contrarily, historic preservation upholds the current shape, integrity, and components of a building. Exterior renovations and extensions are not covered by this treatment, but generally speaking, minimally invasive mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) upgrades and work necessary to comply with updated building requirements are acceptable.
  2. Renovation
    By its very nature, adaptive reuse implies renovation. Adaptive reuse denotes a change in use, whereas renovation is typically limited to fixing and repainting a structure while maintaining the property’s original purpose.
  3. Integration
    Integrating entails building around an existing structure, maintaining it while enclosing it inside a new construction.
  4. Facadism
    Facadism is an urban design strategy that involves keeping a building’s outside while tearing down most of the interior to make way for a more contemporary building. A facadectomy is the procedure, which preserves the streetscape perspective but is costly since the façade, which is typically made of delicate historical materials, needs to be supported and maintained while being erected, during the process.

What are the benefits of adaptive reuse?

  1. Sustainability
    The environmental impact of a brand-new, energy-efficient building’s development process can take anywhere between 10 and 80 years to be offset. Consider buildings as very huge manufactured items. As the world’s population becomes more urbanised, it is essential to extend the lifespan of existing structures. Because it addresses carbon loads that already exist in the built environment, adaptive reuse helps the world get closer to its net-zero carbon goals.
  2. Financial
    Adaptive-reuse projects typically have minimal acquisition costs and frequently have access to financial incentives, in addition to the primary savings that result from reusing existing materials and infrastructure and avoiding demolition and new-construction expenses. Well-executed adaptive-reuse projects can reinvigorate the nearby companies and boost a region’s economy.
  3. Social
    Renovating abandoned buildings boosts community redevelopment by supplying cheap housing, enhancing safety, and creating new business opportunities in mixed-use areas. The inexpensive lease rates and convenient locations of these venues make them excellent for small enterprises as well, making it simpler to forge vital connections with clients and neighbours.

3 examples of adaptive reuse projects which have been completed by Structural Repairs (M) Sdn Bhd

  1. Istana Hulu – Transformation of old palace into museum
    This project is published in “Heritage Asia” March-May 2004 Volume 1 No.3.

  2. The Whiteaways Arcade, Lebuh Pantai, Penang – 12 units of old heritage shop lots converted into boutique hotel & mall

  3. Kampung Morten, Malacca – Restoration of 88 units of traditional Malay timber houses
    A documentary article has been written and published in our website for this project.
    Please visit the link below for more details at:

Please take note that the projects mentioned above are merely some of our areas of expertise. Our specialty is not limited to the above project references. We also provide services for other kind of roof waterproofing systems which are not mentioned above.

Key Takeaways

Many property owners are now realizing the benefits of the adaptive-reuse process, including the cheaper labor and material costs as well as the inherent value of the memories and culture that preserve our communities.

Today’s adaptive reuse also goes beyond simply renovating a building to make it look as it did in the past: In many cases, buildings get a totally new exterior, allowing the owner to profit from the building’s original features while the neighborhood gains from the structure’s makeover. Adaptive reuse is becoming more popular in our communities, whether it is converting the old into new things or restoring the old to its former splendor.

We, Structural Repairs (M) Sdn Bhd, work with a comprehensive team which we can provide a total solution from scratch to hatch by transforming the old buildings for new use – “adaptive use”.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information. Our team will be happy and glad to assist you.

Kindly visit to our website at or contact us at Tel: +603-91731728/29 Whatsapp: +60 12-334 9113

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