Reviving the Past Through Adaptive Reuse

Abandoned buildings have a deeply negative impact on their surrounding areas, so why aren’t more of them restored? Here’s what some specialists think.

The pandemic has challenged the construction industry to find the middle ground in making a comeback in a green way. This means combining fiscal growth with energy efficiency and reduced emissions. One of the go-to solutions to this green economic recovery is adaptive reuse—the process of retrofitting an existing building with advanced environmental technologies, while preserving its historic value.

Although it is not a new solution, the advantages of adaptive reuse are more apparent today than ever before. Reusing and retrofitting—rather than building from the ground up—has a significant impact in reducing embodied carbon emissions, while accommodating a growing population.


Abandoned buildings have a deeply negative impact on their surrounding areas, with the value of nearby properties affected and crime stats going up in these parts of the cities. So, why aren’t more of these properties restored?

“Renovating these projects can be very expensive and complicated, it takes experience and know-how to do so,” Emily Bouton, development coordinator at Beacon Communities, told Multi-Housing News. Historic buildings need to be restored to certain design standards, which is something not all developers are able to do due to their lack of experience in historic preservation.

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