Title: New Future for the Past: Adaptive Reuse of Buildings
The construction of new buildings consumes significant amounts of materials, natural resources, and energy which are causing huge impact on the natural environment. A building can be considered as sustainable when we can reuse the building for another purpose than the intended one after completion of its lifecycle. The adaptive capacity of building is considered to be a crucial component when looking into the sustainability. The key challenge is to design a building which encourage and adapt changes with help of modern technologies and techniques for effective performance.
The initial part of the presentation compares between the sustainability aspects of building reuse and new construction based on the parameters of recourse consumption, energy use and waste generation. Most of the developing countries are consuming the natural resources more than bio-capacity of respective region. This is expanding the gap between the available natural resources and their demand. Also, the building industry is a main source for the energy consumption and maximum use can be seen noted during an operation phase rather than a construction phase. It can be observed that the energy demand has risen rapidly, throughout the globe, since the second half of the last century and it is predicted to continue drastically in future. Furthermore, the waste management is another challenging issue in the construction industry. New construction generate huge amount of waste during execution phase in terms of damaged, excess and packaging materials. It is anticipated that the current rate of waste generation will increase by more than 50% till 2050.
The second part of the presentation discusses about the contemporary types of building reuse techniques, and further highlights the most practical and popular techniques. The major techniques for adaptive reuse like preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction have been discussed. The most effective from the above mentioned techniques is a green technique model, comprises a combination of a whole building retrofit and system thinking.
The last part of the presentation reviews the concept of adaptive reuse of buildings in detail. The adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed for. The adaptive reuse technique is based on the key principles like perform the functions well for which the building is redesigned, suitable for long lasting and adaptable to new uses, respond well to their surroundings and enhance their context, to establish a visual coherence and create ‘delight’ for users, be sustainable for non-polluting, energy efficient, easily accessible and have a minimal environmental impact. Further, major criteria for the adaptive reuse like social value, potential for reuse, historical importance, and natural ecological conditions are discussed. The adaptive reuse has its own environmental, social, and economical benefits. The adaptive reuse preserves the original building’s “embodied energy” and further reduces the use of operation energy. It also reduce waste generation which otherwise would have been generated from new construction for the similar facility. It helps in restoring and maintaining the significance of a building and help to ensure its survival. Several financial savings and returns to be made from adaptive reuse of buildings. The adaptive reuse has given a gold opportunity to architects and designers to find innovative solutions. The adaptive reuse strategies and benefits are explained through eminent case studies from various countries. Lastly, the predominant challenges in the adaptive reuse are of selecting appropriate building size, real or perceived design challenges, meeting with new codes and standards, requirement of skilled labor force, markets for recycled materials and treatment of harmful materials are discussed.
To conclude, the adaptive reuse is one of the most favorable method of the sustainable development. It possess strong ability to provide a new future to the past.