The reuse alternative: what is it about?


Adopting adaptive reuse is a bit of ingenuity over the bottom-up construction that is gaining ground. Construction Today’s Bill Wilhelm highlights the practice of multi-family, retail, office and larger entertainment venues. What does this mean exactly?

The basics

Adaptive reuse, without shortening the corners, gives new life to an old site or building for use other than its original intention. Hotels are a popular asset class that is successful for this purpose. The rate at which a property can hit the market is much faster in a re-use scenario, which means several things:

• “Head in bed faster”: Revenue streams have the potential to offset construction costs faster, indicating a healthier balance sheet.

• Cost savings: Traditional construction from scratch results in an average cost increase of 20% due to adaptive reuse. The initial investment is smaller, allowing operators to obtain a comparable result with reduced financial support.

• Labor and material protection: In his article, Wilhelm admits that “Labor and material costs change regularly. Fall, depending on the term. Compressing the construction schedule through adaptive reuse reduces the risk of market downturns affecting labor and material costs. “


No construction project is perfect. Adaptive reuse is certainly no exception. For a building requiring site improvement according to a municipality / city code, there is often a huge capital requirement that puts the owner in a position where it may make more sense to demo and redevelop from scratch. Every situation is different, but there are countless structures in which this concept makes sense.

In unconventional locations or municipalities with a smaller population, there is a stronger propensity to build from scratch. Adaptive reuse is becoming somewhat more common in areas where this asset class is in demand and where there is a lack of suitable properties in the area. .

Depending on the factors influencing the design, there is a high probability that adaptive reuse may be an attractive option in saturated markets. Since seasoned construction project managers value the engineer at every stage, many believe that adaptive reuse is not only an opportunity to save money, but also to cut valuable time off your schedule.

Cited sources:

Construction Today Magazine, Volume 16 Issue 3, Page 8, “Giving New Life”, Bill Wilhelm, 2018

About the author:

JH Greene is a general commercial contractor and construction manager who uses flexible building solutions wherever possible. Since 1974, we have been known to exceed customer expectations. Find out more at


Source by Heather Grossmuller