Cooper's Studios

Ahead of the BCO Conference taking place on 5-7 June, we look back at the report on adaptive reuse that was produced for the BCO by Alastair Forbes, architectural director at Ryder.

Adaptive reuse: the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed for.

This report has been produced on behalf of the BCO and seeks to understand the drivers of adaptive reuse.  Adaptive reuse is a process that allows a building to suit new conditions.

At present, sustainability strategies focus mostly on new buildings rather than existing.  This is partly because existing buildings that are no longer fit for purpose are viewed as expendable or with difficult design constraints.   However, this viewpoint needs to change, and fast - as most existing buildings will remain in use for the next 100 years.  In fact, around 80% of occupied UK buildings in 2050 will have already be constructed.  This, alongside ever changing economic, social and environmental factors, suggests a greater need to identify adaptive reuse tactics for existing buildings to ensure they are utilised to their full potential.

The inherent benefits of the embodied energy and quality of the original building can be harnessed in a sustainable manner. While harnessing the obvious benefits of embodied energy and often the quality of the original building, this strategy also provides unique opportunities to meet the changing needs of occupants and demands of owners and developers.

The report considers the opportunities, challenges and the market forces for adaptive reuse. It identifies directions of change that could potentially be significant for property providers, investors and operators.

Download the BCO report