Adaptive Reuse: The sustainable alternative to new construction projects.

Many large cities are home to once functional – but now old, inefficient buildings. Still, a rising architectural trend – Adaptive Reuse – offers a way of breathing new life into empty historic structures. 

Adaptive reuse is the process of renovating an old or obsolete building and creating a new dynamism in line with the requirements of the city or local community. Research suggests adaptive reuse also provides a significant environmental benefit because what would be demolished can live on with new use instead of being carried away to a local landfill.

Achieving sustainability through adaptive reuse

The built environment plays a prominent role in reducing and fighting climate change. A significant contribution that it can make to that end is by making the most efficient and effective use of pre-existing infrastructure. Breathing new life into existing buildings carries environmental and social benefits. It reduces the energy consumption of demolishing a structure and building a replacement. 

While architects and contractors should optimize the building design and construction for environmental performance, it would take approximately 100 years to sustainably renew existing buildings, even if high environmental compliance was mandatory on every new project. 

Rehabilitating existing buildings can be quicker and less expensive to create sustainable spaces, add vibrancy to communities, reduce crime, and raise living standards through added environmentally-friendly redevelopment investment.

Example of an Adaptive Reuse project
Image curtesy of Vox

How digital signage helps bring historic buildings into a new era

When planning an adaptive reuse development, signage is not typically something that garners much consideration. Still, failure to do it right can negatively impact how visitors experience your space. 

Digital signage adds to a building’s aesthetic and allows businesses to engage and inform their audiences by communicating important messages, displaying nearby points of interest, live transit schedules, upcoming vents – and so much more!

The use of digital signage helps bring historic buildings into the modern age, allowing for new possibilities in a building’s service life and versatility.

Digital Information Hub
Digital Information Hub

Most importantly, digital signage can play a significant role in emergency and health and safety communication. Historically, property managers primarily used digital signage to communicate building information and directions.

Today, interactive signage can provide life-saving information during emergencies, giving property managers the ability to quickly update information through intuitive CMS systems. Safety procedures relevant to the specific disaster can be prepared in advance and saved to be easily accessed when needed.

Preserving the links to our past

Urban renewal projects can serve local communities’ needs and lead to sustainable economic, social, and environmental developments, extending a structure’s service life through a new function. Old buildings physically link us to our past, become part of our culture, and must be preserved.

Rehabilitation of existing buildings provides a more robust, sustainable alternative to new construction projects. It helps breathe new life into old, dilapidated buildings to equip them for the modern age.

150-year-old brick arches of the railway lines

Working on an Adaptive Reuse project? Get in touch to learn more about how our digital signage solutions can help enhance and modernize your space.