The HouseZero project at Harvard retrofitted a pre-war home on campus, creating a model of energy efficiency. Michael Grimm
“We’re shattering the belief that you need to build new buildings to be efficient,” Ali Malkawi, a professor of architectural technology who leads the CGBC program, told Curbed. “We want to show how this can be replicated almost anywhere, and solve one of the world’s biggest energy problems, inefficient existing buildings.”
Opening in April as McMenamins Elks Temple, the historic building will become a 45-room hotel, a 700-capacity music venue, a game room, three restaurants, a brewery, and several small bars—including one hidden below the sidewalk. One cafe will have outdoor space along historic Tacoma plaza the Spanish Steps.
Souleles also notes that “the bones of the building are really, really good.” You don’t often hear this; there is always an excuse, such as the floor plate isn’t efficient or the ceilings are too low. However, as embodied carbon gets recognized as an issue, these excuses don’t stand up to scrutiny – because, as we keep saying, the greenest building is the one already standing.
STEVEN EVANS PHOTOGRAPHY — Junction Craft Brewing is now housed in a renovated industrial building in the Stockyards district of Toronto’s west end. The company’s 1,358-square-metre facility at 150 Symes Road contains a brewery, taproom, retail space and office space. The brewery project recently won an adaptive reuse award.
“Their work retained the stunning art deco design and industrial character of the site, while repurposing it for a technically demanding manufacturing system,” said the organization.
As if that weren’t enough to draw your eyes upward, there are several dozen beautiful wooden “glu-lam” arches that climb the walls, which were built in 1943, when the hangar was originally created (the building was used by Howard Hughes to construct the H4 Hercules, known as the “Spruce Goose,” which famously flew only once for less than a minute).
One of the highlights at LX Factory, a mixed-use adaptive-reuse complex in an old textile factory, is Rio Maravilha, a cheerful, colorful bar whose upstairs terrace affords staggering views of the Tagus River. Echoing the cool ambience, the cocktails here are creative.
The fog bridge connects the entire park. When the mist lifts, visitors can see the East River below. (Daniel Levin)
According to Lisa Switkin, senior principal at JCFO, “Integrating the artifact walk with custom furniture made from reclaimed wood from the Raw Sugar Warehouse creates a unique experience where people come into contact with remnants of the original refinery and have an up-close relationship with those artifacts.”
Located on Morris Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets, the three-story Building 127 was built to make boat parts for the Navy.
According to the corporation, the building’s ground and second floors, which has loading infrastructure, would be a good fit for a medium-to-large scale manufacturing company. With its super tall, vaulted ceiling, the third floor would be great for a design company looking for a showroom and space for prototyping.
Above: Inside, a double-sided wood-burning stove stands on a large concrete plinth in the middle of the space, creating a central heat source and focal point. Medieval dwellings were often arranged around a central hearth, and Nowicka sees this is a nod to the far-reaching history of the area.
Original materials were repurposed throughout wherever possible. “The old existing roof was made water-tight, saving all the original tiles, including the moss that was growing on it,” explains Nowicka.
All of the renovated buildings retain parts of the original construction. In 102 The Mill, these deliberately exposed frameworks are complemented by industrial-inspired lighting fixtures and minimalist, streamlined furnishings. Timber floors and warm fabrics help imbue the former factory with a sense of cozy warmth.
The Alcatraz Photography Studio in Berkeley, Calif., transformed a century-old box of a building used as a Halloween costume store into an artistic space. PHOTO Billy Hustace Photography
The project team was encouraged by the client and designers to reuse and expose original building materials. The team preserved the wooden floor covered with colorful paint drips, giving the space a unique character. This sustainable approach was noticed by the judges, who appreciated the “simplicity, beauty and attention to detail” of the small project, noting that such renovation and adaptive reuse “could be considered a lost art.”
St. Charles Hospital in Aurora, Illinois, was a skilled nursing facility when it shut down in 2010, the same year the Art Deco building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
With the senior population and demand for senior housing guaranteed to grow over the next 20 years, yesterday’s offices, hotels, schools and commercial buildings can be repurposed into the senior housing of tomorrow.
RE–USA: 20 American Stories of Adaptive Reuse A Toolkit for Post-Industrial Cities by Matteo Robiglio, JOVIS Verlag GmbH, 2017
Robiglio analyzed his observations and turned them into an “adaptive reuse toolkit” that can be used by cities but is really addressed to concerned citizens intent on reviving their neighborhoods. Consisting of eight steps and addressed to “you and your family,” the processes outlined are intended to chart a path of redevelopment and acknowledge and build upon the industrial legacy by emphasizing adaptive reuse.
Experiential passageways for cars and pedestrians will connect to the different buildings on site. (Courtesy S9 Architecture)
ATCO brought on S9 to collaborate on the adaptive reuse of the complex’s 12 main buildings and connect them through experiential passageways. In between each structure, the team will lay out gathering spaces for people to eat, hang out, or put on events.
Elevator Alley is a complex of hundreds of grain silos—now filled with breweries, event spaces and more—along the Buffalo River. PHOTO: JIM SCHWABEL/ALAMY
In recent years, cultural institutions, visitor bureaus and artists have turned the elevator complexes into money-making attractions, from museums and luxury hotels to shopping venues and art installations.
Similarly, it’s a common fallacy that (unless you are renovating your house to passive house energy standards) new windows are more energy efficient or durable than historic ones. First, it will take up to 240 years to recoup enough money from energy savings to pay back the cost of installing replacement windows. Second, let’s be real: New windows are not nearly as good looking. Old windows are very hard to replace, but much easier and often cheaper to restore to modern standards. Finally, no other types of
Ironside Newark exterior. Photo by Jared Kofsky/Jersey Digs.
“Given the historic nature of the building and the prior uses in the building, we quickly recognized that the bones were irreplaceable and therefore repurposing it for its intended use as loft-style office with street-level retail would be a great second life if you will for the building,” Sommer explained, adding that “we’re seeing a tremendous amount of velocity on both fronts.”
Bisnow/Julie Littman Bisnow’s Bay Area Construction and Development event held in The Fairmont in San Francisco
“Everyone wants brick and timber, but there is only so much of that and a lot of it’s been taken,” Build Inc. President and partner Lou Vasquez said during Bisnow’s Bay Area Construction and Development event. While the temptation might be to tear down an old building, especially if it costs too much to restore it, there is inherent value in restoration, Vasquez said. “You can’t buy that character. You can’t build that character,” he said.
Combating blight and replacing the tax base: Unutilized structures are creating blight in markets across the U.S. And local governments are losing revenue from both declining sales and property taxes as retail stores close and prior growth industries such as financial services contract. How can cities replace lost sales and property tax revenue from closed stores and branch banks? Ironically, the solution is what local communities least understand and most resist: reusing a structure or property. It is a fe
Describing the structure as a “Sleeping Beauty,” Schulze says that the redevelopment of the Old Main Post Office is not only significant for representing a major adaptive reuse and revitalization of one of Chicago’s great buildings, but it’s one that is expected to help breathe new life into the sleepy stretch of the South Loop and West Loop Gate.
“The restoration and reuse design of 859 Massachusetts Ave. is an inspiring example of community-wide dedication to both preserving history and caring for the future,” Charles Sullivan, executive director of the Cambridge Historical Commission, said in a statement.
The premises, a previously unused diesel generator room, have indeed become a spectacular showcase for the virtues of salvaging both cast-off plant room space that might otherwise languish, and materials that would have ended up in landfill.
A window bank unearthed during the restoration process.
The building lived many lives before being decommissioned—barracks, courthouse, offices—and like archaeologists, building crews were able to uncover some original building components that had been long covered up. Vinyl flooring had been placed over terrazzo tile in the original mess hall. A utilitarian wall turned out to be hiding a whole bank of historic windows.
The adaptive reuse project covers 53,100 square-feet, including 22,800 square-feet of new space, to convert the structure into a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) center. There will also be a two-story addition that protrudes from the east side of the power station, containing main circulation, classrooms, offices, a café, and a 120-seat planetarium that rises above the building.
Domino Park – Designed by James Corner Field Operations, Domino Park will open June 10.
Set to open to the public on June 10, the park — which was installed with reclaimed relics from the former Domino Sugar Refinery — has been converted into a quarter-mile long stretch of open green space running along the Williamsburg waterfront.
“I’m not a developer. I don’t understand the machinery, the political machinery, to become a developer and make something else out of it,” said Blochoe. “Five previous owners have failed in doing something to this place, if my count is not mistaken, and I have no other plans.”
A Baowu Steel facility in northern Shanghai will be regenerated into an art and education hub, named Shanghai International Art City. Ti Gong
“Keeping the authenticity of the buildings has become a kind of art itself,” said Yongwoo Lee, artistic director of the Shanghai International Art City Research Institute. “Industrial heritage goes far beyond existing architectural recognition with unique standing and image.”
Lynne and her contractor rescued a nearby barn (that had been destroyed in a tornado) to form the bones of the treehouse. Salvaged windows (including stained glass from an old church) complete the vintage look.
The addition of the L-shaped, two-wing building offers students a study in contrasts between these two modern construction methods, as well as between 19th-century-style timber construction and 21st-century CLT construction. Levitt said CLT was a natural choice considering the importance of timber and wood resources to northern Ontario, although there was little precedent for its institutional application in Canada at the time, much less on this scale.
“Adaptive use involves less waste of materials and less need for new building materials like drywall, plaster and concrete, which are highly energy and carbon intensive, even with the most sustainable production methodologies,” Green Generation Solutions CEO Brad Dockser said to ULI. “The ability to reuse windows, walls and ornamentation is critical. And it’s possible to be highly creative. I’ve seen people put an office or a conference room in what used to be a vault. Instead of spending enormous amounts of money”
“We found it would be more economical for us to reuse some of these materials instead of throwing them away and buying new ones,” Coates explained. “I think we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our environment.”“We had done studies to figure out what would happen if we tore down the existing site,” said Doug McNutt, Principal with Salus Architecture. “We realized that, yes, we could do that. But if we kept the original, we’d not only save money, we’d create something quite amazing.”
Michael Wallner, chair of the Historic Preservation Board, and Phillipe Gonzalez, a city historic preservation specialist, stand in front of The Rialto, one of the 2018 Bozeman Historic Preservation Award winners, on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in downtown Bozeman.
RACHEL LEATHE/ CHRONICLE
Their success is proof, said Wallner, chair of the city’s citizen Historic Preservation Advisory Board. “Bozeman can hang onto its history,” he said. The Rialto tied with the Masonic Temple for the board’s 2018 outstanding achievement award for historic preservation. The annual awards include titles like adaptive reuse, preservation stewardship and continued maintenance.
The Captain William Tyson House is owned by the Township of Rochelle Park which wants to either sell or raze the structure, officials say.
Photo Provided | Preservation New Jersey
“Several challenges face properties on this year’s endangered sites list, including neglect and deferred maintenance, threats incurred by redevelopment and new construction, difficulties raising adequate historic preservation funding, the need for creative adaptive reuse proposals, inadequate recognition and protection by government agencies, and political influences,” said Courtenay D. Mercer, president of PNJ.
Despite Sears’ recent struggles, developers are eyeing the company’s former properties as major opportunities. Last year, Springbank Real Estate Group acquired the vacant Sears at 1900 W. Lawrence Avenue in the Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood and plans to transform the 1920’s era structure into 59 apartments, 91 parking spaces, and 30,000 square feet of commercial space.
Kurt Tribbet, engineering administrator for the City of Battle Creek’s Public Works Department, unrolls a section of the police department’s green roof. (Photo: Trace Christenson/The Enquirer)
Rugh said the green roof has a life expectancy of up to 60 to 70 years, well above that of a conventional roof. “The most direct financial savings is the roof lasts so much longer,” he said. “You get one free roof for every green roof.”
Photo Credit: Architects Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks
Although there are some updated elements, the structure still sits within the original stones of the farmhouse, and is topped by a pitched roof similar to the one that would have sheltered the old Scottish house.
“The architectural design aimed to convert the historic propeller-pattern factory into a modern home, while also restoring the classic details,” said a statement from Fogarty Finger.
“The architects preserved the original wood joists, wood columns, concrete floors and machinery from the building’s industrial past and incorporated them into the main living space,” said the statement.
Greenville, South Carolina, one of the roughly two dozen communities highlighted in Our Towns. Shutterstock
Many cities are taking advantage of their 19th-century building stock, investing in historic preservation and adaptive reuse. They’re also adding art and music spaces, showcasing how small-town urbanism is alive and well.
The Grade I-listed glasshouse, which was designed by Decimus Burton and constructed in 1860, has been carefully restored by Donald Insall Associates. The architects have painstakingly dismantled, cleaned, re-painted and re-glazed over 69,000 individual parts of the 4,880 sqm building.
Scott L. Miley | CNHI News Indiana Jonathan Spodek, director of the Ball State University graduate program in historic preservation, believes historic structures, including landmark courthouses and government buildings, can often be refitted for reuse, and not demolished as a first option.
“Even a highly-efficient new green building over its lifespan will use more energy and create more greenhouse gas issues than a rehabbed building of the same size. It will take 80 years for that debt to be recovered,” Lindberg said.He added, “We certainly don’t have 80 years to start making a difference. So the smartest thing we can do is to hang on to the buildings we can, serve those and make them more energy efficient.”