Why are properties repositioned and reused in some parts of the world, and not others? Why not just knock them down and rebuild? And how can we go about repurposing existing buildings?
Adaptive reuse of the built environment has long been part of our urban history, often benefiting the local economy, environment and societies across the world. This can take on many forms and be applied to many building types, including commercial, industrial and residential.
Some of the most challenging forms of asset repositioning are those that involve converting historic buildings with tiny windows and low ceiling heights into modern designs with open spaces, natural lighting, good thermal comfort and centralised systems and fire-safety provisions, while respecting the constraints of any relevant heritage building legislation.
In Singapore, the government’s policies on the reuse of historic properties are proactive. There have been some highly successful examples of combining repositioned historic buildings within new developments, such as the South Beach development.
However, in most parts of Asia, little time and effort have been invested to explore and uncover the value of repurposing buildings. For most, the preferred option is still to demolish existing structures to make way for newer, shinier, bigger developments.
Associate director and real estate advisory team leader, SNC-Lavalin’s Faithful+Gould business in Asia Pacific
Bailey is a chartered civil and structural engineer with more than 15 years of international experience across a large part of the property cycle. She has worked with large multinationals, government organisations, developers, contractors and consultants, playing a key role in delivery of a variety of projects. This has given her a wide range of experience and knowledge and has brought her an understanding of the construction industry in the broadest sense.
At Faithful+Gould, she leads the team in the delivery of a suite of flexible and bespoke solutions to suit clients’ needs. These range from development advisory, feasibility studies and procurement strategies to sustainability solutions and energy consulting.
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