Adaptive reuse in sustainable development

Vivian W.Y. Tam*, Jane J.L. Hao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


An adaptive reuse is distinct from other projects as it redevelops existing buildings. It is often described as a process by which structurally-sound-old-buildings are developed as economically viable. Our society is very dynamic and goes through a lot of changes to keep up the built environment changing requirements. This results in a high amount of existing old and abandoned buildings which represent a substantial resource in Toronto's city. Adaptive reuse is a variety of repairing or alternating existing buildings that allow it to serve contemporary uses while preserving features from the past. Adaptive reuse reduces consumption which has been produced and is responsive to the environment which forms the basis of a new way of thinking. The paper suggests that adaptive reuse is an innovative and flexible planning tool for management of built capital. This method is promoted and considered as a sustainable development in Toronto. As every other development schemes, adaptive reuse comes along with its own advantages and disadvantages which are analysed in this paper. Of the broad spectrum of factors associated with adaptive reuse, the emphasis is put on the assessment of environmental, social and economical factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-521
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019


  • Adoptive reuse
  • Canada
  • Toronto
  • sustainable
  • weighting and ranking system


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