Adaptive Reuse/Repositioning: What Can We do With What We Have?

“What can we do with what we have?”

This is the first question asked when starting a new building project.  When it comes to adaptive reuse or repositioning (the construction industry’s term for building recycling where old rooms or buildings are given new purpose), industries that are experiencing major growth, such as lifecare and healthcare as well as communities of faith are seeking alternatives to new building construction.  Sometimes a building reuse provides owners with options that are more environmentally sustainable than new construction.

Oftentimes, when renovating an existing building many challenges are faced.  Some challenges, such as updating an outdated space can be tackled easily and quickly with new paint and flooring.  Other challenges often are due to site or building space limitations.  Sometimes a facility has just outgrown its current home.  Making use of an existing building is environmentally conscious and can be very economical.  Here is a case study of a three-phase project that transformed an existing Grocery Store into a new Church.

The Church itself had outgrown an 18,000 sq. ft.  landlocked building with a growing youth program and a limited parking lot.  The current building had a no-access basement with a two-story split level floor plan not conducive for growth.

The 34,000 sq. ft., one level grocery store building was ideal. Centrally located on the outskirts of a town, within walking distance of the high school, middle school and elementary schools, the congregation had a vision for community outreach, expanding youth programs, and including others with a  coffee shop and availability for other uses. In addition, the site had plenty of parking and included most utilities. The space lent itself for future growth and uses as well.  Project costs were phased, and with the sale of the old building, all project phases were continued.



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