A framework for sustainable adaptive reuse of industrial buildings : Testing the developed adaptive building reuse framework on the case of The Plant in Chicago, USA

University essay from KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Abstract: Sustainable urban development is one of the dominant movements in the urban planning realm in the 21st century. It focuses mainly on improving current life while keeping future effects to an extent with which future life is not restricted. Adaptive reuse can play an important role in this movement towards more sustainability due to its simple reuse approach. But to improve the process of adaptive reuse a holistic framework is needed. This thesis first develops a holistic framework from recent research literature with the later aim of testing it in form of a case study – focusing on The Plant in Chicago, USA. Six themes were identified as the six to consider for a holistic perspective on adaptive reuse – economic, environmental, technical, context, social, and regulations and policy. Site visits, interviews, GIS-analysis, and desk-based study build the core methods to test the framework and produce the findings. Capital investment, market demands, reconstruction costs, and the influence on the local economy are economic factors that determine the economic performance of the adaptive reuse project The Plant. These findings show the applicability of the framework and further point out possible synergies and conflicts that can be utilized and avoided in future processes. The research indicates, for example, conflicts between environmental performance and economic expenses. Overall, the results indicate the applicability of the framework and the needed consideration of the identified synergies and conflicts for the positive performance of the adaptive reuse process and thus a positive contribution to sustainable urban development.  

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