Feasibility questions. Understanding the physical attributes is more important than ever when working with an old building envelope. It is imperative to have a complete understanding and accurate representation of the building as built to go forward with the adaptive reuse project.
Best approach debates. Since each building is unique, rules of thumb are dangerous. Opinions differ about traditional building materials vs. composite products, the use of sustainable building methods, and how to keep as much as possible. Since the best answer is, “it depends,” documentation of existing conditions is an ideal place to start.
Building code concerns. As with all renovations, a strong analysis of the current building structure and condition requires meticulous review. Electrical, plumbing and HVAC replacement is usually needed. In some cases, ensuring the reuse is both safe and functional are huge caveats and building code compliance is another hurdle when converting an old building to a new use.