5 Reasons Why Reusing Existing Buildings Is Important
Reusing old buildings is not only practical but also has much more of a positive impact on the environment over new construction with green materials. At St. Cloud Window, we strongly believe in the power of repurposing old buildings.
John W. Lister Architects offers 5 reasons why you should reuse an existing building:
1. Less Construction Waste
In today’s construction industry, the environmental impact of building construction is often the topic of conversation. Having a project that generates less waste for our landfills is an obvious plus. The shell of the building is already constructed. There is no scrap/damaged steel, CMU blocks, plywood, insulation, drywall, roofing material, etc. to be hauled away. The only waste would be any interior partitions or fixtures not being used in the renovation.
2. Shorter Timeline
With all or most of the work being interior, the construction schedule would be shorter than building a new structure. There is little or no land surveying required for utility connections, no foundations to pour, or roofs to finish before the winter freeze.
3. Reduced Construction Cost
If the shell is existing, the material and labor costs for that phase of construction are reduced to that of repairs and replacements. There is no excavation required for pouring foundations or slabs, or the need for purchasing windows and installing storefronts unless the design calls for a change or the original component needs repair/replacement.
4. Money for Building Performance
In some cases, a reduced construction cost can influence the decision to invest in improving the performance of the building. With countless companies promoting sustainable products and processes, the options can seem overwhelming. Whether you have an interest in solar energy, rainwater harvesting, increased natural lighting, or smarter heating/cooling systems, there are ways to invest in your building that give back in the long run.
5. Little to No Land Development
New construction requires a lot of effective planning. Applications for land development must be submitted and approved, lot size and impervious coverage must be calculated and kept within code. Utility services must be taken from the city connection to the building, and plumbing/sewer lines taken out from the building. The time/material and excavation associated with land development can be greatly reduced when reusing an existing building.
Reusing buildings will be a key element in the environmental strategy. Mark Alan Hewitt of Arch Daily asks us all to “Consider the economic boon to the US if 85% of construction were devoted to existing infrastructure improvements such as energy retrofits to multi-family housing in large cities.” At St. Cloud Window, we’re proud to be part of this process by restoring historic buildings.