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Adaptive reuse and sustainability of commercial buildings

Peter A. Bullen (Department of Construction Management, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 6 February 2007




To investigate the viability of adaptive reuse of commercial buildings and the impact it has on the sustainability of existing built environment in Western Australia.


A survey of building owners in Western Australia and a review of literature concerning adaptive reuse of commercial buildings.


The concept of adaptation is supported by building owners and there is a strong intuition/perception that adaptive reuse serves the key concepts of sustainability. Building owners are considering adaptive reuse as a viable option to demolition and redevelopment of existing facilities.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a structured questionnaire limits the depth of responses in the study. A follow up study using interviews would allow further because it does not allow probing, prompting and clarification of the issues addressed.

Practical implications

Results from this research has implications for building owners and managers as it will eventually provide a theoretical framework that can be incorporated in the decision‐making process for adaptive reuse projects.


The contribution of existing buildings to the three tenets of sustainability has not been explored comprehensively in Western Australia.



Bullen, P.A. (2007), "Adaptive reuse and sustainability of commercial buildings", Facilities, Vol. 25 No. 1/2, pp. 20-31.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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