A Case Study for future re-use of buildings to reduce carbon

  • YEAR
    Griffiths, Llewelyn
    Newmarch, Emily
    Powell, Fritha
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


The reduction of embodied carbon in buildings has been increasingly recognised as a high priority for the building and construction industry globally. Among the many strategies that can be implemented, adaptive reuse is frequently cited as being one of the most promising options due to extending the building’s life, reducing waste and the need for large quantities of materials to rebuild the structure. However, the reuse of a structure in a seismically active country, like New Zealand, isn’t as simple as stripping away the shell and adding a new one. There is a significant amount of work that is required to ensure the structure will be strong enough to meet updated building codes and last for another life cycle. To reflect on the impact of sustainable initiatives through the case study of a building reuse, this paper seeks to understand the carbon emissions from both embodied and operational contributions. The intent is to understand, what elements are key to decarbonise adaptive reuse buildings and how the design process could better accommodate carbon reduction strategies. The results are compared against international carbon targets to understand the embodied and operational carbon implementation of adaptative reuse for office buildings. These indicators can be used for the strategy of adaptive building re-use when an existing building is not designed for re-use or intended purpose. This paper is a collaboration between industry and academia to test a real-world project.

Keywords: Adaptive, re-use, LCA, Design.


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