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Adaptive Reuse Strategy for Affordable Housing

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Item Summary

Title:Adaptive Reuse Strategy for Affordable Housing
Authors:Ahlers, Rebecca
Contributors:Park, Hyoung-June (advisor)
Architecture (department)
Date Issued:May 2015
Abstract:As we embark on the future, we must prepare now to meet the needs we anticipate. Every day new buildings are constructed and old buildings become obsolete. Demand for new property sectors shifts and the supply must be transformed in response. There are two options for our built environment to meet these new demands. Option one: underutilized buildings can be renovated for in-demand uses. Option two: a new building can be constructed on an empty site or where an underutilized building once stood. The opportunities and constraints that come with each option vary case-by-case. This doctorate project recognizes the potential benefits of adaptive reuse (e.g., time and money savings, historic preservation and environmental sustainability), and establishes a method for site preselection to enable the pursuit of adaptive reuse success. Current research on this topic looks at the decision between the two options by evaluating every potential adaptive reuse project individually. This doctorate project uses a series of steps to filter away unsuitable properties, so that an optimal site can be selected, without having to analyze a seemingly endless number of potential properties. This method begins by narrowing the search area to the neighborhood level, using Smart Growth principles. Next, obsolete property sectors are identified in order to establish a building supply. This doctorate project focuses on the need for affordable housing to establish building demand. Therefore, multi-family residential is considered for the adapted end-use. Feasibility drivers are then established to narrow the pool of potential sites further. Lastly, the remaining potential properties are compared to find an optimal site for adaptive reuse. This process is demonstrated in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. While there are many cities facing similar challenges, Honolulu is hypersensitive to change. Applying the process in this environment demonstrates the potential effectiveness of the method; so that it can be easily adapted in other locales.
Pages/Duration:191 pages
Appears in Collections: 2015

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