6 Key Factors That Make Office Buildings Prime for Conversion

A building’s potential for adaptive reuse is based on a variety of characteristics.

1 minute read

March 8, 2024, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Office Building

Ron Cogswell / Flickr

In an article for Columbus Business First, Bonnie Meibers describes some key factors that construction industry experts say make an office building a good candidate for adaptive reuse.

These include:

  1. Form: A building’s shape and ceiling heights dictate how adaptable it is for new uses.
  2. Floor plates: The size and shape of floor plates influences future uses.
  3. Envelope: The design of exterior walls impacts how well a building can meet energy and building code requirements.
  4. Services: Existing services like elevators and HVAC can be repurposed for future occupants.
  5. Context: The surrounding neighborhood, access to transit, and other nearby amenities will affect how well new tenants can integrate into the neighborhood.
  6. Code: Zoning codes sometimes prohibit a use change.

Officials in Columbus, Ohio are looking to the example of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where the city launched an incentive program in 2021 to encourage developers to convert vacant buildings to new uses. “Programs including the Ohio Transformational Mixed-Use Development Tax Credit, the Ohio Historic Tax Credits and the city of Columbus' downtown residential tax abatement have closed the financial gap for many Central Ohio projects.”

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 in Columbus Business First

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