Determining Whether to Renovate or Rebuild on College Campuses

By Michael Prifti

Nothing lasts forever, particularly when it comes to buildings. That said – buildings can last a long time if properly planned, maintained and re-used. While brand-new buildings certainly have their merits, many facilities planners and architects increasingly are thinking about recycling older, seemingly outdated structures. Why?

In many cases, it is cheaper, quicker and more sustainable to repurpose an existing building that is redundant or underused in order to meet changing demands. Determining whether a campus building should be renovated or rebuilt depends upon many factors – accessibility, code analysis and energy efficiency are paramount — but the top three usually are programming needs, existing physical plant and future potential. If a university decides to renovate a building, you’re in it for the long haul.

“Many universities don’t bother with renovations unless it’s going to be the renovation of the building for the next 50 years,” said Nicole M Dress, AIA, an associate at BLT Architects, noting that phasing and swing space needs to be considered as well. “Are you able to put displaced people in other suitable space on campus?” Read the article here.