Adaptive Reuse: Preserving our past, building our future
Department of the Environment and Heritage
ISBN 0 642 55030 1
About this publication
Sustainable development has become a goal for all Australian governments seeking to balance the health of the environment with the health of the economy. The predominant vision of a sustainable built future is of state of the art buildings utilising energy efficient design and materials. In reality, this vision should consider the 200 years of European built heritage that stands in tandem with the green structures we rightly seek to create.
The built environment provides a footnote to our histories, helping to identify our places as Australian, rather than generically 'modern' or 'contemporary'. Historic buildings give us a glimpse of our past and lend character to our communities as well as serving practical purposes now.
In the pursuit of sustainable development, communities have much to gain from adaptively reusing historic buildings. Bypassing the wasteful process of demolition and reconstruction alone sells the environmental benefits of adaptive reuse. Environmental benefits, combined with energy savings and the social advantage of recycling a valued heritage place make adaptive reuse of historic buildings an essential component of sustainable development.
To mark Australia's Year of the Built Environment 2004, this booklet will explore some of the environmental, social and economic benefits of the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.