Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Conejos, S., Langston, C., & Smith, J. (2012). Designing for future buildings: Adaptive reuse as a strategy for carbon neutral cities. The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, 3(2), 33-52.

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 120200

© Copyright Common Ground, S. Conejos, C. Langston & J. Smith, 2012. All rights reserved. Permissions:




Adapting existing buildings is a viable alternative to demolition and replacement in order to mitigate climate change and global warming. Australian cities with inherent cultural heritage fabric, like Melbourne and Sydney, are actively promoting building adaptive reuse as a strategy that supports their programme for developing carbon-neutral cities. Thus, designing for future buildings with embedded adaptive reuse potential is a useful criterion for sustainability. Building adaptive reuse entails less energy and waste, protects the buildings’ heritage values- its socio-cultural and historic meanings; while giving them a new lease of life. This paper looks into urban conservation-- an interdisciplinary field that combines adaptive reuse, architecture and community development of the built heritage. It will further introduce the development of a new rating tool known as adaptSTAR, suitable for assessing the adaptive reuse potential of future buildings to lead and help promote the development of low to no carbon built environments.



This document has been peer reviewed.