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Aigwi, I E, Egbelakin, T and Ingham, J (2018) Efficacy of adaptive reuse for the redevelopment of underutilised historical buildings. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 36(04), 385–407.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Resilience; Historical buildings; Adaptive reuse; Efficacy; Provincial; Town centre regeneration;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 2398-4708
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-01-2018-0007
  • Abstract:
    Most provincial town centres in New Zealand typically feature old and vacant historical buildings, the majority of which possess heritage values. The growing perception that it is cheaper to repurpose vacant historical buildings rather than demolishing and rebuilding them is one of the factors that have made the adaptive reuse approach so popular. However, will this also be the case for provincial town centres in New Zealand? The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore the key factors that could influence the efficacy of adaptive reuse, and check for significant differences in the effect that each perceived factor would have on the adaptive reuse efficacy as a justifiable resilient and sustainable approach towards the regeneration of a major provincial town centre in New Zealand that is currently experiencing inner-city shrinkage. Design/methodology/approach A focus group workshop was conducted with 22 stakeholders involved in an existing town centre regeneration agenda for Whanganui. Closed-ended questionnaires were administered to the workshop participants to measure their opinions regarding the efficacy of the adaptive reuse approach for the regeneration of Whanganui’s town centre. The participant mix comprised a combination of structural engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, estate valuers, building owners/developers, legal representatives, heritage representatives and local government council representatives. Findings The study reported a high proportion of respondents that strongly agreed to the positive impacts of adaptive reuse with regards to the discussed priority aspects, hence, justifying the efficacy of the approach, towards delivering a vibrant town centre for Whanganui. Also, the Friedman’s analysis suggests that no significant differences existed among all perceived adaptive reuse efficacy criteria by the workshop participants, therefore justifying the approach. Originality/value This paper’s originality pertains to the practicality of changing the use of vacant historical buildings in Whanganui, which is one of New Zealand’s major provincial town centres, to renegotiate resilience and sustainable urban regeneration for the area.