There has been a big increase in the amount of commercial to residential conversions in the UK in recent years. One of the main reasons for this is a relaxing of planning rules. These projects can also offer a healthy injection of new housing in urban areas. While the projects can split opinion, a conversion can be a good option and repurpose unused commercial architecture.
Below we will look at some of the main advantages for this kind of change of use and redevelopment.
Better than demolition
More retail spaces are empty today than ever before. This showcases how difficult it is for many companies to survive on a traditional high street. Sadly in lots of cases there is not a great deal of demand to fill the free space, meaning some buildings can be vacant for a long time. In some cases the lack of use can lead people to look at demolition. However, this can have a huge impact on the environment. Changing the use and transforming the buildings into homes is a much greener project.
Some commercial architecture is iconic because of their unique designs and history. Leaving them vacant and letting them become run down is awful. If a new business venture is not viable, it is better to turn them into new homes. This can save the landmark building and give it new life. That can help the wider area too, inspiring other improvements.
A lot of commercial buildings are in fantastic locations close to a host of amenities. These are areas where lots of people would want to live if they had the chance. Instead of looking at a high street and seeing vacant buildings, it would be much nicer to see people living in high quality homes and enjoying their local area.
These projects can often be more cost effective than building from scratch too. Developers may be able to buy the old properties with a healthy discount, especially depending on how long the property has been vacant. Then, it is always cheaper when there are structural elements in place already that can be reused. The lower costs can mean that the developers can offer the new homes at lower rates, creating more affordable housing in great locations.
Another benefit is the change in use is a great way to ensure areas can adapt to changes in culture. This can help them to keep up with what people actually need. It is much better to do this and have thriving, active locations than areas with too many vacant buildings that feel abandoned.
Talk to us about commercial architecture
Coffey Architects is a team that understands how a change in needs and usage can affect different properties. We appreciate that the best way to bring new life to a commercial building is to adapt it. With the right architects and a good design these buildings could become high quality new homes.
If you are looking at commercial architecture, whether with this kind of redevelopment in mind or anything else, we would love to help. You can contact us to discuss your plans; we can offer suggestions and more.