Technical issues and energy efficient adaptive reuse of heritage listed city halls in Queensland Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 2018, 36 (5), pp. 529 - 542
Issue Date:
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© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Adaptive reuse of heritage stock has several advantages: retention of culturally and socially significant buildings, as well as the opportunity to consider embodied energy, energy efficiency retrofit measures and other environmental upgrades. The purpose of this paper is to identify the technical issues faced in the adaptive reuse of Australian heritage listed city halls and discuss sustainable strategies to enable further adaptations to be more energy efficient. Design/methodology/approach: Adaptive reuse of a heritage building provides an opportunity to retain embodied energy, improve energy efficiency and enhance durability, which are important aspects of the technical lifecycle of a building. Using a case study methodology and a qualitative approach, this paper evaluates adaptations and the technical issues faced in three heritage city halls in Queensland, Australia. Findings: The analysis shows that enhancing energy efficiency enables heritage buildings to reduce their climate change impacts. However, the installation of equipment for energy efficiency can pose technical issues for heritage buildings. The ownership of heritage building and interest of the local community affects the solutions that are viable. Solutions and further sustainable strategies are proposed through analysis of case studies. Originality/value: City halls globally adopt different and varied architectural designs, features and scales. They are often heritage listed and locally significant landmarks that have undergone various adaptations; however, they have been overlooked in much adaptive reuse research, particularly in Australia. City halls differ from other heritage buildings in their collective sense of ownership which is important in regard to proposed changes, as citizens have an interest and hold opinions which may affect measures adopted. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge related to energy efficient technical adaptive reuse of city halls.
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