alternatively: Adaptive Reuse

For historic buildings needing repair, alterations, or an addition, the most flexible intervention strategy is rehabilitation, which preserves those portions or features that convey the structure’s historical, cultural, or architectural values while making compatible use of the property possible. Because this approach involves the freedom to assign a new use to the historic property, it is also referred to as adaptive re-use.

When rehabilitation is chosen as the appropriate intervention, alterations and additions can be made, but they should be done in a way that avoids confusion with original historic elements.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Rehabilitations Standards are intended to guide project decisions so that alterations, additions, and related new construction are compatible with and protect the integrity of the historic property and surrounding context. [1]


The Standards & Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada defines rehabilitation as:

“…the sensitive adaptation of an historic place or individual component for a continuing or compatible contemporary use, while protecting its heritage value. Rehabilitation can include replacing missing historic features. The replacement may be an accurate replica of the missing feature or it may be a new design compatible with the style, era and character of the historic place.” [2]



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     pp. 197-8.
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