Bring older buildings into compliance with modern building codes can be very difficult and expensive. Accodingly, many localities exempt adaptive reuse buildings from some or all of today's building codes. One example of this is the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance in Los Angeles, California.
The Adaptive Reuse Ordinance has become one of the most significant incentives related to historic preservation in Los Angeles, facilitating the conversion of dozens of historic and under-utilized structures into new housing units. The Ordinance was originally approved in 1999 for downtown Los Angeles and was extended into other neighborhoods of the city in 2003. It provides for an expedited approval process and ensures that older and historic buildings are not subjected to the same zoning and code requirements that apply to new construction. The result has been the creation of several thousand new housing units, with thousands more in the development pipeline, demonstrating that historic preservation can serve as a powerful engine for economic revitalization and the creation of new housing supply.
Tyler, Texas Adopts New Adaptive Reuse Code: The City of Tyler, Texas, adopted new a new code that will help to encourage the reuse of older existing buildings. By approving the International Existing Building Code, the City is providing property owners who possess an older existing building to utilize this new code rather than codes written for new construction. While the IEBC still requires that buildings meet safety standards, the code provides a different method to achieve safety points. A special task force arraigned by the City examined the potential code and ultimately recommended that the City adopt it. Tyler hopes to see the majority of impact in its downtown where there are a number of historic and older buildings. Reuse of the buildings will be less cost-prohibitive while still providing safety as well as revitalizing the downtown.
Lance Armstrong Foundation & Adaptive Reuse: After leasing corporate office space for over a decade, The Lance Armstrong Foundation now has a permanent home for the LIVESTRONG offices in East Austin, Texas. The headquarters is part of a larger revitalization effort within the underserved neighborhood of Austin. The adaptive reuse of this warehouse has provided new life and a commitment to the local community.
The renovated space provides a number of private office and meeting spaces as well as large open areas to host meetings for other local non-profits. The work has resulted in LEED Gold certification, codifying the Foundation’s concern for the environment.