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ecoLines 13

Renovation Delivers Sustainable Architecture In modern architecture, one trend stands out above others: sustainability. While new and contemporary designs often come to mind when thinking of green architecture, many should consider green renovations and adaptive reuse projects as equally important to the sustainability movement in design. Applauded for their creative and innovative design concepts, many green renovations and adaptive reuse projects have generated some of the most innovative and intelligent work in the architectural field to date.

While architects often focus on empty lots for future development, renovation projects play an important role in positively affecting the environment as architects are tasked with creating “new form out of old fabric.” There is an abundance of energy and materials that reside within existing buildings which can reduce waste and land use, require less energy and decrease the general consumption of materials.

KMA has recently taken on a renovation project for the Newbreak Church located in Ocean Beach. The 6,000 square foot one and two-story church is being renovated to give the facility a more modern feel while blending in with traditional elements. The existing wood and brick exterior cladding of the facility will be removed to create a sleek, contemporary look, and the entrance will be relocated to provide church-goers with a spacious gathering area shaded by a trellis.

“The renovation and added contemporary designs truly complement the original, traditional style of the church,” said Don Blair, president of KMA. “There was no need to knock down the church to bring new life into the existing structure. We feel that by giving a new look to the existing church, it fosters a greater sense of community and neighborhood revitalization.”

While renovation and reuse projects can be more complex than and not as glamorous as brand new, sustainable development, for many companies, achieving LEED® certification with minor renovations and retrofits has been a commonly desired goal. Motivated by the prospect of increased property values, reduced utility bills, and being recognized as a “green” company, a noted upturn in green building upgrades has contributed to keeping the architecture and design industry afloat in difficult economic times.

In the pursuit of sustainable development, communities have much to gain from adaptively reusing existing buildings. Bypassing the wasteful process of demolition and reconstruction alone provides an extraordinary environmental benefit. While many future architectural trends are likely to unfold, renovation and adaptive reuse will always be an essential component of sustainable development.

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