Conversion of office buildings

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Building conversion is a way of activating and reusing vacant office buildings. Former research (Barlow and Gann, 1993, Brand, 1994, Douglas, 2006, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2003, 2007) has shown possibilities for conversion through theory and practise, and has delivered instruments for determining the conversion possibility of vacant buildings. Still, building conversion is not taking place on a large scale. There may be several reasons; lack of knowledge about building conversion, uncertainty about financial feasibility, and little knowledge about the chances and risks of building conversions. This paper aims at answering the following questions: What are the risks and chances of building conversions? Can these be revealed at an early stage, increasing the feasibility of the project? These questions will be answered based on a cross-case analysis of 14 buildings in the Netherlands which were converted from offices to housing. We will discuss legal, financial, technical, functional and architectonic issues, both theoretically and empirically, by presenting findings from the 14 cases, revealing the risks and chances of building conversions to support decision making on dealing with vacant office buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding stock activation 2007
EditorsW Bakens, N.J. Habraken, K Kamimura, Y Utida
Place of PublicationTokyo
PublisherTHEI Printing Co.
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInternational Conference of 21st Century COE Programm of Tokyo Metropolitan Univ.2007 - Tokyo
Duration: 5 Nov 20077 Nov 2007


ConferenceInternational Conference of 21st Century COE Programm of Tokyo Metropolitan Univ.2007

Bibliographical note

Accepted manuscript


  • building activation
  • adaptation
  • risks
  • chances
  • case-study

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