Criteria of “Effectiveness” and Related Aspects in Adaptive Reuse Projects of Heritage Buildings

F. Arfa*, B. Lubelli, H. Zijlstra, W.J. Quist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
218 Downloads (Pure)


Adaptive reuse (AR) of heritage buildings is a complex process due to the involvement of many actions and actors, which influence the results of the projects. The effectiveness of AR projects can be described by various criteria. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the criteria of effectiveness in AR projects with the final scope to guide and improve the AR process. A review of the jury reports of two highly prestigious awards in the Netherlands (NRP Golden Phoenix award) and Europe (Europa Nostra) has been conducted. In total, the reports of 48 cases have been reviewed. The five criteria mentioned in the regulations of the NRP award have been used to categorize the aspects mentioned in the jury reports of both awards. These criteria are: “social value creation”, “sublimation (both architectural and cultural aspects)”, “environmental sustainability”, “economic value creation”, and “innovation”. This review reveals that “social value creation” and “sublimation” are among the most highlighted criteria that the juries considered for the effectiveness of AR projects. Often aspects mentioned for these criteria overlap partially with those aspects mentioned in the criterion of “economic value creation”. This indicates that enhancement of the qualities of heritage buildings and their surroundings and improvement of the social values and the resulting positive economic effects are strictly interrelated. The overview of the criteria of effectiveness, as defined in this work, will serve as a basis for the investigation of the tools and methods which can be used in the AR process to achieve these criteria
Original languageEnglish
Article number1251
Number of pages22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Adaptive reuse
  • Built environment
  • Effectiveness
  • Heritage buildings
  • Sustainable development

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