A building converted into a space that can accommodate its new intention becomes a beautiful serenity. It takes a good architectural eye to transform a derelict structure into something truly spectacular however, it is common for any person to spot a derelict structure and already gain sight of the beauty or how lucrative it could turn out to be. Some of the biggest misconceptions are that there is no demand for these buildings and that just because the buildings are in a “state” that they are going to be available for next to nothing. Although, there are a few reasons why that could be e.g., the owner of the property might not be ready to sell and so forth, the biggest challenge is to ensure compliance with regulations.

There is a difference between; 1) conversion of a building for new use or function, which usually implies structural changes and, 2) building adaptation which might entail making some alterations that do not interfere with the current state of the original building but rather might be additions. For the latter it means that you will not have to ensure that the entire building complies with new regulations that have been imposed since the building was originally erected however, you will need to get approvals on the designs of the new section to be added to ensure compliance.

Oppositely, the conversion of a building might somewhat require drastic interventions. The biggest obstacle that can be faced when dealing with converting a building is not the reconstruction itself but rather the paperwork. The current state of how towns are developing influences the planning laws and the applications to ensure that your desired new use for the building is approved. This is why it is important to have someone in your corner with relevant connections and expertise.

Before making any changes to a building after having a lucrative chat with the owner, the next person to get in touch with is a town planner who is used to engaging with municipal and provincial officials. They will be able to quickly help assist with the relevant procedures and applications necessary to approve the conversion. This will help save you much time and cost while also helping you avoid land-use management-related issues and pitfalls. Most people become despondent after trying to get everything sorted by themselves simply because of the lengthy process and because they are not equipped with, the relevant expertise to be able to advocate appropriately when hit with certain responses.

The next step to take is to consult with someone who understands how buildings work and how to alter them in the most cost-effective way to achieve the desired aesthetics and functional qualities. This will require the intervention of a Structural Engineer who will assist with the technicalities being the building layout, materials, structural alterations, and so forth. The National Building Regulations (NBR) provides an Act requiring approval if the changes to a building will affect the structural strength or stability of the original building.

Thorough knowledge of both the structural and building material will assist to achieve the diagnosis. Preserving and rehabilitating those portions or features, which convey the building’s historical, cultural, or original architectural values will help to be economical and feasible. The architectural, mechanical, and electrical systems in historic buildings often differ greatly from today’s design and construction standards, and thus the next relevant step is to liaise with the relevant teams to ensure that the upgrades to these services is substantial or, will require to be completely rebuilt or replaced. The result should be a building whose architectural, mechanical, and electrical systems support its modern use while retaining its historic and architectural character.

The conversion of the Silo Hotel from a grain silo perfectly sums this article up. One might not suspect the nature of this skyscraper from a distance. Visionaries who can see the potential that a space can offer and can implement a strategy to bring the vision into life build the future towns. Whether, it is a small piece of old land that can be turned into a small space for locals to enjoy, old industrial buildings that have been turned into a space where people can enjoy art such as in Maboneng, or the above-mentioned structure converted into a state of the art hotel. The beginning of resurrecting life to a building is to see a vision and follow it up through following the relevant steps that will ensure that the vision does not die but rather is inspired and continues to grow.

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