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15 Mar 2011

Reuse. Remodel. Refresh.

Lean times can create many useful opportunities for capital projects in the Education sector, one of which is refurbishment. At ADP, whatever the state of the economy, we believe refurbishment has many advantages. In fact, in many instances, it can actually emerge as the preferred option. As well as being inherently more sustainable, refurbishment is cost and time effective. In logistical terms, refurbishment projects can often be more easily phased to ensure that works are less disruptive. Furthermore, creative and innovative refurbishment can increase the value of existing building stock, and can preserve historic buildings whilst keeping them in active use.

Refurbishment itself is a catch-all term, and can include each of three main elements: refresh, remodel, reuse, or a combination of two or more. It can range in complexity from a fresh new interior for a tired school reception, to the extensive remodelling of a university department, or the reuse of a redundant, outmoded building. Whatever the form of refurbishment, it requires careful analysis of current uses and needs, and the ability to creatively reinterpret existing spaces to meet those needs.

At ADP, we have particular skill and experience at this type of work, unlocking the potential of existing buildings and reinvigorating them for new use. We also consider the life of the building in the future, and look at ways we can anticipate future needs. This analysis informs our design, and can bring further cost benefits to refurbishment.

A key example of our creative refurbishment work has recently been completed at Aston University's main library. While a good library is a must for any university, in what is now a competitive Education market, building a brand new one was not a viable option at Aston. Instead, we extensively refurbished the existing library and the result can be seen to the right. Formerly an outmoded, dark and congested facility, we have successfully transformed the original 1960s building into a modern learning resource centre.

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