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Adaptive reuse is the adaptation of historic buildings from one use to another while preserving their heritage value.

Sometimes this may be nothing more than a change in activities, however in many situations buildings require modifications to suit their new purpose. As a result, reuse allows historic buildings to be properly cared for, and their origins to be understood and remembered, even where their purpose and function have changed.

Adaptive reuse is an important element in retaining historic buildings and other places for future generations. What's more, there are considerable benefits for environmental sustainability.

Heritage South Australia in the Department for Environment and Water funded a Sustainability and Adaptive Reuse Fellowship at the University of South Australia in 2018 which enabled an exploration of how conservation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Read the recent Fellowship report on 'Carbon Trading and State Heritage Places'.

Read the adaptive reuse guidelines from the Office of Design and Architecture SA.

Read the Commonwealth Government publication 'Adaptive Reuse: Preserving our past, building our future' (2004).