Cities Setting Good Examples of Reuse

One of the top ways to really be sustainable is to find ways to reuse buildings instead of just building new ones. It is this reason that I get excited to see municipalities that are leading by example for building reuse. The biggest example in San Antonio is the Haven For Hope project that is under construction near downtown. This 37-acre facility for rehabilitating the homeless revitalized five buildings while only building three new ones. Although big projects like that don’t come around very often, there are many smaller examples. One such example is a new feasibility study I’m conducting for a library in a small town on the northeast edge of San Antonio.

They’re not just looking at a way to reuse a building for its second life, but actually its third life. The building was originally a carpet warehouse built in 1984, 15 years later it was converted into a church and is now being looked at for the new location of the city library. This isn’t a new concept for the city whose current library is located in the old fire station.

I expect as this recession continues and construction remains minimal, we will see more renovations instead of new buildings. Not only will this make us more sustainable but will also hopefully give new life to some neighborhoods. I hope to see this trend realized in the near future.