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Adaptive CRE

While landlords and tenants are evaluating options to right-size their amenities and workstation footprint allocations, others are seeking alternative options for repurposing their assets. Policymakers and private industry are on a shared mission to revitalize downtowns.


Creative solutions are actively being proposed in various metros to create access to housing for all. For more to be viable, it is evident policies will need to be modified to make them pencil out. Two of the key factors in the adaptive reuse are code and building infrastructure capacity. The migration from open offices to residential units with individual controls is an obvious cost multiplier to the conversion, as is the increase in the domestic water demand and electrical infrastructure. When coupled with current electrification mandates and target EUI for buildings over 10,000 sf, there are reasons to take a closer look at the project’s viability.

Infrastructure Considerations

Mechanical: Heating &Cooling Equipment
Mechanical: Ventilation Systems
Electrical: Service and Distribution
Electrical: Emergency &Standby power
Plumbing: Hot Water Plant
Plumbing: Service size
Fire Protection: Sprinkler sizing for occupancy


Another approach being considered are wrap-around services for the office worker. On-site services have been a benefit as employers have recruited and retained talent. However, with the strain on access to childcare and healthcare, tenant on-site services are providing a greater benefit to multiple employers.

In both of these scenarios, a working understanding of the shell and core systems and how they support the program are instrumental to identifying a viable path forward. Our work in the Seattle/Bellevue metro area has aided clients as they retrofit their spaces for new purposes. 


City of Seattle Office of Planning and Development | Proposal Announcement, Submissions, & Project Portal