Exploring the Relation Between Circularity and Adaptability in Adaptive Reuse

Mohammad B. Hamida is a PhD researcher of the chair of Real Estate Management at the Department of Management in the Built Environment (MBE) of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft. Under the supervision of the project promoters dr. Hilde Remøy and Prof.dr.ir Vincent Gruis, Mohammad pursues providing practitioners in the building industry and real estate market with a knowledge-based framework for promoting circularity and adaptability in building adaptation in light of the enabling and inhibiting factors that could influence such a process. To achieve this aim, Mohammad has critically reviewed the relevant bodies of literature and conducted multiple case studies to conceptually establish this framework. He has been conducting participatory research to collaboratively expand this framework with experts from the building industry and real estate market in the Netherlands. In this video, Mohammad explains the importance of Adaptive Reuse as well as its dependence on complex social dynamics and emergent phenomena. He also introduces the concept of Circular Building Adaptability (CBA) and the CBA model, a conceptual framework that promotes the capacity of any adaptive reuse intervention to add value to building assets.

Main Takeaways

  • The term Adaptive Reuse can be simply described as the process of re-purposing and re-using a building to meet the functional requirements of a new use.
  • Adaptive Reuse depends on a number of complex factors such as: building obsolescence, property vacancy, market volatility, demographic changes, technological advancements, and environmental degradation.
  • The concept of ‘Circular Building Adaptability’ (CBA) represents the capacity to contextually and physically alter the built environment and sustain its usefulness, whilst keeping the building asset in a closed-reversible value chain.
  • Bringing circularity and adaptability together, and aligning them with adaptive reuse of buildings is a way to redevelop our properties in a future-proof and resource-efficient way.


Further Reading

  • Foster, G. (2020). Circular economy strategies for adaptive reuse of cultural heritage buildings to reduce environmental impacts. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 152, 104507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104507
  • Hamida, M.B., Jylhä, T., Remøy, H. and Gruis, V. (2023). Circular building adaptability and its determinants – A literature review. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 41(6), 47-69. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-11-2021-0150
  • Hamida, M.B., Jylha, T., Remøy, H., and Gruis, V. (2022). Operationalising circularity and adaptability related real estate strategies: An exploratory study. In 28th Annual Conference of the European Real Estate Society, ERES: Conference. Milan, Italy. https://eres.architexturez.net/doc/eres-id-eres2022-206
  • Hamida, M.B. and Hassanain, M.A. (2022). A framework model for AEC/FM knowledge in adaptive reuse projects. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 20(3), 624-648. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-05-2020-0203
  • Pinder, J.A., Schmidt, R., Austin, S.A., Gibb, A. and Saker, J. (2017). What is meant by adaptability in buildings?. Facilities, 35(1/2), 2-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-07-2015-0053
  • Remøy, H.T. and van der Voordt, T.J.M. (2007). A new life: conversion of vacant office buildings into housing. Facilities, 25(3/4), 88-103. https://doi.org/10.1108/02632770710729683
  • Hamida, M.B., Remøy, H., Gruis, V. and Jylhä, T. (2023). Circular building adaptability in adaptive reuse: multiple case studies in the Netherlands.  Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-08-2022-0428


Mohammad Hamida
Mohammad Hamida
PhD Researcher

Mohammad B. Hamida holds a MSc from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). He previously worked as a Site Building Engineer at AZMEEL Contracting & Construction Corporation. He has conducted and published different studies related to adaptive reuse projects in two contexts: the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

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Circularity for Educators

The platform is intended to provide with content on either circularity or pedagogy for and about circularity. It is one of the outcomes of the Circular Impulse Initiative (CII), a project intending to enhance the integration of circularity in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment education. The platform mainly aims to help tutors get better acquainted with circularity in the built environment by providing a series of resources on this subject that they can either view to get better informed or directly share with their students in class or online. A large number of the Faculty's professors and researchers have contributed substantially both in creating a coherent narrative for circularity in the built environment as well as further elaborating on different aspects of it. Besides this one, a new platform for interaction and direct exchange was also established in parallel that we call ‘Educators for Circularity‘. This one offers the opportunity for all of us to meet and share our experiences and learn from one another.

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