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The Challenges of Adapting a Commercial or Industrial Building into a Home

Recycling and reclaiming is a significant part of modern design and architecture, and it even applies to reusing commercial or industrial buildings by transforming them into modern residential spaces. However, this process of adaptive reuse comes with plenty of challenges – here are some insights from a leading commercial and residential architect in NJ.

  • Zoning: This is the first issue to overcome, as it restricts the use of the building and limits what can be done with it. Rezoning is a common practice, but it does take time and the building’s current zoning will have to be reviewed and allowed by your local municipality or county. If this isn’t granted initially, you may have to file for a zoning variance which can be a costly, time-consuming and ultimately unsuccessful process.
  • Keeping the character: One of the reasons that this type of conversion is so popular is because buyers love the character, space and interesting features of old industrial or commercial buildings. To make your conversion a success, this means preserving as much of these characterful features as possible while often gutting the entire interior. This makes the project more complex than a new build, as new residential features have to be installed without compromising the original structure. Also, all of these renovations will have to comply with the relevant residential building codes and historical preservation requirements, if applicable.
  • Installing all the modern conveniences: Commercial buildings often lack the basic modern conveniences that we require in our homes, and these will all have to be worked into the structure – also, many will be required by the regulations. This can include climate control, heating and ventilation, sewerage and gas, fire alarms and sprinklers, insulation, and more. For larger conversions, wheelchair accessibility and multiple means of egress (fire escapes, stairs, etc.).

Residential and Commercial Architects in NJ with Vision 

The New Jersey architectural firm of Seth A. Leeb offers full-service solutions for both commercial and residential projects. With 20 years of experience, we can provide the expertise, skills and innovative thinking you need to create a residential or commercial space that is functional, striking and ideally suited to your needs. For more information on our home remodel architect, commercial architect and residential architect services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://leeb-architecture.com/