Office-to-Residential Conversions

Conference ScheduleOffice-to-Residential Conversions: Planning from Experience
Speakers: Peter TararaNick Ozog and Anthony K. Dukes from Wiss, Janney, Elstner
Approved by ALA and AIA for 1 LU/HSW
Spring Signature Conference, Friday, May 31, 2024

Adaptive reuse of existing buildings is one of the best options to increase sustainability and resiliency in the built environment. And, in recent years, economic and social shifts have made these conversions more financially attractive. Hybrid work arrangements have left office buildings underoccupied or completely vacant. At the same time, demand has increased for urban living spaces with easy access to public amenities. Converting commercial buildings to residential space is a viable solution for both problems.  

This presentation will discuss common elements of office-to-residential conversions, including often-overlooked structural impacts, fire protection and life safety requirements, and building enclosure improvements that are important to any adaptive reuse project that results in a change of occupancy. This presentation will help property owners, developers, architects, contractors, and building officials navigate the complexities of these conversions.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will:

  1. Identify design changes that may result in structural building modifications.
  2. Describe how fire protection safety requirements change from office use to residential use.
  3. Recognize building enclosure improvements to consider during adaptive reuse.
  4. Explain the need for an integrated, multidisciplinary planning approach to the basic adaptive reuse principles that apply to office to residential conversions.

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