The Future of Architecture: Building Less and Renovating More

Architects will be in more demand since buildings are being refurbished and built at a faster rate. When constructing a project, you have three options: build new buildings, renovate your existing area, or acquire and refurbish a new location. Your decision on these options will significantly impact your project’s price, timeline, and final structure.

However, deciding whether to refurbish or start from scratch can be challenging for homeowners and company owners who have outgrown their spaces or have changed demands. There are advantages and disadvantages to ground-up buildings and renovations, so carefully consider your demands before making your decision.

From a practical standpoint, renovation might make sense because it increases value, rearranges existing rooms to better suit demands, and is frequently more environmentally friendly.

Building from the ground up makes it possible to create new areas tailored to any requirement, which may seem like the best option for many people to get what they want.

This article will lay out the general rules to help determine whether building new construction or renovating an existing structure is better for you.


Cost is one of the most influential factors in a construction project. We all want to get the most for the money we spend. When choosing whether to build new or renovate, the decision often comes down to which one makes more sense financially.

New Building 

It would make sense that the more expensive choice would be to start from scratch and build a new building. You will be in charge of all site preparation, utility installation, and the entire structure—from the foundation to the exterior finishes—in return for a blank canvas.

Building new will always be more expensive because it usually involves a more sophisticated scope of work, more man hours, and more materials. On the other hand, there are some situations in which renovations can cost more.


If you’re repurposing an existing facility, you’ll have to pay to alter the structure to meet your needs. It will also be your duty to update the current structure to current ADA, health, and safety regulations. Depending on the extent of the renovations, some elements of the existing building may remain intact. Compared to many new constructions, these components help keep the cost of renovations cheaper.

However, it’s not always the case. In general, renovation costs increase with the age of the building. Renovations also allow for the unexpected. So when renovation starts, your construction team can’t know the conditions or surprises they’ll encounter. It could potentially push up project costs and schedule. It may be particularly true if hazardous building materials utilized in the initial construction, such as asbestos or lead paint, must be removed.

However, renovations will probably be less expensive if you update and freshen up your current space (e.g., living the tiny house movement), especially if it was built or renovated within the last few decades.

Project Duration

The project’s complexity, the current facility’s state (if renovating), and whether or not your organization’s operations must continue in tandem with construction activities will all affect how long the project takes.

New Building 

Because of the sheer volume of work, a new construction project will frequently take longer to complete than a renovation. Clear the land, lay the foundation when building something new, and lay all the utility equipment. The entire construction must be constructed from the ground up and finished.


Renovations are frequently a faster choice than new construction. Your construction crew will have less work to do because you won’t start from scratch and because many of the required building parts are already in place and can be integrated into the restored structure.

However, there are some situations in which this won’t hold. Project timelines sometimes exceed what it would have taken to construct new, especially for older and historic buildings, especially if it’s necessary to reduce the use of potentially hazardous building materials.

The effect it would have on your operations is crucial when deciding whether to build from scratch or renovate existing structures. If you’re remodeling your business space, you must modify your operations to collaborate with your building crew.

Attractive and Functional 

A building’s aesthetics convey a solid message to anyone who visits or lives there. Cozy finishes can convey a sense of coziness. Sleek, contemporary simplicity can mean effectiveness. It is also essential how your facility is laid out. You want to be confident that the finished product meets your needs in terms of appearance and functionality before investing in a construction project.

New Building

Generally speaking, you have the best influence over the final product’s appearance and functionality when you construct a new structure. When designing a project for a new building, you can tailor every aspect to your requirements, including size, layout, energy efficiency, and parking.


When renovating, you are more constrained by the architecture of the original structure. You won’t be starting from scratch to realize your concept, even though you can move walls, add to the structure, and customize the building to your specifications like replacing decorative items like lighting fixtures, furniture, and carpets with those crafted from natural or recycled materials to promote eco-friendly practices.

With that, refurbished and repurposed buildings, particularly those on older sites, can have a distinct character or charm that is difficult to replicate in new construction. This charm can make the area appealing so patrons, clients, members, or staff will want to spend time there. Imagine 19th-century industries converted into apartments with floor to ceiling windows and brick walls or distinctive old buildings full of charm converted into offices.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between building new construction or remodeling an old structure is challenging, but it’s a crucial choice. It will influence the price and timeline of the building project and serve as a guide for almost all other decisions you make. But it’s without a doubt that renovations could become more popular as cities become more populated and space to build in cities reduces. Renovating can also help reduce the rate of urban sprawl and help protect the natural environment so we hope to see more of this in the near future.

Pauline Cruz
Pauline Cruz

Pauline Cruz is a seasoned design enthusiast, known for her innovative approach to creating inspiring spaces. With a passion for blending functionality and aesthetics, she shares valuable insights and expertise in the realm of architecture.

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