Design for Future Adaptive Reuse (DFAR) and adaptSTAR Model


AdaptSTAR Lab hopes to encourage mutual understanding among design professionals, their clients and the communities they serve; to take on the role of ‘adaptation warriors’ by safeguarding iconic architecture and heritage buildings, as well as the quality of the natural and built environment for future generations to enjoy and treasure.

One of the lab’s research areas is the Design for Future Adaptive Reuse (DFAR) initiatives. The Design for Future Adaptive Reuse (DFAR) is a design concept that anticipates the future changes of the building. This concept can help inform architectural design, urban planning and development decisions aimed at creating sustainable, resilient and flexible buildings of the future.

DFAR is a strategy to prolong the useful life of buildings before they reach physical, economic, functional, technological, social, legal or political obsolescence. Through the DFAR concept, the adaptSTAR model was developed to assess the future adaptability potential of existing and new buildings.




The adaptSTAR model is a design decision tool that ensures new designs are optimised for future adaptability before they are constructed, leading to better social value and more sustainable performance over a building’s entire life cycle.

Similar in concept to GBCA’s Green Star or LEED performance standard 5 star rating methodology. This tool is supplemental to the existing sustainability tools which are still focused on new developments and existing building operation and maintenance. The AdaptSTAR model will help designers in making critical design decisions that will contribute to the built environment sustainability.

The application of the adaptSTAR Model will be useful in the practical applications of Adaptive Reuse of the buildings (heritage and non-heritage) as well as, the incorporation of Adaptive Reuse strategies for future buildings and help promote the development of sustainable built environments. The AdaptSTAR Scan mobile app can be used in the assessment of highly adaptable and circular buildings in the future.

AdaptSTAR Scan