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Adaptive Reuse in our Communities

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Adaptive Reuse refers to the process of repurposing an existing building for a new use. It is a form of sustainable urban renewal that offers significant social, economic, and sustainable benefits for local communities by maintaining cultural heritage, slowing urban sprawl, establishing community beacons, and reducing embodied carbon emissions.


The Historic Monticello Dairy building is now a thriving mixed-use development that achieved LEED Silver v4 BD+C Core and Shell certification. The historic structures of the Monticello Dairy were not only restored and adaptively reused, but many portions of the non-contributing additions to the Monticello Dairy were sustainably deconstructed and salvaged.

Approximately 10,000 bricks were saved

and reused on the project and 25.5 tons of bricks were diverted from a landfill. The overall diversion rate was 81.92%/8,177.53 tons. Additionally, 21 historic “Hopes” steel windows were restored, saving the project $210,000 in new material costs. To learn more, click here.


Working with developers Anacostia Economic Development Group and Flaherty & Collins, Cunningham | Quill converted the seven interconnected CT Campus buildings on the grounds of the Historic St. Elizabeths Hospital campus into affordable and market-rate housing

designed specifically for Families.

The project supports an equitable Congress Heights community by improving access to affordable housing that’s within easy reach of the surrounding neighborhood, public services and transit. The project ensures that families whose incomes are 30-50% of the area’s average median income can remain economically stable in a vibrant multi-model community within walking distance to neighborhood schools, health-care facilities and public transit that includes bus, rail and bike-share stations. To learn more, click here.




Located on a busy intersection in Georgetown, the Fellowship House is a 31,300-square-foot adaptive reuse project which converted a 1950s commercial building into housing for research fellows studying at Dumbarton Oaks. Cunningham | Quill Architects preserved the existing two-story brick masonry envelope and transformed the existing massing with new brick and copper additions that respond to the irregularity of the project site and meet the program goals, which include spaces that host public programs open to the community. Numerous sustainable measures were employed to help the project achieve LEED Gold v4 NC certification and exceed Harvard University’s stringent Green Building Standards, including a geothermal renewable energy system, intensive and extensive green roofs, over twenty new trees, and a stormwater vault. To learn more, click here.



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