You might have noticed that since the process of deindustrialisation that’s taken place over the last 40 years, many previously industrial spaces have been reclaimed by cities looking to expand their cultural offerings. Cafes, bars, clubs, galleries, and even collaborative workspaces have sprung up in factories and warehouses in towns’ industrial belts- helping convert unused spaces for the modern era, and giving birth to the ‘industrial chic’ revolution. If this process is something you’re looking to actively involve yourself in, this is the guide for you – showing you how to convert abandoned industrial units into new spaces for the digital age.

Getting Ownership

Those industrial sites that you’re familiar with in your town or city might seem abandoned, but they will, of course, be owned – or at least the land will be. Many of the owners of these spaces will be more than happy to rent the land out to intrepid entrepreneurs with exciting plans to restore the neighbourhood through regeneration. Some will even part with the land, allowing you to make even greater changes in your repurposing project. Getting ownership – or a long-term rental agreement – is an important first stage in converting industrial units into productive and exciting modern hubs of energy.

Surveying

How safe is the space you’re inheriting? Unless you’re a specialised surveyor, that’s going to be a very difficult question to answer. Make sure to talk to a trusted builder or construction professional who can take a look over the building you’re interested in, and they’ll be able to tell you whether you should demolish or rebuild.

Demolition

If you’re forced to go down the demolition route, you’re still going to be inheriting a useful space upon which to build. There will be utilities present in the area, and foundations that you can build upon. Wolfman Precision is your go-to concrete-smashing company who can help you start with a blank slate upon which to build your new business.

Rebuilding

Alternatively, you’ll go for a rebuild. You’ll touch up those areas deemed unsafe, and you’ll make sure that the building is watertight before you move in the vital equipment for your business. You’ll need to have extensive talks with builders in order to understand what this will involve – sometimes you’ll need to shell out quite a bit of cash to maintain that industrial chic you’re looking to preserve in your new business.

Layering

Layering new-build construction upon an older building is a well-practised method of maintaining the structure of a building while making the actual interior modern and comfortable. This is how you’re really going to focus on making the unit that you inherit into a reconstituted new business after industry has moved away. Consider:

  • The type of floor you need
  • The utilities you’ll have to install
  • The layout of the interior of your business
  • The toilet and cooking facilities you’ll require
  • Windows and doors for accessibility, light and fire escapes
  • Health and safety features throughout

With all of this in the front of your mind, you’ll be able to plan a truly stunning and immensely promising new business on a plot of land previously reserved for the industry.