Last edited 16 May 2022


An umbrella term for various kinds of comprehensive adaptation and refurbishment activities. From a functional perspective the term usually indicates a notable change in the use of a building, either through change of function(s) or significant alterations to the current function(s) via e.g. spatial rearrangements. In addition, the term may be applied to actions that do not directly affect the use of the building but otherwise majorly alter e.g. its appearance or technical performance, such as thorough façade renovation.

NB Functional Standards Common Glossary, published by the Cabinet Office, defines transformation as: ‘A distinct change to the way an organisation conducts all or part of its business.’

Applied digital documentation In the historic environment, published on 19 March 2018 by Historic Scotland, defines transformation as: ‘A mathematical operation to convert a dataset between coordinate systems.’

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again