Protecting the heritage of our increasingly ageing building stock is becoming more important but difficult, particularly as citizens look for ways to minimize their impact on scarce resources and fragile environments in the context of impending climate change. Adaptive reuse is an efficient way to reuse existing buildings that have become obsolete by 'recycling' them in-situ through giving them a new functional purpose. In this paper, using Hong Kong as a case study of dense urban development with immense redevelopment pressure, adaptive reuse potential (ARP) modelling is deployed to test the processes underway in Hong Kong for the adaptive reuse of 14 existing publicly owned historic buildings with various degrees of heritage protection, and rank these buildings to determine the most effective time to undertake adaptive reuse intervention. The best and worst projects are then investigated in further detail to provide insight into the validity of the modelling process. This research illustrates that the ARP model works well for the two in-depth studies, and recommends further use of this technique by government authorities to help manage the daunting task of where best to prioritize its resources for heritage protection.