Why We Need To Retrofit Old Buildings?

31 Jan 2020
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The constantly increasing electricity prices, drowning economy, and changing climate have forced several institutions (private or public) to take a good look at how they can become more energy efficient. It has become apparent that greater sums of money have to be invested in energy efficiency to sustain the unsustainable and consistently growing demand for energy, out of which 40% is consumed by the buildings.. A building being efficient does not mean that it has to be new. A lot of building owners are taking older buildings and metamorphosing them into models that project sustainability. A lot of the businesses are still not completely aware of the potential of the savings that retrofitting could bring them, especially because capital costs can become the top barrier when it comes to investing in a retrofit.

The fact of the matter is that retrofitting can help save up 60% of the building’s energy consumption capacity, which translates into immediate savings in energy expenditure. But energy technology is only a small part of the solution. There are many other reservations when it comes to retrofitting, such as that of legal, political, and financial in nature. In a typical commercial building, the HVAC will make for 40-60% of the energy costs, and lighting will take up another 10-30%.

A lot of the newer buildings tend to quickly be converted into smart buildings, but it is mainly the older buildings that need work. We do love old infrastructure because of the rustic ambience that they give off, and a sort of character that they add to the town. However, what we forget is that they are not very energy efficient. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is not something we can ignore. Not only are these buildings expensive, but they also contribute highly to carbon emissions.

The best option for this dilemma is to retrofit these homes. It may sound like an easy solution, but there are a lot of barriers that come into play. The first and foremost thing is that the character and history of the building cannot be lost. Other than that, the way the buildings are structured internally cannot be tampered with.

Old buildings normally had slid walls, and they were made with plasters, renders, and lime mortars. These materials would allow the floors and walls to breathe and prevent them from dampening because the moisture could easily escape. The state of equilibrium is often set in a turmoil when cement based products like plastic plants etc. act as non-breathable elements that could trap the moisture. Such mistakes could decay the buildings and endanger the health of the occupants.

This is why Al Etihad Energy Services has taken up the responsibility to retrofit 30,000 facilities in Dubai by 2030. Till now this company has been able to retrofit 7197 facilities, and. This will help Dubai save 237 GWh of electricity and 288M IG of water, which will drastically reduce the CO2 emissions of the region.

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