UK Facing Challenges of Giving Existing Buildings a Green Makeover

Retrofitting older buildings: innovations and necessity

The Guardian, May 20, 2014

Ask a green construction expert if it’s easier to design an energy-efficient building from scratch or retrofit an old one and the answer will almost certainly be unanimous: a new build every time. Yet, if the UK is to achieve its target of halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2027, refurbishing old buildings is vital. And it has to be done at scale.

Commercial properties will be key to the success of this initiative. Non-domestic buildings account for 18% of the UK’s carbon emissions. Fast forward to 2050 and six out of 10 non-domestic buildings will be forty years old or more, according to calculations by the Building Research Establishment. So, while eco-efficient new builds are welcome, something has to be done about older office stock too.

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