Guide for green build­ing retrofitting

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

THE GREEN Build­ing Coun­cil and Arup have launched a guide to retrofitting build­ings

The Green Build­ing Coun­cil of South Africa (GBCSA) and in­ter­na­tional en­gi­neer­ing and con­sult­ing group Arup have pub­lished a prac­ti­cal, user-friendly, step by step guide on the process of retrofitting ex­ist­ing build­ings to be­come greener and more ef­fi­cient.

Ex­ist­ing Build­ings Sur­vival Strate­gies was writ­ten for prop­erty own­ers, man­agers and con­sul­tants who want to up­grade and im­prove their ex­ist­ing build­ing stock, and is based on a sim­i­lar ini­tia­tive by the Prop­erty Coun­cil of Aus­tralia and Arup Aus­tralia. The pub­li­ca­tion has been sup­ported by Eskom and has a ma­jor fo­cus on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, al­though it will ap­peal to all those who want to max­imise value by re­fresh­ing build­ing stock that is no longer per­form­ing in line with mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions.

Build­ings use about 40% of en­ergy world­wide and more than 90% of the build­ing stock was built be­fore the green build­ing move­ment gained mo­men­tum. This means the cur­rent build­ing stock will have to be­come more ef­fi­cient if the prop­erty in­dus­try is to play its part in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, the re­duc­tion of car­bon emis­sions and com­bat­ing global warm­ing, says Ni­cola Dou­glas, chief ex­ec­u­tive of GBCSA.

Packed with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional case stud­ies, this full colour book­let ad­dresses the six main stages of a retro­fit: 1. De­ter­mine your base­line. 2. Re­view your build­ing main­te­nance and op­er­a­tional is­sues.

3. Es­tab­lish your tar­gets and goals.

4. De­cide on an ap­pro­pri­ate level of re­fur­bish­ment.

5. Se­lect your op­ti­mal up­grade ini­tia­tives.

6. Make your sur­vival strat­egy hap­pen.

A par­tic­u­larly use­ful sec­tion of the guide lists 200 op­ti­mal up­grade ini­tia­tives, cat­e­gorised into sec­tions such as man­age­ment, en­ergy-lighting, elec­tri­cal and HVAC, ma­te­ri­als, waste, wa­ter and more.

“This is the ideal ref­er­ence for any­one who wants to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity of their build­ings, but who are won­der­ing where to start,” says Dou­glas. “We’ve been in­un­dated with re­quests from prop­erty own­ers and man­agers for as­sis­tance in green­ing their cur­rent build­ings, and this re­source in an ex­cel­lent start­ing point.”

Arup staff who re­searched and wrote the guide for the south­ern African re­gion are par­tic­u­larly en­thu­si­as­tic about the prospects for ur­ban ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to their team, in­creas­ing the use­ful life­span, com­mer­cial and vis­ual value of ex­ist­ing build­ings will ben­e­fit own­ers and users, and will act as a cat­a­lyst to re­ju­ve­nate de­cay­ing and un­safe ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments.

Arup of­fers tai­lored ser­vices to those seek­ing as­sis­tance with their build­ings and port­fo­lios at ex­ist­ing­build­

The GBCSA is plan­ning to launch a se­ries of retrofitting train­ing cour­ses for early 2010, which will be based on the pub­li­ca­tion.

To buy a copy of the Ex­ist­ing Build­ings Sur­vival Strate­gies guide visit the GBCSA web­site at

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