Retrofitting buildings and cost savings


Building Retrofit, QUeens College, Queens College Building Operator, Building Operator Diploma, BOP< BOP Diploma, TorontoIn many instances, retrofitting existing buildings can be more cost effective than building a new facility. Buildings consume a massive amount of energy. As defined by Natural Resources Canada, retrofitting an existing building offers the opportunity to audit and upgrade the energy performance of a building by implementing modifications to improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand which includes lowering the costs of heating, cooling, and lighting. Energy efficiency retrofits can reduce the operational costs, especially in older buildings, as well as serve as an opportunity to help attract tenants and gain a market edge. In fact, retrofitting can make a building operator’s job more dynamic due to the fact that more sophisticated and improved building systems demand for better-educated and knowledgeable building operators that have an awareness of how the building will improve its functions after being undergoing certain retrofitting.


What is an energy retrofit?

The process of energy retrofitting involves upgrading a building’s energy consuming systems. Retrofitting may involve improving or replacing lighting fixtures, ventilation systems, or windows and doors, or adding insulation wherever it makes economic sense. Committing to improving the aforementioned building systems can help operators improve the way their facilities function. Retrofitting also means including energy efficiency measures in all your renovation and repair activities. Retrofits can be applied to any building, such as arenas, institutional buildings, retail buildings, large apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, recreational facilities, office buildings, and even grocery stores.


What are the benefits?

Retrofitting buildings is an opportunity to upgrade the energy performance of commercial building assets for their ongoing life. In fact, a typical building can cut energy use by 15% by implementing low-cost measures and up to 45% by implementing deeper retrofit measures. Buildings, whether residential or commercial don’t have to be new in order to be efficient, instead, they can be retrofitted for lower costs than newer buildings. As a result, operators will have to be aware of the exact aspects that their buildings may need to improve their efficiency on since they are the employees in charge of monitoring the buildings and facilities. Building operators can provide many ideas to owners as to how their facilities can be improved.

The main goal of a retrofit should be to create a high-performance building that ensures all of the design concepts are met. Energy and water systems should be upgraded in order to minimize consumption. Natural ventilation and fresh air are alternatives that would reduce heating and air conditioning. Evaluations of where employees work should be made, and then the use of natural light, HVAC and lighting should be maximized based on the tasks and functions of the occupied space.

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In order to ensure that a newly retrofitted building continues to perform as designed, the operation of the building needs to be tracked on a methodical basis, such as gas emissions, consumption of water, removal of waste. To help with this smart meters and sub-meters are used to monitor real-time consumption, demand, and accountability. As a result, building operators will need to have knowledge of how the monitoring devices function and to log and take note of any issues or opportunities that may help improve the efficiency of their buildings even more.

Every building needs to be operated on a certain financial budget due to the fact that the world economy is becoming increasingly constrained by rising energy costs, energy availability and energy-related environmental regulations. Sustainable construction and building maintenance are a growing practice in Canada as the environmental and health benefits become increasingly apparent and the fact that there are great financial incentives. While most building owners look to pursue single technology improvements, building operators may look for energy saving technologies to get greater savings in a more comprehensive approach. Contracting for energy performance improvements is one business model that building owners implement in order to upgrade and improve older buildings.