Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 Nov 2009

BUILDING: Guide To Retrofitting Buildings


Recent Western Cape Business News

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), together with Arup, have published “Existing Buildings Survival Strategies” – a guide on the process of retrofitting existing buildings to become greener and more efficient.

The publication is aimed at property owners, managers and consultants who are looking 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 want to maximize value by refreshing building stock which is no longer performing in line with market expectations.

With buildings using around 40% of energy worldwide and over 90% of the building stock already existing, 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.

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 two hundred 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 all those wanting to improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of their buildings, but who are wondering where to start,” says Nicola Douglas, CEO of the GBCSA. “We’ve been inundated with requests from property owners and managers for assistance in greening their current buildings, and we’re very excited to be able to offer this resource as a starting point.”

Arup staff who researched and wrote the guide for the Southern African region are particularly excited about the prospects for urban areas.  According to their team “increasing the useful lifespan, commercial and visual value of existing buildings will not only benefit owners and users; but will act as a catalyst to rejuvenate decaying and unsafe urban environments to the benefit of all community stakeholders.”  Arup is able to offer tailored services to those seeking assistance with their buildings and portfolios.

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

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