What are the best practices for retrofitting an existing building to be more energy efficient and green?

Simply put, we must modernize buildings to make them more energy efficient, since they use and waste a large amount of energy. Globally, buildings currently account for nearly a third of global carbon emissions. In Canada, 17% of emissions come from residential, commercial and institutional buildings. Unfortunately, 80% of the energy consumed in buildings around the world is wasted, for example, by leaving lights on and gaps in insulation.

Careful planning is required for this extensive and invasive ecological remodeling. A profound energy upgrade can significantly reduce household energy consumption, but only if nothing is overlooked. Space heating and cooling, hot water, lighting, appliances and electrical loads in general should be considered part of the modernization. Take advantage of the opportunity offered by the renovation of the building to incorporate sustainable operations and maintenance practices and switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products and methods.

Installing a green roof can significantly reduce a building's energy consumption, especially in summer. For example, when the owners asked about the possibility of thermally modernizing the building's exterior to minimize disruptions, the contractor found, with the resources of modern building science, that this approach would work well to create continuous thermal and air barriers. Before making what could be a significant investment in modernizing existing buildings to improve energy and sustainability, it is important to determine if the investment is worthwhile compared to other construction conditions. Since 65% of the buildings that would exist in 2050 already exist, most of them will have to be modernized to make them more energy efficient and reduce building-related emissions.

Adding a green roof is an important modernization that can be done to a building to make it more energy efficient. Designing major renovations and modernizations for existing buildings to include sustainability initiatives will reduce operating costs and environmental impacts, and can increase the adaptability, durability and resilience of buildings. Energy consumption), especially with regard to heating and cooling (32 percent), and since existing buildings represent the largest segment of the built environment, it is important to initiate energy conservation reforms to reduce energy consumption and the cost of heating, cooling and lighting in buildings. Insulation is a material that traps heat inside a building when it's cold outside and reduces the amount of heat that enters the building when it's hot.

Discuss the benefits of distributed generation if the building is in a campus cluster or can share the energy produced on-site with adjacent buildings. In the warmer months, buildings with green roofs can see a 25% reduction in energy used for air conditioning. Energy modeling is a useful computer tool for modeling the energy performance of the entire building or of the systems within the building. To ensure that a recently renovated building continues to operate as designed, measure the performance of the building regularly.

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