Ready to Go Retro? The Latest Trend in Building
Ready to go retro? No, we’re not talking about vintage chic decor (although that’s certainly “in,” too.) We’re talking retrofitting, the latest building trend taking over the country.
In cities like Boston, much of the architecture is stuck in the past, and while it might be appealing on the outside, the inside is a different story. Buildings consume 40 percent of the nation’s energy, according to the National Institute of Building Sciences, and aging structures are the key culprits. Outdated heating, cooling, and lighting systems operate on a much lower level of efficiency. They are costly to operate and consume more energy than contemporary state-of-the-art facilities.
So what are cities to do with these antiquated, environmentally-unfriendly structures? Tear them down and construct brand new high-performance buildings in their place? Out with the old and in with the new, right?
Wrong. The answer is retrofitting: adjusting or replacing aging infrastructure in existing buildings with new technology to improve performance.
Retrofitting an old building is usually greener and less costly than building a new high-performance facility, Environmental Building News said. Plus, I don’t think anyone here in the Hub would be pleased if the city tore down the Liberty Hotel or any one of our city’s many historic landmarks, regardless of how much they cost to operate.
Retrofitting encompasses a vast array of potential changes to a building’s internal system. This includes replacing pump, boiler, and chiller systems; upgrading existing lighting systems to energy efficient standards; installing daylight, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), and lighting sensors; and much more.
Here in Boston and across the country, cities are going retro to save energy, lower costs, and improve performance of buildings. You recycle paper and plastic to protect the environment. Why not recycle buildings? Simply upgrading systems and replacing old equipment revitalizes buildings, giving them a new life and expanding their potential for use.
Retrofits not only reduce energy consumption and heating, cooling, and lighting costs, but also enhance building’s overall functionality. By improving accessibility, security, and air quality; retrofits ensure buildings are the best possible places to live, work and play.
Which familiar Boston buildings have received a retrofit makeover? View the original article on Bostinno to see!