Green Retrofit means ensuring the maintenance and the preservation of cities and its components with smart technologies while cutting carbon emissions associated with the built environment.
At building scale
Green retrofitting buildings is updating and optimizing existing buildings stock with innovative technologies and systems with the aim of reducing energy consumption. Retrofitting appears to be a powerful tool for architecture and urban design to ensure the maintenance, the preservation and the decarbonization of existing buildings. More than one-third of energy is consumed in buildings responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions worldwide — buildings use approximately 40% of the energy consumed in the European Union.
Retrofitting old buildings does not mean building new green buildings. Retrofitting makes them more energy-efficient. It can be an alternative for existing cities which cannot rely on new green construction.
At city scale
Retrofitting existing cities consists of improving efficiency and living conditions for inhabitants while reducing their environmental impact. While more than half the world's population lives in cities, cities are facing urban sprawl, inefficiency and consume approximately two-third of total energy use worldwide. Lifestyle and urban sprawl are responsible of the increased of CO2 emission. Urban population and infrastructure are vulnerable to climate change. Retrofitting can reduce CO2 emissions, local pollution while improving the quality of life and the security of population to the consequences of climate change at lower ecological cost. This provides new approach in terms of urban design including more efficient transports (mobility hub, etc.), infrastructure and housing, a smart grid, energy sharing buildings, green areas, designing and implementing sensitive water management strategies for better cities management and environmental and economic performance.
> Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture's (AS+GG) Chicago Central Area DeCarbonization illustrates these increasing plans that include a building-retrofit programme to make cities more livable, attractive, smart and energy-efficient.
|Analysis of Carbon Emissions in the Chicago Loop © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Originally appeared on The Architect's Newspaper|
> The buildings coded in green emit the least carbon, yellow the second least, orange the third and the red building emits the most carbon per square foot.
AS+GG's DeCarbonization Plan is comprised of a database of more than 550 buildings which contains energy use, size, age, and estimated carbon footprint. It articulates eight key strategies addressing buildings, energy, infrastructure, urban matrix, transit, water, waste, and community engagement. The purpose of this plan is to reduce environmental impact of Chicago while improving its living condition and environmental and economic performance.
—> Adaptive, Resilience, Do With, Green Preservation, Recycling