What Is Retrofitting Of A Building

The retrofitting of an existing building will always be more economical than the construction of a new one. As buildings are consuming substantial quantities of energy, especially for heating and cooling, and as the most large portion of the constructed environment is composed of existing buildings , energy rehabilitation steps should be introduced to decrease energy consumption and the costs of heating , cooling and lighting buildings. However, energy conservation is not the only reason to upgrade existing buildings. 

The aim should be to construct an efficient, detailed design building in the design process, to ensure that the project is accomplished in the planning phase. The integrated project team, for example, will develop a new design approach that achieves different design goals. This means that the building is less expensive to maintain, will improve the value, will last longer and will help people live and work in a safer, cleaner, more convenient environment. Improving the efficiency of the buildings, reducing humidity penetration and mold will all improve occupants’ health and productivity.

The retrofitting process involves careful balancing of various elements and their effects on a building’s overall efficiency. Changing one part of a building may impact another and this can often only be seen after the incidence of permanent defects. For example: 

  • Sealing buildings to improve air conditioning can lead to problems with condensation.
  • Insulating a roof without ventilation may also cause the structure of the wood to decay.
  • The advantages of thermal mass which could have a damaging impact on fuel use would be removed by the internal wall insulation.
  • The thermal store of heat from solar gains in the building will be prevented with external wall insulation.
  • Poorly constructed cavity wall insulation can produce cold spots, which can then cause extremely difficult humid problems to fix.
  • Pre-existing problems can be covered up, and so more difficult to diagnose and rectify.

It’s necessary to determine whether the investment is worthwhile in light of other building terms before making what could constitute major investment in rehabilitating existing buildings for improving energy and sustainability. Is the design sound structural? Is seismic improvements needed to meet established standards and specifications for local building code? MUST contain and extract toxic materials such as asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls ( PCBs) and lead paint. Can phases be conducted to reduce occupant disorder? It may be a substantial cost to move occupants to another building.

It is therefore very important to consider and handle these and other risks in the way appropriate to each project. Standard solutions can not just be introduced without careful thought, and care must be taken to ensure that the installations are of good quality. In each of the four reconstruction phases – evaluation, design, implementation and operation – ‘retrofit watch points’ are important in order to prevent problems, such as:

  • Poor trade management.
  • Poor trade integration.
  • Inappropriate methods are introduced.
  • Designers and manufacturers have made significant efficiency gains.
  • The lack of comprehensive design robustness.

The post-occupancy assessment process, once a building has been retrofitted, is critical for assessing its overall performance and ensuring that lessons are learned for future projects. This can include fuel consumption tracking, occupant inspections, air permeability checks, and thermographic inspections etc.

Need a Company That Specializes in Earthquake Retrofitting? 

Spaulding Concrete is made up of a team of specialists for structural renovation, seismic retrofitting, soft-story retrofitting, residential earthquake proofing and tenant building development.  The members of our team are your partners in safety and earthquake protection who listen to and recognize the needs of the building owner and offer their earthquake retrofitting solutions from beginning to end.  We enjoy delivering excellent service here at Spaulding Concrete and we live up to our values with every client.The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control.  To schedule your free quote, call or email us today! We are proud to serve Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and the surrounding areas.