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Last edited 10 Feb 2021
Definitions of retrofitting
Retrofitting means 'providing something with a component or feature not fitted during manufacture or adding something that it did not have when first constructed' (Ref: Retrofit 2050: Critical challenges for urban transitions).
It is often used in relation to the installation of new building systems, such as heating systems, but it might also refer to the fabric of a building, for example, retrofitting insulation or double glazing.
The production of retrofit parts is necessary in manufacture when the design of a large assembly is changed or revised. If, after the changes have been implemented, a customer (with an old version of the product) wishes to purchase a replacement part then retrofit parts and assembling techniques will have to be used so that the revised parts will fit suitably onto the older assembly.
The term is also used in the field of environmental engineering, particularly to describe construction or renovation projects on previously built sites, to improve water quality in nearby streams, rivers or lakes. The concept has also been applied to changing the output mix of energy from power plants to cogeneration in urban areas with a potential for district heating.
Sites with extensive impervious surfaces (such as parking lots and rooftops) can generate high levels of stormwater runoff during rainstorms, and this can damage nearby water bodies. These problems can often be addressed by installing new stormwater management features on the site, a process that practitioners refer to as stormwater retrofitting. Stormwater management practices used in retrofit projects include rain gardens, permeable paving and green roofs.
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