- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 06 Feb 2018
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.
See Retrofit for more information
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.
 Environmental management
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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Allowable solutions.
- Bill Gething and Katie Puckett - Design for Climate Change.
- Bonfield Review.
- Building engineering physics.
- Climate Change Act.
- Design for deconstruction.
- Earth building.
- Eco towns.
- Ecobuild 2016 - Making the business case for large scale retrofit investment.
- Energy efficiency of traditional buildings.
- Energy Performance Certificates.
- Fabric first.
- National Refurbishment Centre.
- New energy retrofit concept: 'renovation trains' for mass housing.
- Performance gap.
- Renovation v refurbishment v retrofit.
- Retrofit coordinator.
- Retrofit, refurbishment and the growth of connected HVAC technology.
Featured articles and news
BSRIA calls on government to reach deeper into the causes of pollution.
George Demetri brings a whole new level of technical knowledge to Designing Buildings Wiki.
Quality professionals need to take an active role in driving the completion process forwards.
The innovations needed to move from rhetoric to realisation.
Creating a sense of place, with radically-low running costs and the highest comfort levels.
A conversation between David Mitchell and Caitlin DeSilvey.
A quick guide to brick sizes.
The Union Street development in Southwark was a passion, as well as a business endeavour.
Do our water quality standards demonstrate to the public that their supply is clean?
A third of practitioners do not have easy access to the knowledge they need.
Sustainable approaches to relief, recovery and reconstruction after a natural disaster.
An introduction to a complex issue, the legal status of which remains unclear.