Last edited 05 Mar 2021

Sustainable refurbishment of commercial buildings


[edit] Introduction

The refurbishment of an existing building must now meet rigorous and legally-enforced minimum energy efficiency standards, as sustainability continues to force its way up the agenda. But the impact of environmental measures can no longer be viewed in isolation: the way that green building design and fit-out interacts with policy, finance, finance, tenant relations, staff wellbeing and broader community issues defines ‘goodenvironmental management of a building today.

[edit] Green strategies

Research carried out among European real estate industry professionals reveals that more than three-quarters of commercial buildings have a sustainability strategy, which is increasingly interlinked with business objectives. These include preventing obsolescence, exploiting tax incentives and simply creating a ‘quality building’ which has market appeal. Buildings lacking such a strategy are viewed by many as an investment risk.

In the commercial property world, investment consultants use a number of tools in their scrutiny of green strategies. These include :

There is also substantial evidence that companies seeking to attract and retain the new generation of skilled workers regard a sustainable building as an important element in their brand and corporate identity.

[edit] What form do the most effective refurbishments take?

Here’s a checklist that can be used to check for quick wins:

[edit] Heating and air conditioning

[edit] Thermal elements

[edit] Lighting

[edit] Glazing

[edit] Building controls

  • Introducing motion sensors and adjusting timings on existing sensors.

[edit] Supply chain

[edit] Renewables

[edit] Biophilic design

[edit] Metering

Clearly the skill today is to balance the all-important people-centric features with ongoing energy and resource efficiency through the use of technology and good maintenance practices.

As it is increasingly acknowledged that customer and staff wellbeing is affected by the sustainability of the building in which they operate, sustainability in property is becoming synonymous with quality. And that is good news for both people and the environment.

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