The Green Economy Reports: Retrofitting More Energy Efficient than New Buildings

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The Green Economy’s latest issue reports that retrofitting buildings is more energy efficient than building new.

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New, certified green buildings may offer sex appeal and flashy style, but older buildings offer unexpected benefits to cost conscious businesses and homeowners.

The Green Economy’s December issue, “Cities & Buildings,” explores how retrofits, green roofs and LEED certifications impact buildings’ energy efficiency and, in turn, transform cities such as Pittsburgh into examples of sustainable living.

“New, certified green buildings may offer sex appeal and flashy style, but older buildings offer unexpected benefits to cost conscious businesses and homeowners,” said Maryruth Priebe, senior editor at The Green Economy. “One of the lessons the green building industry is learning is that old buildings often outperform new ones —even those built to high green building standards.”

Recent studies confirm that buildings built in certain time periods can be energy efficient and that, on average, older buildings achieve higher ENERGY STAR ratings than newer buildings.
“The numbers are clear: the most energy efficient buildings are older buildings,” said Francoise Bollack, architect and president of the Historic District Council in New York. “It’s basically validating what we have been saying for many years: older buildings tend to be more efficient because they have more mass so by their very nature they are more insulated.”

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Tana Kantor
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