Analysing sustainable retrofit potential in premium office buildings

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Journal Article
Structural Survey, 2012, 30 (5), pp. 398 - 410
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The built environment has high potential to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and with around 1-2 per cent of new buildings added to the total stock annually, the scope for reductions lies with adaptation of existing stock. Existing buildings comprise a variety of attributes and present challenges and opportunities with regards to adaptation and sustainability, and integrating retrofit measures that lessen energy, water and resource consumption. Through a quantitative analysis of a Building Adaptation database, this paper addresses the questions; what is the nature of adaptations in relation to Premium quality office building stock in the Central Business District (CBD) and, what is the extent and scope for sustainable retrofits to Premium grade office buildings. The nature and extent of adaptations to Premium office buildings are identified and quantified in respect of attributes such as adaptation level, building age, location, construction form, envelope, shape and height and operating costs. The findings provide an insight for policy makers and others in respect of the nature and type of adaptations typically undertaken in Premium office buildings. The research identifies the typical attributes found in buildings undergoing adaptation and specifies the type of sustainable retrofit measures particularly suited to buildings with those attributes. The research is based on an analysis of “all” office building adaptations from 1998 to 2008, which facilitates a unique study of what has occurred with regards to adaptation practices. From this starting point it is possible to determine where opportunities lie to capitalise on work being undertaken. © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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