Sustainable retrofit potential in lower quality office stock in the Central Business District

CIB Management and Innovation in the Sustainable Built Environment.
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
CIB Management and Innovation in the Sustainable Built Environment., 2011, pp. n.p. - n.p.
Issue Date:
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Given the relationship between energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the built environment has significant potential to lessen overall emissions. With around half of all greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the built environment; it has a significant role to play in mitigating global warming. With large percentages of office stock structurally vacant in some city centres and only 1 or 2% of new buildings added to the total stock each year; the scope for reductions lay with adaptation of existing buildings. The stock with the highest levels of vacancy and obsolescence offers the highest potential of all. Many cities are now aiming to become carbon neutral. Successful adaptation demands that social, technological, environmental, economic and legislative criteria are addressed. Buildings have to meet user and community needs. City centres comprise a range of different type of office stock with regards to age, size, location, height, tenure and quality. All buildings present challenges and opportunities with regards to adaptation and sustainability and integrating retrofit measures that reduce energy, water and resource consumption. Using a selection of low grade office buildings to develop retrofit profiles, this paper addresses the questions; (a) what is the nature of adaptations in relation to low quality office building stock in the Central Business District (CBD) and, (b) what is the extent and scope for sustainable retrofits to low quality office buildings. Using Melbourne CBD adaptation events of low quality office buildings were analysed between 1998 and 2008 to identify the potential for integrating sustainability into retrofits projects.
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