Durable Refit Materials Can Reduce Buildings’ Carbon Footprint

by | Feb 6, 2012

Using durable construction materials in maintenance and renovation projects can lessen a building’s the long-term carbon footprint, according to Texas A&M University research.

The research, by architecture Ph.D student Manish Dixit, compared the relationship of energy used in maintenance and renovation processes, or “recurrent embodied energy,” to the building’s service life and life cycle energy consumption, according to Texas A&M.

The architecture student believes that the findings should motivate energy-conscious building managers to opt for longer-lasting materials and components during refits and renovation projects.

Dixit’s work won a “Best Paper” award at the the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction’s W70 conference, held in January in Cape Town, South Africa.

A report released by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in January showed that renovating old buildings is better for the environment than building new structures.

According to The Greenest building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse, renovating an existing historic office building in Chicago reduces the building’s impact on climate change by up to 12 percent when compared to constructing a new building.

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