Retrofit : Retrofit Volume 1 Issue 2 2012
36 • RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 1 NUMBER 2 2012 | Research Our work's focus on the importance of sustainable retrofitting has come about from a desire to explore the use of 'green technologies', in novel and innovative combinations, for renovating larger-scale buildings to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. First, in 2006, the significant drivers towards this approach to the built environment concerned international and national policy. At that time, according to the Productivity Commission, the need for energy conservation was a national imperative to be enforced in due course by legislation in large- scale buildings (Class 5--9, as defined by the Building Code of Australia). The Property Council of Australia also argued that little research and training to enable the industry to meet the energy targets in this proposed legislation had been carried out. Second, research was initiated by the International Energy Agency (IEA), investigating how to harness the processes of renovation to improve environmental performance as a critical pathway to improving the sustainability of our cities. This led to similar research to the IEA taskwork beginning in Australia. The Property Council of Australia argued that renovation is a neglected area, with new buildings representing only one or two per cent of the building stock, and that the remaining stock would need to be upgraded to achieve the new energy targets. Third, research into combinations of new and existing technologies could be exploited for this process of transformation to more sustainable buildings -- hence 'sustainable renovation'. Later, we called this 'sustainable retrofitting', since it required the replacement of existing technology with new, high- performance systems. These systems were examined in terms of achieving synergies between passive (fabric) and active (mechanics) systems -- advancing knowledge in the key field of passive low-energy architecture (PLEA). For the purposes of this work, a clear distinction is drawn between refurbishment, renovation and retrofitting in the context of building obsolescence. Refurbishment may be defined as returning the building or its systems to their original condition, thus addressing the forces of physical obsolescence. Renovation takes this a step further, and may incorporate changes to the physical parameters of the building, while retrofitting refers to the replacement and upgrading of systems and technology to address technological or environmental obsolescence. The overall goal of the early research was to develop new bioclimatic principles, strategies and techniques for large-scale buildings that are impacted by some form of obsolescence. While these principles, strategies and techniques are now well established in the new build space, they were at that time lacking in the existing building domain. Bioclimatic design Bioclimatic issues in architecture were identified by Olgyay in the 1950s and developed into a process of design in the 1960s. This design process brings together the disciplines of human physiology, climatology and building physics; it has been integrated within the building design professions in the context of regionalism in architecture, and in recent years has been seen as a cornerstone for achieving more sustainable buildings. PLEA is 'a commitment to the development, documentation and diffusion of the principles of bioclimatic design Sustainable retrofitting for commercial buildings BY RICHARD HYDE The following is an edited extract from the introduction of Richard Hyde's book, Sustainable Retrofitting for Commercial Buildings.
Retrofit Volume 1 2012
Retrofit Volume 2 Issue 1 2013