Refit materials can cut carbon footprint of buildings

Using durable construction materials in maintenance and renovation projects can lower a building’s 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 the U S university.

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 the ‘Best Paper’ award at the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction’s W70 conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa, in January.

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 per cent when compared with constructing a new building.

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