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“the greenest building is one that’s already built.”

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  • “the greenest building is one that’s already built.”

    Your thoughts on the adage: “the greenest building is one that’s already built.”

    My view is the recycling isn’t much different that consuming and landfilling, whereas repurposing actually reduces the consumption of natural resources but often at an added cost of labour.

    Is the greenest building one that’s already built? A UW professor investigates | The Seattle Times

    Beyond that, suggests Merlino, the very fabric of an existing building — especially one that uses “long-lasting, durable materials” — should be regarded as a natural resource. In an era of anxiety over climate change and environmental depredation, developers need “to equate the preservation of buildings to the conservation of energy.”...

    “In other words, an existing building doesn’t have to be an architectural landmark to be worth saving. “Modest, vernacular and often unremarkable buildings” have roles to play, too. “Building Reuse” closes with 13 “sustainable reuse case studies” that illustrate this. They include Seattle’s Supply Laundry Building and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, plus fascinating examples of building transformations in ...”

    Life cycle assessment and historic buildings: energy-efficiency refurbishment versus new construction in Norway: Journal of Architectural Conservation: Vol 24, No 2
    July 18, 2018

    “For the new building, it takes more than 50 years for the initial emissions from construction to be outweighed by the effects of lower in-use energy consumption. “

    The Advantages of Reusing Old Buildings: We Need Hard Data - The Atlantic

    “The Trust's Green Lab was established two years ago to provide some answers. The initiative's web site explains that, while recent research has explored the environmental benefits of newly constructed green buildings, it has not, for the most part, studied the benefits of building reuse.”

    the Greenest building: Quantifying the environmental
    Value of building reuse

    7. anaLysIs and concLusIons
    anaLysIs of fIndInGs
    This study reveals that the reuse and retrofit of buildings of equivalent size and functionality can, in most cases, meaningfully reduce the negative environmen- tal impacts associated with building development. Significantly, even if it is assumed that a new building will operate at 30-percent greater efficiency than an existing building, it can take between 10 and 80 years for a new, energy effi- cient building to overcome the climate change impacts that were created during construction. An exception to this is the multifamily-to-warehouse conversion; in this scenario, the average-performing reuse option does not offer a climate- change advantage as compared to a new, energy efficient building.
    Notably, this study finds that the benefits of building reuse can be reduced or even eliminated depending on the type and quantity of materials selected for a reuse project. Therefore, care must be taken to select construction materials that minimize environmental impacts.

    This section discusses the findings of this study and explores barriers to reuse, retrofit, and effective materials selection. It also offers recommendations for future research and analysis.

    reuse matters

    The demolition of buildings to make way for new construction is common in the United States. While some replacement of the existing building stock is undoubtedly necessary, the results of this study suggest that building reuse offers a significant opportunity to avoid environmental impacts. In all of the scenarios examined in this study, there is an immediate carbon savings associ- ated with reuse and renovation as compared to new construction, when com- paring buildings of equivalent size, functionality and energy performance. In all but one scenario, there is also an immediate carbon savings associated with reuse and renovation as compared to more energy efficient, new buildings.
    Last edited by KC; 03-03-2019, 04:48 PM.

  • #2
    The immediate exception that comes to mind is contamination, in which case all bets are off. By and large though people do re-purpose, i.e. renovate buildings, it's hardly like Japan where property is considered a depreciating asset.


    • #3
      Repurposed silos

      New Use for Industrial Heritage Structures: Student Housing

      Other use:

      Ghost Plants: Reusing Huge Abandoned Sears Buildings Across Urban America

      Walmart to library:
      Ghost Boxes: Reusing Abandoned Big-Box Superstores Across America
      Last edited by KC; 05-05-2019, 08:51 PM.


      • #4
        Apple CEO Tim Cook Discusses Apple's Revamped Carnegie Library Store