Feature Short

Six Ways Existing Buildings Can Save the Planet

Renovations, retrofits, and better-informed O&M will determine how quickly the developed world slows its carbon emissions.

April 4, 2016

“Existing” buildings? As opposed to what?

The design and construction industry has a funny way of drawing a thick, dark line between new and existing buildings. By definition, though, every building starts existing as soon as it’s built. That thick, dark line is more often a fuzzy gray area where all sorts of vital processes—like showing the operations team how the energy management system works—can get lost. It also masks other realities, like the fact that major renovation projects pretty much count as new construction, and that the difference between “major” and “minor” is a judgment call.