Spring 2020

Climate-Conscious Building: Retrofit Revolution

Existing buildings are too often significant carbon emitters. Deep energy retrofits represent a large market opportunity that is slowly but increasingly gaining attention.

In New York the exact size of that market is being pinned down as part of ongoing efforts to industrialize multifamily retrofits through NYSERDA’s RetrofitNY initiative. A parallel effort led by the Rocky Mountain Institute is tackling a pilot multifamily retrofit in Boston. In Canada three large-scale tower renovations are underway.

And across North America, in a variety of climates, single-family homes are being fixed up and revitalized as deeply energy-efficient, comfortable houses. 

As ambitious as deep energy retrofits are, reducing emissions from the built environment requires considering both embodied and operational carbon emissions.

To say that trying to figure out the overall impacts in any given project is a complex task is a gross understatement, and yet our changing climate demands that we not shy away from this task.  In “Can Buildings Be Leveraged to Help Reverse Climate Change?” Philippe St-Jean thoughtfully addresses this topic, reporting on several tools that simplify the required calculations.

Dive into the details of all of these exemplary retrofits—and more—in our Spring/Summer issue.

Climate-Conscious Building: Low Carbon Construction
Passive House Buildings
in Canada