When you think about green buildings that boast maximum energy efficiency, you probably imagine a newly-constructed building. But that may no longer be the case.
The green-construction trend is shifting from new construction to retrofitting existing construction, according to a recent post in Contracting Business.
In the wake of the 2008 recession and tighter credit markets, developers found it harder to get new construction projects off the ground. Instead, some have turned their attention to renovating existing buildings.
“The U.S. Green Building Council observed that 61 percent of all construction projects today are retrofits; in many population centers the percentage is much higher,” according to the post.
While not all of those retrofits are “green,” governments are doing what they can to encourage energy efficient upgrades to existing buildings through tools, grants and other special financing arrangements.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy offers several guides and tools for retrofitting existing buildings to be more energy efficient, including Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides, Energy Modeling Software and a Technology Portal that can be accessed to make fact based procurement decisions during a retrofit. Additional government resources are provided here.
The U.S. Senate also recently passed a bill granting up to $200,000 each to non-profit organizations seeking to upgrade facilities to be more energy efficient.
Closer to home, the Louisville Metro Government recently passed an ordinance allowing owners of commercial, industrial and larger multi-unit residential buildings to make energy efficient upgrades to their buildings and pay for them through tax assessments.
If you’ve been considering making some changes to your facility, now may be the time.