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According to a study published recently by the National Trust for Historic Buildings, retrofitting existing buildings is a winning proposition.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Cascadia Green Building Council CEO Jason McLennan says that tearing down old buildings isn't necessarily the most sustainable option.

The life-cycle analysis study - co-financed by Cascadia GBC - compared retrofitted buildings in four US cities (Portland, Phoenix, Chicago and Atlanta), and took into consideration a variety of factors like environmental impact and the use of non renewable materials.

The conclusion? Green retrofits almost always produce better results than new construction. According to the study,  it takes up to 80 years of energy savings to compensate for the negative environmental impacts of new construction.

From an economic point of view, there are still reasons to build new, but it is worth investigating the alternative - one that could pay off well.

Source - Seattle Times – “Buildings don't have to be new to be green”.


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