Existing conventional building can be and should be retrofitted and remodeled toward becoming green buildings.
Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms make a huge difference and increases the value of your home. We are focused on customer satisfaction and the environment and implement many green practices in our kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Green building techniques have been practiced by Earthship 360 for many decades. We can show you the pros and cons of the green home remodeling products available. Greening can look different for each green bathroom remodeling project and can be integrated at different levels.
We will guide you through the design process and material selections keeping your budget in mind to achieve an outcome beyond your expectations in the most used room of your home. We handle all aspects of the project from the demolition and design work to the finishing touches. We install granite, quartz, soapstone & laminate counters, wood and ceramic flooring, ceramic backsplash, and a wide range of high quality cabinetry.
Hall bath, master bath or powder room – we use the highest quality materials, from bath fixtures to ceramic tile. We bring together the latest design elements with curbless showers, custom frameless shower doors, comfort height toilets, whirlpool and bubble tubs. We haveÂ invaluable skills and experience with the design of a new bathroom especially when relocating fixtures.
From simply adding living space in your basement or something more complex with a wet bar and bathroom to adding bedrooms or a home office in the attic and everything in between.
Whether it be a small kitchen or bath expansion or a full second story, our team of skilled craftsmen have the knowledge and experience to bring your idea to reality.
Insulating older buildings was also necessary to reduce energy consumption, but often proved expensive. The retrofit of the existing housing stock is a real challenge. It’s certainly possible to get it up to that sort of [Passivhaus] standard but I didn’t say it was easy. You either put [insulation] on the outside of the house which will affect what the building looks like or you put it on the inside which affects how big the rooms are [but] it can be done on a piecemeal basis
3 ways to make old homes more sustainable and energy efficient
You don’t need to start from scratch to have a more efficient home. Find out how you can boost your home’s environmental credentials with some smart retrofits
Building regulations require today’s new homes to be more eco-friendly than ever before. But if, like most Australians, youâ€™re not living in a freshly constructed home, you’ll need to embrace retrofitting if you want to improve your home’s sustainability.
A lot of homeowners are daunted by the word ‘retrofit’. They assume it’s going to be an expensive and complicated process, but retrofitting just means updating your home with the technology and materials we have available to us today. It is making small but effective improvements within the bounds of your existing home’s design.
Here are three ways you can instantly boost your homes green credentials.
- PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN
- INSULATION, SOLAR POWER AND HEATING
Many programs encourage owners of homes and other buildings to improve their energy efficiency, sometimes offering substantial subsidies or tax incentives for doing so. Now, planners may have a way to determine where such programs can get the most return for that investment: New research shows how to identify the buildings where retrofitting for energy efficiency will have the biggest impact on a city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.
The authors point out that 44 percent of all energy used in buildings in the United States goes toward heating and cooling, and this accounts for 20 percent of the national carbon dioxide emissions. So, making a significant dent in that sector could help the country meet its commitments for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
But not all housing is created equal, and making retrofits in some of the least efficient buildings could have a much bigger impact on emissions than fixing up buildings that already perform relatively well. Figuring out how to identify the buildings most in need of improvement, however, at a scale useful for city officials and utility companies, is not a simple task.
There are 82 different parameters that can have an effect on the overall thermal efficiency of a building, but much of these data require detailed on-site measurement and in some cases specialized equipment, making it impractical to do such assessments at the scale of entire cities. But after a careful study of representative areas in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, the team found that it is possible to use just eight of these factors to reach conclusions that are almost as accurate, which makes the task much more feasible.
Retrofitting Existing Buildings to Improve Sustainability and Energy Performance
Retrofitting an existing building can oftentimes be more cost-effective than building a new facility. Since buildings consume a significant amount of energy (40 percent of the nation’s total U.S. energy consumption), particularly for heating and cooling (32 percent), and because existing buildings comprise the largest segment of the built environment, it is important to initiate energy conservation retrofits to reduce energy consumption and the cost of heating, cooling, and lighting buildings. But conserving energy is not the only reason for retrofitting existing buildings. The goal should be to create a high-performance building by applying the integrated, whole-building design process, to the project during the planning or charrette phase that ensures all key design objectives are met. For example, the integrated project team may discover a single design strategy that will meet multiple design objectives. Doing so will mean that the building will be less costly to operate, will increase in value, last longer, and contribute to a better, healthier, more comfortable environment for people in which to live and work. Improving indoor environmental quality, decreasing moisture penetration, and reducing mold all will result in improved occupant health and productivity. Further, when deciding on a retrofit, consider upgrading for accessibility, safety and security at the same time. The unique aspects for retrofit of historic buildings must be given special consideration. Designing major renovations and retrofits for existing buildings to include sustainability initiatives will reduce operation costs and environmental impacts, and can increase building adaptability, durability, and resiliency.
Before making what may amount to a major investment in the retrofit of existing buildings for energy and sustainability improvements, it is important to determine if the investment is worthwhile in perspective with other building conditions. Is the building structurally sound? Are seismic upgrades needed to meet current standards and local building code requirements? Do hazardous material like asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and lead paint have to be contained and removed? Can the work be done in phases to minimize disruption to the occupants? Relocating occupants to other facilities can be a significant expense. If a vegetative roof is being considered, is the roof able to support the additional weight without costly reinforcement? Look for opportunities to reduce the cost of the work by recycling waste and demolition materials.
Once you have determined that other building conditions are not impediments to upgrading for sustainability and improved energy performance, you should have a plan and follow a sequence of activities in order to determine the best options for energy and sustainability improvements.
Federal Agencies are required by Executive Order 13514 to have 15 percent of their existing facilities and buildings meet the Guiding Principles by the end of FY 2015, with continued improvement toward 100 percent thereafter. For existing federal buildings, performing an energy audit (assessing existing condition and operational procedures of the building and major building systems and identify areas for improvement) is one of the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Existing Buildings.
- Next, determine air tightness of the building envelope by examining the building envelope, looking for leaky windows, gaps around vents and pipe penetrations, and moisture intrusion. Upgrading heating and air-conditioning systems without addressing problems with the building envelope will result in less than optimum performance of those systems. Employ the methods in ASTM E1827, Standard Test Methods for Determining Airtightness of Buildings Using an Orifice Blower Door and ASTM E779, Determining Airtightness of Buildings Air Leakage Rate by Single Zone Air Pressurization. Consider also doing tracer gas test described in ASTM E741, Standard Test Method for Determining Air Change in a Single Zone by Means of a Tracer Gas Dilution.
Sustainability and Energy-Efficiency Strategies
- Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007) (PDF 738 KB).
- Energy Policy Act (2005) (PDF 1.36 MB)
- Executive Order 13221, “Energy Efficient Standby Power Devices”
- Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade”
- ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”
- International Green Construction Code (IGCC)
- ASHRAE 100-2006, Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings
- U.S. General Services Administration
- Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Office Buildings (PDF 3.64 MB), PECI-DOE
- Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Retail Buildings (PDF 2.64 MB), PECI-DOE
- “Energy Efficiency Retrofitting of Existing Buildings”, Journal of Building Enclosure Design Winter 2009 (PDF 3.3 MB)
- The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse (PDF 10.5 MB), National Trust for Historic Preservation