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Sustainable Refurbishment - Case Study Example

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The paper presents a meta-analysis of literature and studies on the subject of sustainable refurbishment from a macro-perspective viewpoint. Although no fixed definition of sustainability in buildings was offered from the resources surveyed, the authors have a unified concept of the process (Ratcliffe, et al…
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Sustainable Refurbishment
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Sustainability in buildings, whether for new ones or for refurbishment, does not necessarily have a fixed definition, although sustainable buildings are described to be sensitive to at least five factors, namely: (1) the local and global environment; (2) consumption of energy, other resources and water; (3) the quality of the immediate internal environment, including the impact on the occupants of the building; (4) financial impact as to cost-effectiveness from a long term and total financial returns perspective; and (5) energy efficiency throughout the economic life of the building (Ratcliffe, Stubbs and Keeping, 2009).
''''''''''' On the other hand, sustainable refurbishment in buildings, according to Ratcliffe, et al. (2009), are mainly concerned with: (1) efficient use of resources; (2) waste minimization; (3) consumption of energy and water; and (4) selection of materials or fixtures which are not harmful to the environment or to the occupants of the building. Other authors, such as Ebbert and Knaack (cited in Braganca 2007), identified aspects of refurbishment such as energy consumption, building construction possibilities, building services, comfort, aesthetics, and finance.'
Proponents of sustainable refurbishment have interesting arguments which function as drivers for the soaring popularity of this construction methodology among various groups. One of these groups is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in the United Kingdom, who supports the theory linking sustainability of structures and the over-all value of the building. Inputs concerning the linkages are summarized in Ratcliffe, et al. (2009), where building features are classified in five groups, namely: (1) sustainable site development; (2) water efficiency; (3) energy efficiency; (4) indoor environment quality; and (5) reduced consumption of construction materials.
In terms of sustainable site development, the associated building features are reduced site disturbance and soil erosion during construction, preferential use for natural drainage systems, preservation of the natural features of the site, and landscaping and building orientation which capitalize on passive heating and cooling. These features are believed to reduce development costs and on-going maintenance costs, improve marketability of the property, enhance natural appearance, result to higher sales or rents, absorption and re-tenanting, net operating income (NOI) and return on investment (ROI).
Meanwhile, bracketed under water efficiency are utilization of captured rainwater for landscaping, toilet flushing, etc; treatment and reuse of excess groundwater, grey water and steam condensate; preference for low-flow fixtures and fittings and ozonation as a method of laundering; and use of closed-loop systems and other water-reduction technologies. As these features generally lower water consumption, building tenants gain from sustainable building features through lower common area maintenance (CAM) charges, whereas gross leases benefit from direct NOI.
On the other hand, building features categorized under energy efficiency include the use of passive solar heating and cooling, as well as natural ventilation; reduction of artificial lighting fixtures through enhanced penetration of sunlight to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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