Thursday, 25 February 2010

Green Retrofitting – How Much More Is It Than the Old Energy Retrofitting in the 90s?

Collage: ecoENERGY Retrofit with WO-BUILT

I did an interesting Google search the other day (“what is the difference between green retrofitting and energy efficient retrofitting”) and the obvious conclusion is that energy efficiency is part of green retrofitting. Not really surprising.

But it did not answer the question how it differs.

My first job in Canada in 1993 was working for an Energy Services Company; essentially we went into buildings and retrofitted the lighting, heating/air-conditioning, water consumption and some other systems to make them more energy efficient so that the project could be paid back from the savings. In today’s world this would be considered "green".

Is "green" retrofitting than just a new word for the same thing or does it have another dimension to it?

One aspect is the multitude of new systems which are impacted by new green technologies, solar, green roofs, wind turbines etc. Of course these technologies had been around a long time, but were too expensive or too rare to be used on a larger scale.

But the more interesting aspect is the emotional level that is different. Going green is about quality of life, saving the environment and our planet, about comfort in the home and work place and many more emotional feelings. Energy efficiency on the other hand was mainly about saving money; it is hard to get really excited about this and to be emotionally involved.

So, even though we were on our "green" ways 20 years ago, we have finally created the buzz that was needed to get everyone involved. That’s the difference.

This my take on "green" - What’s yours? We would love to know.

Martina Ernst

Wo-Built Inc.
Wo-Built: Being Green in Toronto – Everyone Can Participate!
Wo-Built: Going Green in the City: Building and Renovating with "Being Green" in Mind:
Part 1 - Eco-Friendly Home Improvements
Part 2 - Going Green Is Becoming Mainstream
Part 3 - Living Rooftops - An Environmental Alternative for "Green" Building
Wo-Built: Our Green and Eco Tweets to Follow

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