Existing Buildings Retrofitting, Stakeholders and their roles
We are living in existing structures, built environment is our present, while most of the new constructions are green buildings, we are heading for a greener and sustainable future, and as a result we should realize how the built environment impacts our daily life to emphasize the importance of sustainability improvement in existing buildings.
We can raise the debate of either emphasizing existing buildings development against the importance of greening the future, while the comparison looks strange, but it’s a comparison between which one has the most impact on our life, our present or our future.
New constructions can have carbon savings compared to conventional buildings, but it will never match the savings of retrofitted existing building in terms of energy efficiency as a percentage.
Stakeholders are all the people who have an interest or any relation with the building and they should all participate in improving sustainability in the building, this includes owners of the facilities, occupants, visitors, designers, contractors, marketing, and more!
A Diverse selection to a team is a factor of success, a variety of disciplines can create more in-depth knowledge of any strategy and issue that needs action.
Integrated design approach is what creates the harmony between stakeholders and their environmental goals, to be able to understand the tools and strategies that can ensure the successful implementation of sustainability. LEED Existing building operations and maintenance is a rating system consists of a set of strategies included in credit system, valuing the efforts of the stakeholders and enables them to achieve optimal performance for their building in terms of improving energy efficiency, Reducing water consumption, Enhancing storm water management, Test and improve indoor air quality, Standardize and document green operations and maintenance practices, Improve thermal comfort and achieve best waste management practices.
Stakeholders should consider mainly community strategies like raising the awareness to the public about the benefits of having a greener built environment, started making Non-profit organizations to take part in social activities promoting sustainability, sharing green strategies and practices.
Occupants and building visitors can advance sustainability in their community and their work, start public speaking, organize events and recruit volunteers. LEED EBOM has made it easier for occupants to engage in green building practices by offering LEED Dynamic plaque, it could also transform the way how people are thinking while monitoring their progress and achievements and adds value to their volunteering campaigns with results in front of their eyes.
Benefits of having such measures and strategies applied should be told to normal users of a building, it is part of the results, no one will accept getting involved without understanding the real advantages of the whole process, as people spend 90% of their daily activities indoor, indoor environmental quality proportions can help!
Improving thermal comfort, better indoor air quality, proper humidity levels and better controllability over task lighting, Clean HVAC system and better management in general.
Be part of the development, don’t just watch it happening away from you, as long as you are part of the society you have to participate and help it out. It’s a responsibility for all of us.