Green Term Defined: Renovation
We know a lot about how to build a new building that is very energy-efficient, healthy, and durable. However, no matter how good we can build new structures, saving an existing building is almost always better for the environment. Unless the existing structural system is beyond repair or the existing building contains toxic elements.
Renovation is the act of repurposing / updating / remodeling of a building.
There is no question, it is easier to build a new building to the highest standards than it is to take an old building to the same standard. However, the embodied energy is much lower when renovating a building vs building new. A National Trust study found it can take more than 10 years for a new energy-efficient building to overcome the negative climate change impacts caused during the construction process. There is a tremendous amount of energy in the existing building from footings, foundations, materials, energy to create new materials, transportation of those materials and on and on not to mention energy to demolish the existing building.