How Retrofits Improve Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

If you are looking for ways to save money on the day-to-day operation of your building, improving energy efficiency is a good place to start. Energy efficiency directly impacts your utility costs, yet can be greatly reduced with retrofits. Better yet, those retrofits could be partially covered by a number of government incentive programs.

Here we explain how retrofits help improve energy efficiency.

Understanding the Types of Retrofits

Energy-efficiency retrofits target the systems in your building that tend to consume the most energy. As a result, it can be something as simple as changing light fixtures and bulbs, or something more complex such as replacing your entire building envelope. The beauty of retrofits is that every little bit helps. So while you might not have the budget today to invest in major changes, you can make gradual replacements that decrease operational costs over time.

There are three levels of retrofits to explore:

  1. Minor retrofits: These modifications are low cost but can see great savings. They would include projects such as sealing windows and doors with caulking, improving insulation or upgrading your lighting systems.
  2. Major retrofits: This is a whole building approach that makes a major impact across all systems from replacing doors and windows to installing a more efficient heating and cooling system. Despite the magnitude of these projects they are done in a way that cause little to no disruption to residents in occupied buildings. As well, they tend to see major results in energy efficiency improvements.
  3. Deep retrofits: This is a complete overhaul that requires major work and a major investment. However, they can also reduce your energy costs by as much as 60%. In this case, you will cause major disruptions to the building which can have a negative impact on your tenants. Projects might include roof replacements, upgrading heating systems to new renewable technology, or even moving or adding windows to bring more daylight into the building.

You can schedule an energy efficiency assessment to understand where you’ll see the best ROI for your efforts.

Cost-Effective Retrofit Projects

Some examples of cost-effective retrofit projects include:

  • Upgraded Building Coatings: Your building envelope is prone to deterioration regardless of the material. You can improve energy efficiency using innovative coating solutions to both improve insulation and extend the life of your building. This can include something as simple as having caulking and sealant repairs or applying an entirely new wall coating.
  • Replace Windows and Balcony Doors: A building’s windows can account for up to 30% of heat gain and loss. According to a CMHC study, replacing windows and balcony doors reduced the average 30 million equivalent kilowatt-hours (ekWh) used annually in residential buildings to 26 million ekWh. This translated into savings of $145,000 in costs for the year, representing an average energy savings of 14%.
  • Replace, Repair or Upgrade Curtain Walls: There are many options available in updated envelope systems that can help improve energy efficiency. Replacing, upgrading or even repairing curtain walls can translate into energy efficiency and cost savings. As well, new systems are more durable which increases your ROI on these types of improvements.

A gradual approach allows you to build on your ongoing efforts and reinvest those cost savings. In other words, the money saved helps pay for future energy-saving projects.

If you would like more information on these cost-effective retrofit projects speak to the experts at WellDone Inc. a building restoration company specializing in building improvements for commercial and multi-unit residential buildings throughout the GTA.