Skip to main content
Pendapat & PerspektifHeights

Retrofitting of Building

By Mac 15, 2024No Comments
Retrofitting of Buildings

Retrofitting is the process of upgrading or modifying existing structures, systems, or equipment to improve their performance or make them more energy-efficient. The concept of retrofitting of buildings addresses the shortcomings or deficiencies of older buildings.

As buildings age, they may no longer meet current building codes, energy efficiency standards, or safety regulations and need more modern amenities and technology. As two-thirds of the existing buildings will still stand in 2050, the opportunity to retrofit existing real estate is vast. This is often seen as a cost-effective alternative to demolition and reconstruction, allowing existing structures to be improved without significant disruption or displacement.

Another advantage of retrofitting is adapting buildings to changing needs and regulations.

Retrofitting can be done on various types of buildings, including residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional structures. It can range from minor modifications, such as replacing windows or updating lighting fixtures, to more extensive renovations that involve structural changes and system upgrades.

A typical list would comprise lighting (including daylight harvesting), window and door replacement, HVAC upgrades, application of motion sensors, water conservation, installation of solar panels, elevator modernisation and fire safety upgrades.

Retrofitting may involve reinforcing the structural elements of a building to improve its resilience and safety through techniques such as adding steel braces, carbon fibre wraps, or upgrading foundation systems.

Retrofitting can also allow the integration of smart technology systems into existing buildings, providing improved energy management and increased occupant control. Smart thermostats, lighting controls, and automated building management systems enable better monitoring optimisation and control of energy consumption and building operations.

Retrofitting improves working conditions and productivity; owners and occupants can enjoy reduced utility bills, increased comfort, and improved indoor air quality and sustainability. Despite its numerous benefits, construction retrofitting has challenges and limitations. The cost of retrofitting can be a barrier for some building owners, particularly those with limited budgets.

In some cases, the complexity of the retrofitting process poses challenges, requiring specialised knowledge and expertise. However, with proper planning and assessment, these challenges can be overcome, and the long-term benefits of retrofitting often outweigh the initial investment.


Written by: Dr Thomas Tang, CEO of PJ Sustainability Consulting Limited, is a professional advisor to corporations on sustainability, climate resilience, urban design and social innovation. He is a UN Scholar, an adjunct professor and an author.


This will close in 20 seconds