A report from the Preservation Green Lab finds that it is way more “green” to retrofit an old building than build from ground up.
The report, “The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse,” was produced by Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The report finds that: “Building reuse typically offers greater environmental savings than demolition and new construction. It can take between 10 to 80 years for a new energy efficient building to overcome, through efficient operations, the climate change impacts created by its construction.”
The study finds that the majority of building types in different climates will take between 20-30 years to compensate for the initial carbon impacts from construction.