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Retrofit Old vs. Building New

10 February 2012

A recent study by the Preservation Green Job found that in a life-cycle analysis, reusing and retrofitting old houses saves a lot more energy than building new energy-efficiency buildtings.  Also when building a new energy efficient building, it can take decades to make up for the energy used building the structure.

When it comes to climate impacts, new buildings can take 10 to 80 years to catch up to old buildings that have had energy-saving retrofits.

The good news- you don’t need to build a new home! Well okay, you are probably not planning on building a new home. Despite, this does reassure us that doing simple retrofits like sealing your air leaks and insulating your walls are great investments can often be better than new homes in terms of total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The entire study

Grist Summary

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