January 20, 2021

Sustainable Existing Buildings

New buildings are spoilt for choice, with the vast amount of resources and expertise available to make them green. However, the real challenge lies in making the existing buildings green. Here there are more constraints and one has to work with what is already built and standing. This calls for greater innovation and expertise to produce scientifically tested results and hence green.

The team at ecoinch uses an exhaustive framework of tests and analyses to understand the current behaviour of the building. They then decide the next line of treatment. Be is surgery or oral medicine, the objective is to restore the health of the building. Some of the tests carried out initially include detailed audits for energy, water and waste through certified auditors. Mapping the complexity of the built form requires the creation of a digital model of the body of the building, along with all its components and systems (its organs). What goes in and what comes out – all is thoroughly scrutinized.

Once the diagnosis is over, treatment begins often by setting goals for achieving the level of health restoration desired. This is often linked to the amount of work involved in optimizing the building and is therefore linked to cost. If repairing a system is possible, that is recommended. However, if replacement is the only option, then that is the line of treatment. A business case is made for evaluating the financial feasibility of each intervention with the help of technology predicting the exact savings and improvements one can expect in the life of the building by making such changes.

Once in play, the building improvement process is put in force according to a schedule and sequence that allows the building to cause least disturbance to its current occupants. This period is closely monitored by experts at ecoinch and once complete, the success testing phase begins. A monitoring period of six months to a year is normal to observe how the building is behaving now as compared to the same time last year. Data is continually monitored and the building health is advised to be monitored regularly from now on. Empowering the operations team, this data indicates any discrepancy now or in the future to maintain a high level of efficiency from the building.

Success is celebrated when the building’s financial investments have yielded results and the building becomes better than before and continues to drive savings for its owners long after the changes have paid for themselves.