REHAU backs prioritising retrofitting over demolition

Following calls from architectural experts to save on carbon emissions by upgrading older buildings instead of knocking them down, building designers and specifiers should consider retrofitting solutions to improve overall sustainability, REHAU has stressed.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) estimates that a sizeable proportion of a building’s lifecycle carbon is emitted during construction – 35% and 51% for office and residential properties respectively. These findings have prompted campaigns for developers to prioritise the restoration of older properties over demolishing and replacing them at high carbon costs.

According to REHAU, retrofit piping solutions will be vital to ensuring the viability of this upgrade-centric approach and aiding the construction sector’s fight against climate change.

“The government committing the country to net zero emissions by 2050 has made improving sustainability a key concern across all sectors, including construction,” said Steve Richmond, head of marketing and technical at REHAU Building Solutions. “With that in mind, these RICS figures show just how damaging it can be to opt for new-builds over renovating older properties, especially at a time when we should be reducing emissions. While building services suppliers should incorporate retrofit capabilities into their product designs as standard, it is now clearer than ever that this consideration should become a necessity. These solutions will be vital to improving the efficiency of older buildings in line with modern standards, while negating the carbon costs associated with creating the materials required to build a new property in their place.”