Urban Habitat Award Finalist: Greatwall Complex, Wuhan

North American cities are full of mid- and late-20th century high-rise buildings, all of which have aging facades and HVAC infrastructure. Today's codes present increasingly-stringent energy and carbon benchmarks meaning there's a widening energy gap between existing and new buildings. Further, our climate is changing and many of our existing buildings face challenges responding to rapid outdoor temperature cycles and variations in the timing of seasonal shifts.

Within this context, owners are looking for solutions that address both the skin and core of their buildings. Architects and consultants must provide holistic solutions that are beautiful, durable, energy efficient, comfortable for occupants, and responsive to our changing climate.
Facade retrofits (re-cladding or over-cladding) often proceed in response to deteriorating cladding elements, efficient envelopes (thermal, moisture, etc.), aged materials and/or a desire for a new aesthetic. These types of large-scale projects present unique opportunities to incorporate core (HVAC & electrical) upgrades that benefit from a renewed enclosure and delivery a more energy efficient, comfortable building with a lower carbon profile.

This session will use case studies to analyze the building renewal ‘decision arc’. We will highlight factors leading to and opportunities arising from building renewal and explore various retrofit strategies and their impact on carbon reductions. This session will include information on the steps and processes used to move building renewal from an idea to implementation for owners, managers, and design professionals and will provide useful information to designers exploring opportunities in the building renewal market.

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