Keep our buildings always up to speed

Alessandro Bracco, ROCKWOOL Group

The value of renovation cannot be exaggerated in today’s world, making our efforts to improve our existing buildings a top priority.

People, Humans, Indoor, Home, Couple, Renovation, Painting

Climate change demands our action now

Did you know that the energy used in buildings accounts for 30% of final energy demand and 28% of CO2 emissions? If that’s news to you, then you’re not alone.

Since buildings have a long lifespan (it is estimated that more than 50% of buildings today will still be in use by 2050), it has become pivotal - now more than ever - to turn these establishments into energy efficient entities.

Recent findings of the effects of CO2 emissions have us looking for different ways to be environmentally-friendly with buildings, which is critical in terms of energy usage and improving air pollution and quality. The focus on the renovation of existing buildings means that products that have reduced environmental impact are now coming to the forefront of the conversation. Some of these products can help limit the global temperature to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius (a limitation that comes from the recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report).

What does this mean? Well, first and foremost, it illustrates that infrastructure is not permanent. When we were young, we had an instilled assumption that what exists will continue to exist, and impermanence is not something we should concern ourselves with.

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Note: "Without Paris" is IEA's Current Policies Scenario, "Where Paris Takes us" is IEA's New Policies Scenario and "Where we need to go" is an average range of scenarios in the AR5 database that is consistent with the 2 degree target. 

Source: UN and IEA (2017), IEA (2017) and Copenhagen Economics (2017).

But as we get older, we now realise that the impermanence of infrastructure is real, and buildings that were built decades ago need to be refurbished and continuously updated. As human beings, it is up to us to improve our quality of life and wellness by giving our infrastructure a chance to also become better.

An important point in large scale building renovation is to ensure that these buildings are resilient against the physical side of climate change. With various risks in the form of storms, floods and earthquakes, buildings within cities and highly-populated suburbs need to stay equipped with the latest materials to preserve the safety of those who are inside.

Furthermore, energy efficiency in buildings puts the concerns of its owners at ease with lower energy bills, and this can pay dividends in the future. 

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Watch and learn more about energy savings from buildings

Energy used in buildings
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Energy used in buildings accounts for 30% of final energy demand and 28% of CO2 emissions

Return on investment
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A €100 million renovation project can bring about
1,900 employees

The potentials of renovation

Today, the cost of renovation seems scary, but the long-term benefits of a change to building structure and system enhancement are so staggering that any worries will subside with high energy costs.

What makes the call for deep building renovations even more exciting - is the potential growth that will come with its arrival. 

A recent study shows that large investments can lead to the creation of new jobs in the construction sector, with estimates that a €100 million renovation project can bring about 1,900 new jobs. Not only would such changes benefit our planet, but they would benefit our society with added job security.

The goal of renovating is to improve the health of the world and ourselves. Nothing worth doing comes easy, which is why the proposed overhaul is necessary.

Together, we spend almost 90% of our time indoors, but we barely dedicate any maintenance to our dwellings. An evolution within our buildings can have a profound economic impact on the world we live in and ensure a better future for ourselves and generations to come. You should aim to be the change you want to see in the world, so why not start here?

 

Sources: 
1. ROCKWOOL, Renovation Report 2018.

2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report 2018.
3. UN and IEA (2017), IEA (2017) and Copenhagen Economics (2017).

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