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Sustainable Renovation: Strategies for Commercial Building Systems and Envelope

ISBN: 978-0-470-87261-1
304 pages
November 2011
Sustainable Renovation: Strategies for Commercial Building Systems and Envelope (0470872616) cover image


The complete resource on performing sustainable renovations for both Historic and modern existing buildings

This forward-looking and insightful guide explores how the sustainable renovation of existing buildings presents great opportunities for initiating extensive changes in the performance of the built environment. Great examples of existing building upgrades are examined, illustrating how to do sustainable renovations, along with current design approaches for radically improving the functionality of existing prewar, postwar, and late modern buildings. Sustainable Renovation saves its key focus for institutional and commercial buildings, but discusses the challenges they pose within a global scope that encompasses all building practices. Some of the discussions in this book include:

  • The significance of energy and resource demands by the building sector and the urgency of reducing loads in existing buildings

  • Management, design, and construction approaches to achieve major modernization in occupied buildings

  • International case studies that focus on methods and benefits of successful sustainable transformations of existing building performance

Repurposing buildings to preserve style and add performance remains a work in progress as designers and builders discover new methods for improving sustainable practices and standards. With incremental modernization and operations strategies available for immediate implementation, this book demonstrates the different ways of thinking necessary when considering and attempting the integration of sustainable concepts into existing buildings—and enables readers to rethink the world that's built around them.

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Table of Contents





Sustainability Defi ned 1

The Urgency of Sustainability in Buildings 4

The Importance of Existing Buildings 6

Renovation Contrasted with Replacement 8

Facility Management and Incremental

Renovation 9

The Benefi ts of Sustainable Renovation 10

Health and Comfort 10

Economic Returns 12

Reduction of Climate Change Impact 14



Introduction 17

Existing Building Context 19

Climate and Function 19

Building Energy Simulation Models 22

Testing and Benchmarking Performance 22

Understanding Existing Building Strategies 29

Daylight 32

Ventilation 35

Permanent Materials 36

Building Envelope 38

Building Systems 39

Modern Building Code Implications 40



Introduction 49

Immediate Improvement 51

Behaviors 51

Testing and Analyzing Performance 52

Retrocommissioning 55

Lighting 56

Plug Loads 59

Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning 60

Water Use 62

Beyond Energy—Green Operations and

Maintenance 62

Indoor Environmental Quality 63

Regional Issues 65

Putting Your Program Together 65



Introduction 77

Air Infi ltration Losses 78

Insulation Strategies 78

Cold Climate 79

Humid Middle Latitude Climate 81

Hot Humid Climate 82

Hot Dry Climate 83

Continental Climate 83

Pre-War Buildings 84

Thermal Mass and Climate Zones 84

Masonry Wall Design 85

Window Replacement and Shading 86

Roof Structure and Insulation 88

Roofi ng 89

Mid-Century Modern Buildings 92

Curtain Wall Replacement, Modifi cation, and

Shading 92

Insulation Options 93

Window Replacement 95

Roofi ng 95

Late Modern Buildings 96

Introducing Daylight 96

Correcting Roof Structures and Slope 98

Insulation Options 99

Window Replacement 100

Roofi ng 101



Building System Needs 109

Thermal Comfort 110

Water Use 112

Light 112

Building Controls and Environmental

Responsiveness 114

Pre-War Buildings 114

Renovation or Replacement of Steam and

Hydronic Systems 115

Improving Ventilation and Fire Safety 117

Restoring or Improving Daylighting 118

Water Saving Strategies 118

Electric Power and Controls Replacement 120

Mid-Century Modern Buildings 120

Renovation or Replacement of Hydronic

Systems 120

Creating New Passive Ventilation Options 122

Improving or Replacing Forced Air Heating,

Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning 122

Restoring or Improving Daylighting 124

Water-Saving Strategies 124

Electric Power and Controls Replacement 126

Late Modern Buildings 127

Strategies for Deep Floor Plates 127

Creating New Passive Ventilation Options 128

Improving or Replacing Forced Air Heating,

Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning 130

Restoring or Improving Daylighting 130

Water-Saving Strategies 132

Electric Power and Controls Replacement 133

Systems Replacement Summary 133



Environmentally Benefi cial Products 141

Rating Systems and Lifecycle Assessment 142

LCA Tools 145

Recycling, Salvage, and Reuse 146

Resource Effi ciency 149

Reduction in Operational Energy and Waste 150

Low-Emitting Materials 151

“Natural” Materials 152

Concrete and Stone 152

Metals 152

Wood 153

Carpet 155

Resilient Flooring 155

Wall Finishes 156

Pre-War Buildings 157

Salvage of Masonry and Finishes 157

Strategies for Obsolete Plaster and Partition

Systems 159

Mid-Century Modern Buildings 162

Disassembly Options 162

Late Modern Buildings 163

Hazardous Material Issues163

Disposal Reduction 164



Introduction 173

Initial Construction Activities 174

Assembling the Team 174

Exploratory Demolition and Investigations 176

Demolition Documents versus Site

Discussions 177

Hazardous Materials Abatement 178

Construction Debris 185

Occupied Rehabs 186

Relocation 186

Phasing 187

Separation and Noise 189

Notifi cation 189

Elevators 189

Commissioning 191



Transformation 201

Renovation versus Transformation 201

Change of Use 202

Additions and Deletions 205

Preservation of Signifi cant Historic

Characteristics 207

Retrofi tting Active Energy Systems 208

Combined Heat and Power 209

Solar Heating and Power 211

Wind Power 216

Geothermal Heat Exchange 218

Waste Water Strategies 219

Graywater Recirculation 220

Reuse of Building System Wate 221r

Living Machine Waste Water Treatment 221

Passive House (Passivhaus) Design and

Existing Buildings 222

Passive Solar Design 223

Superinsulation 224

Sealing the Envelope 226

Introducing Fresh Air—Heat and Energy

Exchange 227



Introduction 239

Energy Conservation and Building Lifecycle

Strategy 241

Low and No Cost Strategies 241

2025 Improvements 243

2040 Improvements 245

Building Integrated Power Generation 246

Deconstruction 248

Conclusion 250


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Author Information

Lisa Gelfand, FAIA, LEED-AP, one of the preeminent experts in green design and construction, is Managing Principal of Gelfand Partners Architects (gelfand-partners.com) in San Francisco. With more than three decades of experience, Gelfand has been involved in all aspects of a project, including project management, design, planning, marketing, and staff management. Her firm has designed many award-winning sustainable buildings and renovations.

Chris Duncan, AIA, LEED-AP, has two decades of experience and is a principal and senior staff manager at Gelfand Partners Architects. Duncan has managed project teams through all phases of design and construction. He has special expertise in educational and residential design, particularly the modernization of early twentieth-century buildings. He is also involved in a variety of community and professional service projects.

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Sustainable Renovation: Strategies for Commercial Building Systems and Envelope (US $90.00)

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