If you’re in the market to renovate or rebuild, and looking for the greenest option, then renovation is the clear winner, according to a new report.
The study examined six different building types – single family, multifamily, mixed-use, commercial office, school and converted warehouses – and the results were astonishing.
The report found that a new energy efficient building can take 10 to 80 years to compensate for climate change impacts created by its construction.
“It’s often assumed that a new, green building will rapidly compensate for any climate change impacts that occur during the construction process,” the report authors say. “The study finds that the majority of building types in different climates will take between 20-30 years to overcome the initial carbon impacts from construction.”
The report suggests that buildings that tend to use the fewest materials will have the most significant environmental savings, adding that renovation projects that require many new materials can reduce or even negate the benefits of reuse.
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