Effects of green retrofits: A case of industrial manufacturing buildings in Sri Lanka

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The impact of built environment on the global warming, greenhouse gas emissions and natural resources depletion is staggering. Consequently, existing built environment will have very high responsibility in dealing with global issues, unless the rate of green retrofitting is amplified. Existing buildings are accountable for 39% of energy use and 35% carbon dioxide emissions, whereas, green retrofitting can achieve 40%-60% energy saving, which contributes 20%-30% carbon emission reduction. Nevertheless, the building owners are less willing to pay for retrofits due to high initial cost and identifying the most cost-effective retrofits for a particular project is still a major challenge. The current study therefore analyses the costs and saving implications of various green retrofits incorporated into an industrial manufacturing building in Sri Lanka. The study used mixed methods in data collection where professionals involved in green retrofits industrial manufacturing buildings were interviewed to identify the green retrofit technologies implemented and the reasons for selection of those green retrofits and subsequently a detailed costs and saving potential analysis of green retrofits incorporated in the selected green retrofit certified industrial manufacturing building was performed using Net Present Value and Simple Payback Period. The analyses show that the use of retrofits related to energy, indoor environmental quality and water are at a significant level in industrial manufacturing buildings in Sri Lanka. Moreover, the implemented retrofit projects indicate the financial viability of green retrofits with positive net present values and simple payback period of less than 5 years. Considering the lifetime financial returns of those retrofits, each indicates significant benefits compared to initial investment. Therefore, the success of these actual retrofit scenarios would enable to identify the most appropriate retrofits based on the potential expenses and returns involved, and thereby assist building investors to incorporate most feasible retrofits into their existing buildings.
Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2019 - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference, 2019, pp. 842 - 851