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Sustainable retrofit potential in lower quality office stock in the central business district

conference contribution
posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sara Wilkinson
Given the relationship between energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the built environment has significant potential to lessen overall emissions. With around half of all greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the built environment; it has a significant role to play in mitigating global warming. With large percentages of office stock structurally vacant in some city centres and only 1 or 2% of new buildings added to the total stock each year; the scope for reductions lay with adaptation of existing buildings. The stock with the highest levels of vacancy and obsolescence offers the highest potential of all.

Many cities are now aiming to become carbon neutral. Successful retrofit demands that social, technological, environmental, economic and legislative criteria are addressed. Buildings have to meet user and community needs. City centres comprise a range of different type of office stock with regards to age, size, location, height, tenure and quality. All buildings present challenges and opportunities with regards to retrofit and sustainability and integrating retrofit measures that reduce energy, water and resource consumption.

Using a selection of low grade office buildings to develop retrofit profiles, this paper addresses the questions; (a) what is the nature of retrofits in relation to low quality office building stock in the Central Business District (CBD) and, (b) what is the extent and scope for sustainable retrofits to low quality office buildings. Using Melbourne CBD retrofit events of low quality office buildings were analysed between 1998 and 2008 to identify the scope and extent for integrating sustainability into retrofits projects.



International Conference on Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment (2011 : Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


1 - 13


Delft University of Technology


Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Place of publication

Delft, The Netherlands

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed

Copyright notice

2011, Delft University of Technology


J Wamelink, R Geraedts, L Volker

Title of proceedings

MISBE 2011 : Proceedings of the International Conference on Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment

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