Think you can’t retrofit? Think again.

Retrofit upgrades to mechanical building systems are easier and more affordable than you may think.

A macro shot of schematics

A macro shot of schematics

Retrofit upgrades to mechanical building systems are easier and more affordable than you may think. While installing new systems can be cost-prohibitive, retrofitting to enhance the energy efficiency of current systems can be an affordable solution thanks to new technologies and installation techniques that are becoming more widely used. Buildings with older, inefficient systems now have the option to use design and engineering services to plan a retrofit for the facility, which will integrate high efficiency upgrades to improve overall performance.

Commercial and industrial buildings consume a significant portion of the world’s energy use- over 40 percent. Most of today’s facilities will be in use for several more decades, and energy efficient upgrades to mechanical building systems performed today can benefit the facility over its lifetime. Inefficient systems not only waste energy, but they drive up operating costs which can affect everyone from facility owners to consumers. Energy efficient retrofits can reduce a building’s overall energy consumption without the expense of new installation, and offer an excellent return. Depending on the type of retrofits which are performed to existing systems, retrofits can offer more than a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption for a facility.

When looking for methods to conserve energy in a facility, retrofitting major mechanical building systems is a cost-effective option. Upgrades to existing systems not only improve energy efficiency, but also offer enhanced indoor air quality and improve occupant health along with productivity. Design and engineering services for retrofits typically include sustainable initiatives which will lower operating costs as well as the environmental impact of operations.

Retrofits are commonly performed to enhance these systems within a facility:

  • Commercial HVAC
  • Boilers
  • Water Heaters

There are many situations where installing new mechanical building systems are not a viable option. Cost is typically the deciding factor for most facility managers, but the building’s construction and existing system’s installation are elements which drive up the price. Installing brand new mechanical building systems require more labor, and the end result is much higher labor costs than compared to retrofitting existing systems. Retrofits utilize the existing systems of a building, so much of the ground work is already in place.

While more affordable than a complete replacement of mechanical building systems, retrofits are still a significant investment. Many factors should be considered when deciding if a retrofit is worthwhile for a facility, including the following:

  • Is the building’s structural integrity sound?
  • Will the retrofit interrupt operations or require relocation of workers?
  • Are the current systems in ideal condition?
  • Plumbing
  • Lighting