To make a retrofit of an old building truly sustainable, you’ve got to address all systems and aspects of the structure. That’s the lesson taken from the OXFAM Canada headquarters project in Ottawa. The 1950s-era building was given a green makeover on a tight budget—C$100/ s.f. (
Retrofits are often limited to single items such as boilers, insulation or lighting. But Rodney Wilts, a partner with design consultants BuildGreen Solutions, says “an aggregate, holistic approach produces more meaningful results.” It seems that this strategy will pay off for OXFAM. BuildGreen expects utility bills to be about half of what they would have been without the retrofit.