The independent London newspaper

Retrofitting is the way forward

14 January, 2021

• THANK you for your inspiring January 7 issue of the CNJ, (Camden Future Journal).

One thing that came through clearly is the need to prioritise retrofitting of existing buildings in order to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Professor Linda Clarke’s article on this was excellent, explaining the importance of retrofitting to address the climate emergency. We need to do everything we can to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

A new building may be very energy efficient but it can take 60 years before the carbon footprint of its construction is paid back through energy savings in heating and lighting, and we simply don’t have the time.

We have 10 years in which to make a serious dent in the curve of ever-increasing carbon dioxide emissions, much of which is driven by construction. It is far better to retain and retrofit existing buildings wherever possible, as set out by Cllr Siân Berry.

Retrofitting makes existing buildings much more energy efficient and reduces the need to burn gas for heating, which is the main problem as the national grid is progressively decarbonised. In this way we achieve a reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions within in a shorter period of around five years.

If new buildings need to be built, they should be built from low-embodied materials such as timber; otherwise they will cause an increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the short term, the period in which we need to be making radical reductions.

Bassett Street, NW5


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