What Retrofitting Means in Commercial Construction

Construction renovation is a common term and easy to identify. Renovation projects can repair, improve or restore a building to a better state. Renovation can apply to fixing up a space which is an eyesore or out of date, or importantly fix damage that needs it urgently. Some renovations focus on just a specific item and are relatively small, while other renovations are comprehensive for a full building or property. It is common for renovations to get buildings back up to code standards, for example after buildings have failed certain inspections. Renovations to preexisting spaces are often lower in cost than constructing new buildings, and they also create additional value for the building at hand.

Retrofitting in Commercial ConstructionSeparate from renovations are retrofitting projects. Renovation projects can often be very image-focused for a building, where as retrofits can be more focused on building functionality and support. Retrofitting projects implement new items on a building or structure – they add new tech, equipment or building systems with the purpose of improving the building’s structures themselves.

For example, rooftop retrofitting projects are very common. These projects can prolong the life of a building’s roof and reduce constant need for maintenance. And there are activities like seismic retrofitting projects – improving a structure’s ability to compensate for earthquakes or ground motion. As technology continues to advance, more and more items of construction will be able to be improved with retrofitting.

Of course efficiency is another common, long-time achievement in retrofitting. These retrofitting projects can include installing better windows, insulation or other modern, more energy-efficient items. These projects can be as easy as installing energy-efficient light bulbs, or as elaborate as installing large, modern HVAC systems. The result of increasing energy efficiency in commercial buildings is the higher the value of the building and the lower the cost of maintenance.

The difference between renovation and retrofitting is that retrofitting improves a structure or building by implementing new tech, building systems or equipment, while renovations focus on enhancing the image of a commercial building. Common retrofitting projects include seismic retrofitting projects which help a structure withstand earthquakes, and rooftop retrofits which enhance the value and health of the roof. Another common goal of retrofitting is energy efficiency. Energy efficient retrofit projects make structures lower cost in maintenance, higher value, and generally make the buildings last longer. Retrofitting capabilities and construction projects will continue in growth alongside the continued outputs of construction technology.

Want more? Read about Buildrite’s renovation services.