Renovate or start new?

28 03 2008

Trying to decide to use what’s already there or level and start over?

While starting new may be appealing (and sometimes even less expensive, with higher costs associated with protecting the existing conditions), renovating an existing structure could mean a much lower environmental impact to preserve what has already been built.

If you’re on the fence about what to do – check out this article from Treehugger which discusses the environmental impact of building new construction vs. renovating. One topic in particular mentioned in the article are plans for Buffalo NY that are in place – to demolish over 5,000 existing homes and rebuild, in hopes to create a more prosperous town.

We’d much prefer to see local government officials try to use the existing housing infrastructure as a base and incentivize some well thought out architectural and mechanical features such as home insulation and renewable energy sources as part of the improvements to the existing neighborhood.  This approach can not only increase efficiency, comfort and quality, but lead to a much lighter carbon footprint.

Jen.

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