Costs and Benefits of Green Retrofits: A Case of Industrial Manufacturing Buildings in Sri Lanka
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Unless the rate of green retrofitting of conventional buildings is amplified, built environment will have a huge responsibility in dealing with global warming, reducing resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The contradictory views on initial costs and paybacks have discouraged industries investing on green retrofits, and building owners are reluctant to pay for green retrofits. In this context, the current study analyses the costs and benefits of green retrofits in industrial manufacturing buildings in Sri Lanka towards identifying the most appropriate retrofit options. The study used a mixed method approach to collect data through semi-structured interviews and documents of green certified industrial manufacturing buildings. Accordingly, four buildings were selected for the study, and the green retrofits applied in those buildings were identified through interviewing one professional from each building. Subsequently, the quantitative data on construction costs and economic savings were collected from two cases and analyzed using net present value and simple payback period. The analyses show that the use of green retrofits related to sustainable sites, water efficiency and material and resources are at a lower level, whereas green retrofits related to energy and indoor environmental quality are given the priority in existing industrial manufacturing buildings in Sri Lanka. Moreover, findings indicate the financial viability of the implemented retrofits in terms of sustainable features, such as energy and indoor environmental quality with positive net present values and simple payback period of less than 5 years. Considering the lifetime financial returns of those retrofits, each retrofit indicates significant benefits compared to initial investment. The outcome of the study would improve the application of green retrofits in existing buildings and thereby uplift the sustainable built environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and depletion of natural resources.
KeywordsCosts and benefits Green retrofits Industrial manufacturing buildings Sustainable built environment Sri Lanka
The authors highly acknowledge and appreciate the financial support given by the Senate Research Committee of University of Moratuwa under Grant SRC/ST/2018/11.
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