In the year 2000, the International Code Council created a building code known as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This was to require a certain level of responsible energy efficiency in regard to design and construction.
Since then, many strides have been made in various areas of construction (both commercial and residential). The industry has progressed, and with innovations like continual insulation, architects and contractors have become more mindful and compliant with the IECC.
But where does that leave buildings built prior to the year 2000? There were countless buildings constructed long before the IECC standards were in place. Imagine being a building owner who finished their dream building in 1999 or before. They’re in dire need of an upgrade, and one of the best solutions is retrofitting the proper building envelope.
Here are some things to consider when undertaking the task of upgrading your building envelope.
1. Understand the Importance of the Building Envelope
The building envelope is all that separates your buildings inside from the harsh elements and environments outside. The building envelope is a crucial part of your structure and acts as the barrier that keeps the quality of your interior safe, livable, and secure. It’s what keeps the interior of any building hot or cold and dry (in addition to controlling odors and noise).
If your building envelope isn’t up to current code specifications, you exist in a building that falls below the current standard of all the benefits listed below.
The first tip to consider when retrofitting your building envelope is to understand what a massive quality of life increase you’ll experience as a result and to be sure to choose the optimal choice for your new building envelope. Then, be picky, do your research, and commit to retrofitting your building envelope as soon as you can.
2. Think of This as an Investment
There will almost definitely be an up-front cost associated with retrofitting your building envelope– but you should think of this as an investment rather than an expense.
By updating your building envelope properly, you’re not only going to create a modern barrier between your building and the elements, but you’re going to eliminate the thermal bridge that is undoubtedly occurring with your old system.
With a new building envelope comprised of a best practice SMARTci continuous insulation (CI) system, you can save countless dollars on your cooling and heating costs. The recovery period can be as quick as two years depending on the building’s application, location, and size.
The next tip is to think of it as an investment in your heating and cooling bills (as well as your quality of interior air).
3. Don’t Wait or Else
Older buildings often have cladding that is slowly deteriorating and won’t last forever. If you don’t decide to retrofit your building envelope in the near future, the truth is that eventually, you’ll be forced to. Don’t wait for drafts, leaks, and increased heating and cooling bills to force your hand. It’s much better to get ahead of things and replace your building envelope on your own terms.
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