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What is a retrofit?

Have you ever stood in the aisle of a home renovation store and wondered why there are so many different things and whether anyone actually uses them? If you’ve ever wondered what a retrofit is, why it would be good for you and your home or where to get started without dropping down into the rabbit hole of Google searches, you’ve come to the right place!

 

The Urban Retrofit is committed to ensuring that you get access to all the information you need to get started on your retrofitting journey. But first, what exactly is a retrofit?

Retrofitting, in the concept of buildings, refers to adding new or replacing existing features that can improve your building performance. This isn’t just limited to energy but can also be focused on water use or indoor air quality. Retrofit is an umbrella term that refers to several different things that can be done. Your building, whether it’s a condo, an apartment or a detached home, has multiple different components and each of them contributes differently to the overall performance. Whether you’re a novice to the world of retrofitting or a relative expert who’s looking for new ideas, this is the place for you! 

 

On this website, you’ll find retrofits categorized primarily by the building component they are focused on (e.g. windows, roof etc.). Within each building component, retrofits are further categorized by the impact they have as well as the amount of work that is necessary to implement them. This second categorization (minor, major, and deep retrofit) is also used by the Government of Canada. 

Retrofitting homes could be vital if governments want to hit aggressive emissions target

Minor

Retrofits that do not require significant time or effort, beyond the investment of a couple of hours to a day, are classified as minor. Additionally, there is no significant cost associated with them and many of them can be done by yourself if you have sufficient experience in this field. These are the baseline measures and it is preferable you take them first before moving on to more involved retrofits.

Major

These retrofits involve more effort than minor requires and can have limited disruption for residents. It is also more costly than minor retrofits and it is always recommended to be done by an experienced professional.

Deep

Typically require extensive effort on behalf of the owners and residents and can take much longer to implement. While these can have a very positive impact on your building energy needs, it is important to weigh the cost and time benefits and plan well in advance of implementing these retrofits. Ensure you consult a professional and get appropriate permits before starting a deep retrofit project.

Examples of each type of retrofit are provided in each building component category.

As you explore this website, feel free to contact The Urban Retrofit team

for further information.

When you retrofit your home, you are not only saving on energy costs, you are increasing your property's resale value!

SOLD

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SALE

WINDOWS

Windows can be a huge source of energy loss due to air leakage and heat losses and gain. There are small retrofits such as sealing and larger retrofits like window resizing.

ROOFS & WALLS

These are your primary forms of protection against the elements and there are many components in its assembly. Further understand these factors and how you can retrofit your home accordingly.

LIGHTS & APPLIANCE

Lighting and appliances are some of the simplest and cost-effective ways to reduce your energy bills. Check out the options that fit your budget and goals.

COOLING & HEATING

Cooling and heating is a source of high energy usage, especially with Canadian weather. See how you can increase efficiency and reduce energy bills.

SMART HOME

With advancing technology, homes are able to reduce efficiencies by automatically adjusting to match energy use to energy needs. 

A regular tap releases 15 litres of water per minute, faucets with an aerator typically release 6 litres of water per minute. It's a quick fix and can save a lot of water!