In large cities, a major problem has arisen related to the lack of space to build new infrastructures, which affects their growth and drives citizens away from large urban centres. It is in this context that the Retrofit concept arises, a solution that allows existing properties to be rehabilitated for residential and commercial purposes.
This alternative first appeared in Europe, but has become popular all over the world as a revitalisation process that increases the useful life of buildings while preserving their form.
What is Retrofit and what is it used for?
Retrofit has emerged as a solution to the lack of space for new construction, resolving obstacles in outdated structures or those in inadequate condition, making improvements to the property while preserving the building's history and structure.
This process is especially beneficial for heritage sites whose legislation does not allow the architectural structure to be replaced or modified, thus making it possible to carry out a sustainable restoration that adapts the structure according to new technologies and without losing the original elements.
Retrofit can therefore be used in buildings and equipment, for example through the installation of air conditioning, outdated or dilapidated electrical, plumbing or sanitary installations, and fire protection.
What are the main advantages?
The Retrofit refurbishment process makes it possible to maintain historical heritage and combine it with sustainability, innovation and conservation in large urban areas. In addition, this process makes it possible to increase the value of the property on the real estate market by modernising the facilities, while always complying with safety standards and rules.
Retrofit is also a solution that can reduce the property's maintenance costs, since the structural elements remain the same and only need to be restored rather than rebuilt. This process also extends the useful life of the property, resolving any structural problems that may exist and thus making the property more attractive and more valuable on the property market.
How can you apply Retrofit to your property?
To apply this process of property restoration, you should always opt for professionals specialised in the area, such as architects or engineers, who can better understand what can be done at a structural and technological level in the building.
Care should always be taken to reduce the impacts of the work by analysing the intervention measures in a structured and planned way.
When starting the process, these are some of the steps that should be carefully considered:
- Impacts of the work;
- Project development;
- Planning the work;
- Creating controlled demolition processes, monitoring the structure of the building;
- Adapting the electrical, sanitary and plumbing systems;
- Finishes and coatings;
- Façade and landscaping.
This is a trend that is expected to grow exponentially over the years and is a solution that is increasingly valued by the property market, especially in large urban centres, due to the need to revitalise cities and reuse existing spaces.