What is Retrofitting of Structures? It’s Types & Benefits
What is Retrofitting?
The word Retrofit means to apply new technologies to an older system. Retrofit is a process of adding some new features that were not there before. Retrofitting in construction industry refers to re-strengthening of existing structure to make them seismic resistant.
Retrofitting is an economic approach to increase life span of an existing structure rather than redeveloping it.
Types of Retrofitting:
1- Retrofitting of Reinforced Concrete structures:
RC structures can be retrofitted using any of the following methods:
Re-strengthen existing structure:
- Reinforcement Concrete Jacketing:
Wrapping column with CFRP:
Steel Jacketing of column:
2- Retrofitting of masonry structures:
Repairing existing structure:
- Crack Stitching in Plaster:
- Cement Grouting in cracks:
3- Other Retrofitting techniques:
- Cavity wall can be used for insulation.
- Internal or external insulation methods can be adopted.
- Cladding of external and internal surfaces can be done.
- Insulation and ventilation systems can be provided in roofs.
- Doors can be replaced with high-performance doors.
- Draught proofing can be done.
- Double or triple glazing can be installed
- Draught proofing of existing glazing should be done.
- Floors should be properly insulated.
Tanks and pipes:
- Lagging should be done.
- New control systems should be installed.
- Occupancy sensors should be installed.
- Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting should be installed, and
- Other energy saving techniques should be used.
- Use passive cooling instead.
Advantages of Retrofit:
- Energy efficient.
- Increases life span.
- Existing buildings can be made green later on.
- Allows changes in future as per the need.
- Lower carbon emissions from building activities.
- Upgrades existing elements of a building.
- Adaptation of new technologies.
- Material from structure can be reused in some cases.
- Reduced maintenance cost.
Disadvantages of Retrofit:
- It is an expensive and inconvenient method.
- Wall insulation may reduce internal spaces.
- Retrofitting can cause damage to heritage or ancient assets.
- More detailed research is required for retrofit.
- There should be more focus on risks of retrofitting.