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 the construction industry refers to the re-strengthening of the existing structures to make them seismic resistant.

Retrofitting is an economic approach to increase the life span of an existing structure rather than redeveloping it.

Retrofitting in column


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:

 Reinforcement Concrete Jacketing

  • Wrapping column with CFRP:

 Wrapping column with CFRP

  • Steel Jacketing of column:

Steel Jacketing of column

  • Steel Caging:

Steel Caging in RCC column

2- Retrofitting of masonry structures:

Repairing existing structure:

  • Crack Stitching in Plaster:

Crack Stitching in plaster

  • Cement Grouting in cracks:

Cement Grouting in Cracking

  • Shotcreting:


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.

Air conditioning:

  • 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 a 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 the risks of retrofitting.

Type of Bill in Civil Engineering JMR responsibilities BOQ

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