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Marjolijn Versteegden

Global Solutions Director, Net Zero Facilities & Sustainable Communities

A facelift for your city with retrofit solutions that provide enjoyable, energy-efficient places for generations to come.

Retrofitting and reshaping assets

The property sector accounts for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions, so getting the right, sustainable energy mix will only work if the primary users – buildings – are energy efficient. Energy reduction should be a core target, made possible by use of carbon free materials. Circularity in materials, for example, reusing or retrofitting ageing, underutilized infrastructure like gas pipelines as energy storage hubs can prove valuable. Many cities like France and New York have also put regulations in place for new buildings to use low carbon materials.

This should also go hand-in-hand with alternate low carbon energy sources being used. Citizens are increasingly demanding housing and commercial establishments that have green energy labels. However, real estate developers and housing corporations face challenges in the cost of investment to retrofit ageing assets in favor of greener energy sources. Municipalities and utilities too face cost challenges in reshaping energy assets, for example, expanding grids.

Matching demand is key to both. By investing in district heating solutions, for instance, cities get enough clients to hook up to grids to finance new infrastructure and real estate developers can de-carbonize their stock. So, by connecting the players in the right way, we can create win-wins.

THIS POST IS A PART OF A SERIES

Urban Resilience

Driven by the promise of prosperity, two thirds of the humanity will likely live in cities by 2050. But as cities continue growing, many are failing to deliver on that promise. Increasing housing density, higher costs of living, unequal access to resources, and the escalating impacts of climate change are all testing our urban spaces. Are we prepared to meet these challenges?

Key steps to support your journey:

  • Assets should be looked at with a multi-year maintenance program and budget in place. As part of this, matching demand between real estate developers, municipalities and utilities will be key to decarbonize stock

  • Energy reduction should be a primary target for asset management and operations maintenance for infrastructure and real estate assets. Consider circularity of materials in retrofitting, and low carbon materials

  • Low carbon energy sources that further support decarbonization goals and meet citizen demands (cost and social benefits) should be part of the overall asset management program

  • Innovative tools and technologies can help measure best scenarios to retrofit and/or reshape assets, with periodic assurance & compliance audits being essential in ensuring assets continue to remain energy efficient in line with goals and legislation

Marjolijn Versteegden

Global Solutions Director, Net Zero Facilities & Sustainable Communities