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Home / Articles / Today / Environment Today /  Why fixing up old homes is greener than building new ones
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Thursday, January 26,2012

Why fixing up old homes is greener than building new ones

Looking for the ultimate earth-friendly bungalow? No need to engineer some LEED certified space pod. Buy an old house and gird yourself for an eco-friendly remodel.

A study released Tuesday finds that in almost every instance, remodeling an old building is greener than building a new one. Beyond that, it shows that reusing old buildings provides immediate results in the fight against climate change, while a relatively energy efficient new building won’t pay climate dividends for decades.

Taken to the scale of the city, the study has some fascinating implications. Cities, it turns out, serve as a sort of carbon sink — the existing buildings hold a tremendous amount of “embodied energy.” Conserving that energy by sparing these buildings from the wrecking ball does a lot of good for the planet, too.

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