Why fixing up old homes is greener than building new ones

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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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