Retrofitting and Greening Existing Buildings: Strategies for Energy Conservation, Resource Management and Sustainability of the Built Environment in Nigeria
Keywords:Energy conservation, Low income houses, Retrofitting, Greening, Sustainability
Energy consumption in residential buildings is one of the increasing phenomenal in the built environment. It has become imperative to react to the state of rapidly dwindling natural resources, environmental pressures and climate change posing fundamental threat to economic systems and human survival in Nigeria and globally. Until fairly recently, green considerations for existing residential buildings have received less attention. In Nigeria, several thousand households of low income buildings spends large sums of their earnings on energy bills, while getting less energy-driven services for their appliances and utilities to meet their needs. This paper explores possible alternatives for less dependence on national energy supply with more environmental benefits through sustainable retrofit and resource-efficiency interventions for low-income houses. The objective is to address issues relating to energy generation, conservation and other associated resource management with a view to achieving the development of a low carbon and more eco-friendly built environment. It is expected that the outcome of this paper will make an important contribution in the form of recommendations for future policies and programmes regarding retrofitting of existing residential houses and the construction of new ones in Nigeria. It concludes that if policies and regulatory mechanism are put in place for greening low-income housing in Nigeria, this could deliver a pathway to improving energy efficiency of the existing building sector.