Illustrations: Above, the symbol for the Embedawatt, as envisioned by AARCH staff; and below a Medium Sized House Energy Chart courtesy of Jerry Jenkins (from Climate Change in the Adirondacks).
Assuming the new house is more energy efficient than an existing house, it still takes an average of 40 years for an energy efficient new house to recover the energy and carbon expended in the construction of the house (Empty Homes Agency, 2008).
Source: Embedawatt: Valuing What We Have – – The Adirondack Almanack
Scott L. Miley | CNHI News Indiana Jonathan Spodek, director of the Ball State University graduate program in historic preservation, believes historic structures, including landmark courthouses and government buildings, can often be refitted for reuse, and not demolished as a first option.
“Even a highly-efficient new green building over its lifespan will use more energy and create more greenhouse gas issues than a rehabbed building of the same size. It will take 80 years for that debt to be recovered,” Lindberg said.He added, “We certainly don’t have 80 years to start making a difference. So the smartest thing we can do is to hang on to the buildings we can, serve those and make them more energy efficient.”
Source: Preservationists: Climate change may deteriorate buildings | News | newsandtribune.com