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Renovating an old 1930's brick building. Need to find a way to make the building more environmentally friendly.

Adding insulation on the outside of the brick walls is not an option, as it is an old 1930's building which should be kept aesthetically how it is. I have thought about re-placing the roof. Budget is of course an issue, but any suggestions would be appreciated! Does anyone have any suggestions? Would love to hear them.

Asked by Anonymous
Posted Feb 22, 2010 7:49 AM ET


10 Answers

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I would look at installing as much ceiling insulation as possible and performing blower-door assisted air sealing.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Feb 22, 2010 8:27 AM ET


Thank you Martin, I will review your link and get back to you if I have any further problems. Thanks for your help.

Answered by Benjamin Malone
Posted Feb 22, 2010 9:24 AM ET


I should just add the building is a 6 storey apartment block building in Copenhagen, Denmark. Do the same rules apply i.e. Air sealing?

Answered by Benjamin Malone
Posted Feb 22, 2010 9:27 AM ET


Air sealing a 6-story building is even more important than air sealing a one-story building. As a building gets taller, the stack effect becomes more of a factor — and it becomes essential to control infiltration and exfiltration.

I am totally ignorant about Danish building codes. Any advice from this side of the Atlantic should be taken with a grain of salt. If you don't have one yet, you need to hire a Danish energy consultant so that you can fully comply with Danish energy code requirements.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Feb 22, 2010 9:35 AM ET


Thanks again Martin.
As the intern at a company, it is my job, to come up with some solutions. The main problem is that the kWh pr/ m2 increases drastically. I need to find a way to lose less heat in the building. I am aware of Danish building codes, so any ideas you can give me can be adapted and possibly used.The building already has green solutions installed, for example using a grey water system. On the ground floor of the building, 3 layers of brick stand. On the 6th and final floor, there is only 1 1/2 bricks. There is no roof insulation currently. Thanks again Martin.

Answered by Benjamin Malone
Posted Feb 22, 2010 10:05 AM ET


Insulate the roof.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Feb 22, 2010 10:41 AM ET


This was of course my primary solution, but I wanted to try and think of something less obvious than that. Any other help is greatly appreciated, thanks!

Answered by Benjamin Malone
Posted Feb 22, 2010 10:46 AM ET


Is there an attic?
Is the 6thh floor ceiling vaulted with the roof?
Is there any mechanical equipment in the attic?
Insulating at the roof line is not always best.
If there is no mechanical in the attic and you have a way to create A good air control layer at the 6th floor ceiling....then you might consider that option.

Answered by John Brooks
Posted Feb 22, 2010 3:01 PM ET



If budget is a concern, then the most return on the least investment will be from caulk, cans of spray foam, and weatherstripping. You might also insulate any tank-type water heaters and exposed hot water pipes, as well as sealing and insulating HVAC ducts. If windows are inefficient and leaky and replacement windows are not in the budget, consider storm windows - either exterior or removable interior units.

Water -reducing plumbing fixtures, including toilets, faucets and showerheads are also inexpensive ways to make a building more efficient and "green". Obviously, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents is another simple improvement, as well as occupant-sensing or photo-cell area lighting switches.

Answered by Riversong
Posted Feb 22, 2010 11:20 PM ET


Thanks very much guys. I just have to do some research then I will get back to you.

Answered by Benjamin Malone
Posted Feb 23, 2010 5:34 AM ET

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