A community-led approach to climate transition can mean many things, but at its core, it incorporates the needs and interests of people in the local community rather than relying on centralized planning and design. In terms of retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient, this translates to involving local residents, business owners, and civic leaders in the decision-making process at every step along the way. This includes surveys, planning sessions, and feedback opportunities throughout the process.
Three reasons to take a community-led approach to climate transition building
Retrofitting is complex, expensive, and time consuming. Most of the financial risk falls on the building owner. With a community-led approach, there are three main benefits:
Climate transition becomes a collective effort. All retrofits become collective projects that end up focusing not just on buildings but on other community needs, like transportation.
Initial investment stays local. Money put into community-led projects gets used to stimulate local businesses and supply chains and creates demand for green skills.
The community inspires itself. By sharing knowledge and resources from those who have retrofitted their homes or buildings, community members can stimulate local demand for more clean energy projects and policies.
A community-led approach to climate transition—and retrofits in particular—can create lasting change. It ensures everyone in the community is involved in and benefits from the process. This type of approach builds capacity within the community to keep implementing energy efficiency measures long after the project's completion.
How to get started on your community-led approach to climate transition retrofits
The Builder Project advocates for community-led approaches to achieve deep and lasting energy efficiency in buildings. When community members are involved in the planning and decision-making processes, they are more likely to see the project through to completion. A community-led approach helps ensure the project meets the specific needs of the community it's serving while giving a boost to local businesses and job growth.
The climate crisis is upon us, and doing nothing will always cost more. The Builder Project takes a practical and holistic approach to building retrofits. We outsource locally to develop the workforce and create lasting change. Not only will this help reduce our carbon footprint, but it will also build community resilience in the face of climate change.