What is Retrofit?

The process is widely used in urban revitalization projects


Retrofit is a technique that's been constantly used by the real estate and construction market. It consists of revitalizing an old property, whether for modernization, making it safer or even adapting it to new standards. All this without discarding the original materials of the company and maintaining its primary characteristics

What differs from a "simple" renovation?

An important point to highlight in the differences between Retrofit and Renovation, in addition to the problem of maintaining the property's originality, is the price. Retrofitting is a process that requires extreme caution and patience and therefore tends to be more expensive than just renovating the space.

Within a Retrofit project, many procedures in place also differ from just a renovation. The main ones are:

Controlled demolition – This step aims to control the demolition precisely. It is used in Retrofit projects (where there is a need to preserve a structure) and in large industrial projects (operation and/or expansion).

Structure Reinforcement – This step is essential in Retrofit projects; as the name implies, it seeks to reinforce the structure (usually very old) so that the property has support and is safe for the occupants.

Replacement/modernization – Being essential to bring the modernization of the property and, especially, safety as electrical, hydraulic, etc.

When does Retrofit become necessary?

An important issue to understand the need for this technique is marketing. Many investors, mainly in the corporate office market, retrofit a property to change its type of use.

"There are several cases of properties that, after the Retrofit had their type of use changed, this process can transform small rooms in a building into a single corporate slab. Even with Retrofit, it is possible to change a corporate property to residential and vice versa," according to SiiLA's CEO Giancarlo Nicastro.

In general, the decision can be made by costs (when the value of maintenance of the property is very high) and by the useful life of the property. In addition, the process is necessary when it is necessary to adapt the company to the current legislation, adapting it to sustainability, accessibility, safety and similar issues.