Refurb or retrofit?

The terms 'refurbishment' and 'retrofit' are are often used interchangeably when describing how to make existing buildings energy-efficient. What do they mean?

When the National Refurbishment Centre talks about green refurbishment, it is referring to the use of multiple sustainable fabric measures, such as insulation, plus micro-generation solutions, which are applied to the whole building or the whole room.

Retrofit, on the other hand, refers specifically to the installation of micro-generation solutions to buildings or a single measure, such as fitting insulation to an external wall.

On mainland Europe the term ‘renovate’ is more commonly used. And to complicate matters, ‘renovate’ is also used in the UK to specifically describe the improvement or repair of dilapidated heritage buildings, which might also include the installation of energy-efficient, whole-house single measures.