A lecture theatre with dimension 16 m × 8.4 m × 3.6 m located at Roorkee (28.58°N, 77.20°E) in the northern region of India, is selected to calculate the monthly and annual cooling load (kWh) and cooling capacity of air conditioning system by a computer simulation. The paper also presents the results of a study investigating the effect of different glazing systems on windows and the reduction in building cooling load. DesignBuilder software has been used for the computer simulation for calculating the cooling load. The paper aims to investigate the reduction in thermal gains and cooling load requirements by varying the U-values of different glazing types, insulating the ceiling, providing cool roofs, interior and exterior insulation on walls, and replacing the conventional fluorescent tube lamp (FTL) by energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). Installation of false ceiling, wall insulation, different glazing types and lighting systems are cost effective with normalized annual saving ranging from 17% to 19.8% from this retrofitting project. Furthermore, the study also highlights the potential of reducing the emission of CO2 and equivalent carbon credit. Retrofitting techniques strongly influence the level of energy saving, although the payback period is generally quite long of order 8 years. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.