Know Your Building: Many older building have passive heating and cooling systems designed right into them. Learn how your building/home works so that you do not prevent these systems from working (example: operable windows, natural ventilation). Find Photos of the Building in its Prime: Photos may reveal awnings and plantings that helped shade the building that should be added back to the design to maximize natural cooling capacity. Whole Building Design: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." – John Muir, founder, Sierra Club: In planning a renovation or expansion project for a historic building learn how the building’s systems work together, retain building materials where possible, recycle what you cannot reuse.
Respect the Windows! Old windows were fabricated from old wood. It's generally denser and lasts longer than the new wood used for modern windows. Repair and maintain them when possible rather than replacing. Reveal Natural Lighting: Look for transom lights, fanlights and skylights that have been painted over or covered up and restore them to maximize natural light in the space. Use What You Already Have! Inspect, maintain and repair your existing roof.
Beware Moisture: When insulating interior walls be careful not to create an environment where more moisture is created/released as this can damage building materials (example: when insulating stone/brick wall structures the exterior wall will be colder than it was previously, slowing the process of evaporation of wetness on the surface, and consequently causing it to stay damp and leading to damage). Insulate Unfinished Basements / Crawlspaces: Unfinished spaces beneath the ground floor with rugged walls and dirt, brick, or fieldstone foundations? Install the insulation on the basement ceiling or between the first floor joists. The insulation's vapor barrier must be facing up.
Diminish Solar Installation Visibility: Consider installations that do not harm building materials (free standing) or those that are building materials themselves (solar shingles).
Consult an Expert: No one is expected to know everything! Find preservation experts that can help you balance sustainable building practices with preservation and restoration techniques to help you achieve these two goals. They really are complementary goals, not competing goals!
Restored greenhouse and lay lights to enhance daylighting in original building Daylight harvesting system Dual flush toilets White roof – most noticeable energy efficient feature
Historic Preservation → Sustainability Goals Historic Windows → Daylight and Views Durable, high-quality materials and craftsmanship → Building Reuse, Materials Reuse Intelligent site design → Optimize Energy Performance, Daylight and Views Preservation, not tear-down → Site Selection, Development Density, Public Transportation Access, Brownfield Redevelopment, Maximize Open Space Source: Going Green by Protecting the Past, Wendy Heger, AIA, LEED AP, Public Library Association Conference, March 2010
Site selection Development density – located in downtown with existing infrastructure to protect habitat and natural resources No added parking to reduce pollution and development Building reuse Low-emitting materials, adhesives, sealants and paints Indoor pollutant source control (big entry mats) Daylighting and views for 90% of spaces Heat island – non-roof – restored landscape
Sustainable Restoration of Historic Buildings
Sustainable Restoration of
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MLS, NaSBA , LEED AP|
The U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter is a
Registered Provider with The American Institute of Architects
Continuing Education Systems. Credit earned on completion of
This program will be reported to CES Records for AIA members.
Certificates of Completion for non-AIA members are available
This program is registered with the AIA/CES for continuing professional
education. As such, it does not include content that be deemed or
construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material
of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing,
or dealing in any material or product.
Questions related to specific materials, methods, and services
will be addressed at the conclusion of this presentation.
Top Ten Tips
Learn How Your Building Works
Find Photos of the Building in its Prime
Whole Building Design
Respect the Windows
Reveal Natural Lighting
Use What You Already Have!
Insulate Unfinished Basements /
Solar Installation Visibility
Consult an Expert
Crandall Public Library
Glens Falls, New York
•Original building designed by architect Charles Platt in 1931
•$18 million renovation & expansion project
•Daylight harvesting system
Photo credits: Ann Beha Architects & Rebekkah Smith Aldrich
Houston Public Library
Julia Ideson Building
•National Register of Historic Places
•Designed in 1926 by Ralph Adams Cram
Photo credits: Houston Public Library
Carnegie-Stout Public Library
•Originally built in 1909
•National Register of Historic Places
•$6.5 million renovation project
Photo credits: Carnegie-Stout Public Library
Barton Group Headquarters, Glens Falls, NY
President Lincoln’s Cottage Visitor Education
Center, Washington, DC
Gerding Theater at the Armory, Portland, OR
Working Horse Farm, Fauquier County, VA
• Greening Historic Buildings
Governing.com | April 2010
• Historic Preservation and Green Building: A Lasting Relationship
Environmental Building News | January 2007
• National Trust for Historic Preservation | http://www.preservationnation.org/
– Preservation Green Lab http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/sustainability/green-lab/
– Start with the Roof: A Guide for Keeping Weather Tight
• Preservation Brief 3: Conserving Energy in Historic Buildings
National Park Service | http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/briefs/brief03.htm
• Sustainable Historic Preservation
Whole Building Guide | http://www.wbdg.org/resources/sustainable_hp.php
Thank you for your time.
This concludes the American Institute of Architects
Continuing Education Systems Program
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich