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Historic preservation should be an important component of any effort to promote sustainable development. The conservation and improvement of our existing built resources, including re-use of historic and older buildings, greening the existing building stock, and reinvestment in older and historic communities, is crucial to combating climate change. Perservation New Jersey is advocating for sustainabilty and energy efficiency policies that make historic properties "greener" without risking their character. In the rush to address climate change through development, it is often forgotten that "the greenest building is the one already built."
Look for new tips, links and recommendations in this space to help promote Preservation = Sustainability.
REUSE existing buildings: Use what you have. The continued use of our existing buildings reduces the amount of demolition and construction waste deposited in landfills, lessens unnecessary demand for energy and other natural resources and conserves embodied energy (the amount of energy originally expended to create extant structures).
REINVEST in our older and historic communities: Older and historic communities tend to be centrally located, dense, walkable, and are often mass-transit accessible – qualities celebrated and promoted by Smart Growth advocates. Reinvestment in existing communities also preserves the energy embedded in infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer lines.
RETROFIT our existing building stock: Many historic and older buildings are remarkably energy efficient because of their site sensitivity, quality of construction, and use of passive heating and cooling, while other buildings require improvements to reduce their environmental footprint. Historic buildings can go green without compromising historic character.
Myths and facts about Replacement Windows vs. Historic Windows
Fine Homebuilding magazine says "Repairs of old windows rivals replacements in cost and efficiency."
A Visual Guide to historic vs. replacement windows
Tax credit for Storm Windows? Federal stimulus dollars don't just subsidize bad replacement windows!
National Trust for Historic Preservation Weatherization Tips.
Clean Air-Cool Planet.org: Their community sustainability resource page includes their Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Historic Preservation: A Guide For Historic District Commissions.
National Alliance of Preservation Commisions (NAPC) sustainability resources
National Parks Service Preservation Briefs:
#3: Conserving Energy in Historic Buildings
National Parks Service Interpreting the Standards briefs:
#52, Incorporating Solar Panels in a Rehabilitation Project
#54, Installing Green Roof on Historic Buildings
NJ Green Home Remodeling Guidelines, published by The Rutgers Center for Green Building
www.thegreenestbuilding.org : Use their simple calculator to determine the embodied energy of a building and the total energy loss that would result from demolition!
National Alliance of Preservation Commissions' Nov. 2009 newsletter on Sustainability
www.historichomeworks.com: Technical resources on historic house maintenance and repair, including reports and the book Save America's Windows