Hello from St. Paul! Friday’s conference line-up includes several panels on integrating green building practices and historic preservation. Our panel this morning on "Green Affordable Housing in Historic Buildings" featured three experts from the private and non-profit sector. The overall message: historic buildings can be excellent vehicles for developing green and affordable housing – though these projects are certainly not without their challenges.
The panelists discussed a number of green features that they incorporate into their buildings, such as solar panels, upgraded HVAC systems and low VOC paint. In many instances, high-tech green features can be incorporated sensitively into these projects (for example, high parapets on commercial buildings can serve as visual shield for solar panels.) But the session also included a frank discussion about the trade-offs that are sometimes needed in affordable and green rehabilitation projects – such as replacing historic windows with new windows because newer windows can be easier to operate and are maintenance-free. Lead-based paint on historic windows can also be costly to abate – especially on tight construction budgets.
See more details about all of our panelists below – and look for links to their power points soon.