Written by Rachel Bowdon
Over the past year, we’ve brought you news on exciting developments and milestones regarding the intersection of preservation and sustainability. From Buffalo to Des Moines, from presidents and billionaires to Main Street ,we are heartened that the message that reusing existing buildings and maintaining historic communities are essential to ensuring a sustainable future is catching on.
As we near the end of 2011, two more developments give us hope that we’ll see even more focus on existing buildings (and older and historic buildings in particular) in the coming year. First, on December 2, President Obama announced a nearly $4 billion investment in energy upgrades to public and private buildings. The $4 billion investment will be at no cost to taxpayers and “builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.”
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) followed up with an exciting announcement concerning LEED for Existing Buildings. As reported by Ashley Katz of Green Building Pro: “LEED-certified existing buildings are outpacing their newly built counterparts…As of this month, square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis.” And according to McGraw Hill’s Green Outlook 2011 report, growth of the green renovation and retrofit market is expected to continue well into the future!
Finally - if you are interested in learning more about how our work at the National Trust is helping to advance building reuse and retrofits, check out our Preservation Green Lab year-end update for more info on the following newsy items.
We’ll continue to provide updates on Preservation Green Lab’s efforts to drive reuse and retrofit policy in the coming months, so stay tuned. Happy New Year!
Rachel Bowdon is the program assistant for the Sustainability Program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.