When architect Jean Carroon presented at the James River Green Building Council in Charlottesville on April 10th, her message regarding the environmental benefits of preservation was clear:
"Stewardship is the heart of the environmental movement. The only way we can really take care of nature is by taking care of what is all around us and believing in the power of preservation. [...] Every time we extend the service life of a building, we avoid the environmental impacts of creating something new, we avoid the environmental impacts of our throwaway culture."
Rendering of a new Passive House office/restaurant reuse project in Portland, Oregon. (Image: Scott | Edwards Architecture)
Carroon’s message is refreshing in a world where far too often older buildings are demolished or abandoned in favor of something new -- "green building" or not.
Many others around the world are proving the green power of preservation and conservation through a variety of reuse and retrofit projects. From the eco-renovation of a power plant into apartments to the conversion of a 96-year-old building into a Passive House, these stories are truly remarkable.
The same Portland building as above, as it appeared before construction. (Photo: Hammer and Hand)
"A 96-year-old building in Southeast Portland being renovated by Hammer and Hand is in the running to be the first commercial Passive House retrofit in the U.S. "Basically we are totally revamping the envelope of the building," said Skylar Swinford, a Passive House consultant at Hammer and Hand. "We wanted to build it how we’ll actually be building in the future. Why build something now that will be obsolete in five or 10 years when the next code comes out?" Passive House is a German building standard that uses advanced energy modeling and airtight construction techniques to dramatically reduce energy consumption." ... Read More →
The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.