Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 14th, 2007 by Patrice Frey


The Untapped Green Within Graying Buildings An excellent article highlighting the greening of the 80 year old Joseph Vance Building in Seattle by Jonathan Rose Companies LLC. The company launched a $100 million smart growth investment fund in 2006 to green existing buildings. The company explains the impetus behind the fund: “In terms of the building stock, only 1 percent is new construction annually, so it is critical to focus on the existing 99 percent, which are huge consumers of energy.”

The article discusses the company’s climate sensitive approach to heating and cooling, and extensive lighting improvements. The developer’s approach to historic windows is particularly noteworthy. The company “weighed installing new windows against restoring existing windows. Since operability was key for tenant comfort, the company chose to restore the existing wood windows because the sashes of many had been nailed shut. Weather stripping was added, as well as mecco shades and light shelves to the south and west facades for proper interior shading.”

... 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.

Volunteers Help Restore 18th-Century House

Posted on: September 13th, 2007 by Margaret Foster


The Hasbrouck House, built by Huguenots in 1721.The bulging wall of a 1721 house in New Paltz, N.Y., has been repaired with the help of preservation-minded volunteers.

Last month, volunteers from a French group and two U.S. nonprofits re-plastered the repaired wall of the Jean Hasbrouck House, which has been open as a public museum since 1899.

The wall repair project won a $250,000 matching grant from Save America's Treasures, a partnership between the National Park Service and the National Trust, in 2003. Two years later, workers began shoring up the wall as part of a complete restoration.

The Hasbrouck House is one of a collection of stone houses built by 12 French Huguenot families who founded New Paltz in 1678, now part of a National Historic Landmark district.

The seven volunteers found their way to the house through the Heritage Conservation Network, based in Boulder, Colo., New York-based Preservation Volunteers and the 100-year-old French organization REMPART.

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.

A Replacement Tomb?

Posted on: September 13th, 2007 by Sarah Heffern 3 Comments


What happens to memorials of national significance when their marble starts to crack? In the cases of monuments like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, any cracks are repaired by re-grouting. But instead of going down this well-known preservation road, officials at Arlington National Cemetery want to replace the authentic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a replica -- in spite of the fact that experts say the replacement stone is likely to crack in the same way.

Here at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we naturally favor fixing the tomb rather than constructing a new one. Click here to learn more and to find out how to contact the superintendent of the cemetery to share your views.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Volunteer Opportunity in New Orleans

Posted on: September 13th, 2007 by Walter Gallas 6 Comments


Two years after Hurricane Katrina, the need for volunteer help in New Orleans remains strong, and one of our local partners, Rebuilding Together, is seeking assistance to rebuild houses for low-income elderly and disabled residents.

Volunteers may be performing tasks such as painting, scraping, landscaping, dry-walling, taping, cleaning, installing appliances, and tiling. Instruction is given for unfamiliar tasks, and no volunteers are expected to do any job they are uncomfortable performing. All work is supervised by skilled Rebuilding Together staff members and water, refreshments and first aid kits are always onsite.

All volunteers must be 18 or older. Click here to see a schedule, which includes dates and participation costs. If you are able to help out, please contact Sean Vissar by email at svissar [at] prcno [dot] org or by phone at (504) 636-3076. Click here for information for low-cost volunteer accommodations.

Updated to add the schedule link.

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.

Beyond Green Building: Morning Round-Up

Posted on: September 13th, 2007 by Patrice Frey


Green Home Remodeling  -- Blogger Emerson Lockwood discusses green home remodeling as "a thinking process, not a contest to see how many green things you as a homeowner can incorporate into your home."  He notes that reusing as much material from your existing home is a key part of green remodeling, and that it can save you money.   

In the coming weeks, the National Trust will be offering preservation-sensitive tips for greening your existing home -- I'll keep you posted.

News to Keep you in the Know...

Environment Takes Its Place on Board's Agenda - Washington Post.  Greater Washington Board of Trade sees stewardship of the enviroonment as a unifying cause for the region that makes good business sense.   

 Eating Less Meat May Slow Climate Change - AP. Eating less meat could help slow global warming by reducing the number of livestock and thereby decreasing the amount of methane flatulence from the animals, scientists said on Thursday. 

Global warming may cause world crop decline - Reuters.   Global warming could send world agriculture into serious decline by 2080 with productivity collapsing in some developing countries while it improves in a few rich nations, a study reported on Wednesday.

World Conservation Union:16,300 species threatened  - Reuters.  From the lowland gorillas of Africa to corals of the
Galapagos Islands, more than 16,300 species are threatened with extinction, the World Conservation
Union said on Wednesday in its annual Red List.

Can YouTube Save the Planet? – The  Pooling videos can provide instant evidence of global environmental problems

Small Businesses and Congregations Honored by EPA for Energy Savings - EPA. EPA announced the winners of the 2007 Energy Star Award for Small Businesses and Congregations. Together, the winners saved more than $1.2 million in annual energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 1,600 vehicles annually. .

New Guidelines to Help Improve Accounting for Energy Sector Carbon Offsets - Environmental Protection. Quantifying the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions benefits of renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects is now easier with the release of new accounting guidelines by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 

Energy efficient appliances should be made compulsory, says UN expert – International Herald Tribune.  Governments should make energy efficient appliances and building materials compulsory because that is the smartest way of controlling greenhouse gas emissions, a U.N. expert said Tuesday. 

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.

Omaha Goes to the Mattresses

Posted on: September 12th, 2007 by Margaret Foster 1 Comment


Omaha’s Old Mattress Factory Bar and GrillWhen the artists moved out of a 124-year-old warehouse in Omaha, a restaurant moved in. The Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill, under restoration now, will open in the two-story building in November.

“Watching it transform into the bar and grill has been fascinating, and it will hopefully be a popular destination for Omaha residents and visitors as well,” Jenny Peters, spokesperson for the investors, said in an e-mail.

The 16,000-square-foot building began as a 3,500-square-foot grocery store in 1883, when Omaha was still a growing railroad town. Stabrie Grocery closed in 1894, and several bars and saloons inhabited the building until 1915, when the building became a wholesale grocer's warehouse. The Central Mattress Co. occupied the building from 1945 to 2001, when it housed an art studio.

Its new owners, local investors, hope to get the building listed on the National Register, which would help finance the $1.8 million project with tax credits. A hearing with the state historic preservation office is scheduled for Sept. 21.

"There is a surge of redevelopment in urban areas across the nation that have been neglected since the 1960s, especially in the Midwest," says architect Chris Jansen of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, which is overseeing the project.

The restaurant will have a warehouse look. "The building will keep its heavy timber framing and masonry, and even the original signage will remain," Jansen says. - Leah Webster

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.