Friday, September 16, 2011

Preservation & Sustainability--Resources You Can Use

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High Falls, Rochester NY
This weekend, The Landmark Society will be joining over 40 other organizations, businesses, and agencies as a vendor at the Greentopia Festival in High Falls. You might wonder, what is the purpose of this Greentopia and how does it possibly relate to The Landmark Society and historic preservation? First, the event itself is designed to celebrate the green movement, showcase what the region is doing to contribute to the movement, and open up a discussion about what sustainability and "green" really mean.

Genesee Valley Park, Rochester NY
That's where we come in. Although preservation isn't usually the first thing that leaps to most peoples minds' when they hear the words "green" or "sustainable," reusing our existing building stock, preserving our historic landscapes and rural spaces, and reinvesting in our urban centers and rural villages are all examples of recycling on a large scale. And, of course, there are added environmental benefits to preservation--most historic neighborhoods are walkable, older buildings were built to last with high quality materials, and most older buildings incorporate green features such as double-hung windows with operable upper and lower sash that allow you to maximize passive ventilation rather than blast the A/C.

Erie Canal & converted grain tower,
Pittsford NY
So come visit me this weekend at The Landmark Society's table at Greentopia--I and other friendly Landmark Society staff will be there all weekend. I'll be more than happy to share with you why preservation is a necessary part of ensuring the health and sustainability of our communities. Or, if you're reading this post after Greentopia, explore some of the links below to learn more about preservation and sustainability and, more importantly, how you can help save our planet by saving our historic resources.

If you only read one thing, take a look at this article from the National Trust's Preservation Magazine:
A Cautionary Tale--Amid our green-building boom, why neglecting the old in favor of the new just might cost us dearly. By Wayne Curtis.

From us, The Landmark Society:
8 reasons why preservation is an environmentally friendly activity
The Greenest Building - display board from Greentopia
Embodied Energy - display board from Greentopia
Preservation Tips - display board from Greentopia

From CITY Newspaper:
Closing the door on vinyl windows

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
Sustainability & Historic Preservation
Weatherization Guide
Window Know-How: A Guide to Going Green
Historic Wood Windows Tip Sheet
Energy Efficient Strategies - Cold Climates
Energy Efficient Strategies - Main Street

From the NY State Historic Preservation Office:
Weatherization Toolkit

From Old House Journal:
Weatherstripping 101 (the print version of this article has more helpful photos and inserts)

The Greenest Building - This website calculates the amount of embodied energy contained in an existing building and the amount of energy required to demolish a building. You can even convert those numbers into gallons of gasoline.


Caitlin Meives is Preservation Planner with The Landmark Society. She'll be spending this weekend celebrating her two favorite things--the natural and the historic built environments.

37 comments:

Champ said...

Tx Land For Sale generally the first thing that leaps to most peoples minds' when they discover the phrases "green" or "sustainable," reusing our living construction supply, maintaining our historic countrysides and country spaces, and reinvesting in our built-up hubs and country villages are all demonstrations of recycling on a large scale.

Wendy said...

I hadn't thought of reusing existing landmarks as "going green." I see the point. I wish more historic landmarks were preserved rather than torn down. Even aside from the green issue, much of today's buildings focus so much on function that the level of charm and style is just not the same. It seems ironic that the buildings of yesterday we tear down so readily were built to last, and are so often replaced by buildings that are built with a limited life span in mind.

Julia said...

We saw you at Greentopia and got some ideas from vendors on how to better insulate our 1920s home. I thought it was a fun event!

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