- 10:54 am - Sat, Sep 15, 2012
- 39 notes
We already know that, in many cases, retaining older buildings - especially those of architectural or historic character - can strengthen the enduring legacy and enjoyment of a community. But is it good for the environment? Lots of people think so, including architect Carl Elefante, who coined the wonderful phrase, “the greenest building is one that is already built,” because you don’t have to use environmental resources in constructing its replacement. (I have added that the phrase is most likely to be true if the building is in the right context.) But, especially considering the advanced green technology available for new construction, do the facts back that up?
The Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has just released a detailed new study (available here) directly addressing these important questions. The study concludes that it can take between 10 and 80 years for a new, energy-efficient building to overcome, through more efficient operations, the negative energy and climate change impacts caused in the construction process. The study cautions, however, that there are environmental resources expended in rehabbing an older building as well; care must be taken in the selection of materials used in the rehabilitation or adaptation of older buildings, since “the benefits of reuse can be reduced or negated based on the type and quantity of materials selected for a reuse project.”
More here: The green dividend from reusing older buildings | Sustainable Cities Collective
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